About SURL

The Software Usability Research Lab (SURL) is a research-based usability laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Wichita State University. SURL is led by Dr. Barbara Chaparro and Dr. Amanda Smith, who combined have over 30 years of experience designing and evaluating user interfaces, the usability of technology, and conducting research in applied human-computer interaction. The goal of the lab is to understand User Experience in a variety of domains and environments, to provide usability services to industry, and to provide research findings to HCI practitioners.

SURL offers services in HCI research, usability testing, expert review, eyetracking and requirements gathering of websites, mobile device apps, software applications, and hardware.

View the services SURL offers

Barbara S. ChaparroDr. Barbara Chaparro (Lab Director, Assoc Professor)
E-Mail: barbara.chaparro@wichita.edu; WSU Web page

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, 1990
Texas Tech University

B.S. Psychology, 1985
University of Richmond, VA

Current Instructor:

  • Research Methods
  • Human Factors Methods
  • Software Psychology

Research Interests:

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software/Website Design & Evaluation
  • Usability Testing
  • Mobile Computing

Amanda SmithAmanda Smith (Research Scientist)
E-Mail: amanda.smith@wichita.edu

Ph.D. Human Factors Psychology, 2013
Wichita State University

M.A. Experimental Psychology (Human Factors), 2009
Wichita State University

B.A. Psychology, B.F.A. Visual Communications, emphasis in Graphic Design, 2003
University of Kansas

Research Interests:

  • Aesthetics
  • Aviation displays
  • Mobile devices
  • Interface design

Current Members

SURL is staffed by experienced researchers who are part of the Human Factors graduate program at Wichita State University. Many have experience working in industry as UX professionals. Areas of research specialty include interface design, gaming, technology in healthcare, automation, human error analysis, mobile devices, scale development and evaluation, educational technology, and eye tracking.

 View Current Members


Over 20 members of SURL now work in a variety of industries as Human Factors professionals or upper management. Sample industries include software, hardware, aircraft, insurance, education, finance, travel, research & development, and workflow analysis.

View Alumni

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