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New WPI Usability Lab Set To Open

Worcester, MA (February 27, 2012) — Every company has a website — their way of communicating information to clients, partners, fans and employees. Making sure the most pertinent information is easily accessible is directly tied to a great user experience, an industry that is in high demand.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is a pioneer in this emerging field and on Friday, March 2, from 1 PM-3 PM, the grand opening for the User Experience and Decision Making (UXDM) research laboratory will be held at WPI’s Washburn Shops 216B at 100 Institute Road in Worcester, MA.

The lab is run by Dr. Soussan Djamasbi, associate professor of MIS, and features a state-of-the-art eye-tracking device. This device monitors where on websites people are actually looking, which often is different than what companies and web developers anticipate.

Dr. Soussan Djamasbi & the WPI UXDM Team

User experience is a new research area that encompasses all aspects of a user’s interaction with technology, providing invaluable insight for

designing successful software and hardware systems. The lab will train WPI students to be experts in user experience, in addition to leading the charge on research.

In 2008, Dr. Djamasbi was introduced to Jeremy Hitchcock, CEO of Dyn, a leader in Internet Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and alumnus of WPI. Intrigued by Djamasbi’s work, Hitchcock commissioned her team to do a study of the Dyn website in 2010.

During the project, Djamasbi’s team collaborated with a Boston firm because they did not have her own lab. Wanting the school to become a leader in the user experience field, the executives at Dyn contributed a sizeable donation to WPI in order to create the User Experience and Decision Making Research Lab.

“It will be exciting for WPI to become a thought leader in this field,” said Hitchcock. “This lab will not only provide valuable training to WPI students, but will advance the field of user experience.”

“There is a great need for user experience experts,” Djamasbi said. “This lab will be of great service to WPI and the community at large.”

Dyn CTO Tom Daly and CPO Cory von Wallenstein are both WPI graduates, as well as a number of other employees.


Founded in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees and is devoted to outstanding academics, cutting-edge research and maintaining a vibrant college lifestyle for its students. To that end, the school has garnered a litany of awards for its value, education and campus life.

Founded in 1998, Dyn is the worldwide Internet Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) leader, powering Managed DNS and Email Delivery for more than four million enterprise, small business and personal users. With 17 data centers around the world and industry-leading uptime for over 10 years, Dyn’s commitment to customer relationships and engineering excellence shines every day. Uptime is the Bottom Line.

Media Contact: Adam Coughlin | 603.714.5798

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