In 2016, we wrote the first blog post about our device room.
Back then, we needed a secure room to store and charge our mobile devices that also allowed us to quickly access them.
Since then, our team has nearly doubled and we’ve moved into a new office space! This was a great opportunity to improve our device room. We looked at what had worked well in the past and came up with a list of improvements for the new space.
We had the following criteria:
- A larger room to accommodate multiple people simultaneously
- Additional charging stations for devices
- Fireproof and secure device room
- Organization by type, operating system, and frequency of use.
Setting up a secure room
About 9 months ago, while we were looking for a new space, the device room was one of the most important elements in our research. After visiting a few spaces we found a 1950s-era building that was previously an accounting firm. The best thing about this space was the secure room in the middle of the office. Even better, the large room included rolling shelves and was completely fireproof.
During the remodel we added more outlets inside the room and installed outlets on the rolling shelves to allow us to charge devices at night when they are not in use.
We can now store all our mobile devices safely and securely.
Organizing the work space
As you can see in the video, our new device room is organized by operating system and type of device. We use one shelf for all iOS devices, one shelf for Android devices, and the shelves on the right wall for all PC laptops, Chromebooks, and other VR/AR devices we test with.
The organization of the room allows testers to quickly access devices and bring them back to their desks for testing.
During the remodel of the building, we improved the lighting of the entire space. We also installed additional plugs throughout the room including on the shelves themselves. This way, we can charge hundreds of desktop and mobile devices simultaneously.
Since last year, we’ve used Trello to check-in and check-out devices. We installed a couple tablets with the Trello board inside the device room so testers can update the device board as they leave the room. Additionally, we also have a private Slack channel to easily reach out to the entire team to find a specific device if someone forgot to update Trello.
We use colored labels for the different devices. As shown below, each type of device uses a color code. When it comes to laptops, since some of them are similar models, we decided to give them a color code + a fruit name.
Implementing this process helped our team and our testers to reduce time looking for a device. What would have previously taken numerous Slack messages and time spent tracking down a device now usually takes us less than two minutes.
If you have any questions about our Device Library or want to share some ideas with us, please feel free to contact us over email or via Twitter!