CRUX is a suite of research and development resources located within the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. It is a maker-space in every sense of the concept. We make knowledge through cutting edge research into the user experience. We make learning materials for our online and hybrid courses. We collect digital stories from the community and beyond. We make and test interfaces, from the printed interface of books and magazines to the digital interfaces of websites, blogs, apps, games, and simulations. We make sense of what it means to be a writer when writing takes place not only in conventional formats, but also with emojies, 140-character bursts, videos, and audio.

What can we do for you?


  • Lab assistantships
  • Graduate and undergraduate research opportunities
  • Internships


  • Digital facilities to help you improve your organization’s user experience
  • Digital narrative lab to help you tell your story


  • Empirical facilities to enhance your research projects
  • Write CRUX into your grants, especially those products and projects that have an end-user component

Business Community

  • Affordable research and recommendations about your user’s experience. Remember, every user has an experience with your product or service, and that experience colors how they perceive you, affects their loyalty, and impacts their ability to complete their transactions with you.
  • Formative assessment of your agile product’s evolution, identifying UX problems before they become permanent and much harder to change.

Labs and Projects

Digital Narrative Lab

  • Develop dynamic, engaged community storytelling with multimedia tools
  • Explore and play with digital narratives across forms—including video, audio podcasting, and gaming
  • Build your community organization’s digital presence by telling persuasive and powerful multimedia stories

Usability Lab

  • UXDesign
  • Lab-based and remote usability testing
  • Eye-tracking research
  • Heuristic Walkthroughs

UX Analysis and Media Editing Lab

  • Morae Manager
  • Video and Audio editing
  • Statistics package

Game Design and Simulation Lab

  • Training and educational simulations
  • Game design for business and marketing
  • Tabletop and real-world games
  • Narrative and story-based games
  • UI/UX for physical and digital games

Hybrid Education Research and Development Lab

  • State of the art hybrid seminar space
  • video and audio production space for making short pod- and vod-casts for distance learning

LUX (Light and User Experience) Research and Development Lab

  • High quality light panels calibrated for testing in all light conditions
  • Simulate a range of typical, and not-so-typical, lighting conditions to maximize user’s experience

Contact Information for Specific Labs