Book the GDS user research lab

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has a state of the art user research lab which is open for any public sector research into projects and services.

The user research lab allows teams developing digital services to carry out research into their own projects and services.

The lab is at GDS’s offices.

White Chapel Building
10 Whitechapel High Street
E1 8QS

Lab facilities

You can read about how we researched the lab and watch a video.

Research rooms

We have 2 large research rooms with separate interview and testing areas. Each research room has a dedicated observation room.

Both research rooms provide:

  • Windows PC, Mac, Android and Apple mobile devices for usability testing
  • 4 pan-tilt-zoom ceiling mounted cameras for HD resolution video recording and streaming
  • 1 gooseneck camera to record participants and their use of assistive technologies
  • wireless mics to capture high-quality sound, and allow communication between the research room and observation room
  • a large foldable table for card sorting and similar activities
  • the option of a Tobii eye tracker on the Windows PC in one research room

Observation rooms

Our observation rooms can hold 8 people comfortably, and a maximum of 12.

The people in the observation rooms can start and stop recordings, choose what to record and move the ceiling cameras.


Our labs have level access from street to lift and from lift to lab. And there is an accessible toilet close to the lab.

Both research rooms have adjustable height desks, and one has an induction loop.

Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations are not wheelchair accessible. You may need to make alternative travel arrangements for some participants.


There is a water jug and 2 tumblers in each research room. The team using the lab will need to fill the jug in the morning, and wash, dry and return the tumblers at the end of the day.

There is also a coffee shop on the ground floor of the White Chapel Building.

Opening hours

The lab is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

To allow time for setup and clear up, research sessions should not start before 9:30am or finish after 5:00pm.

Book the lab

You can book the lab up to 10 weeks ahead. Teams that cancel lab days with less than 4 weeks’ notice may have their access to the lab restricted.

GDS teams have exclusive access to the labs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Teams from other government organisations have priority on Monday and Friday.

Send an email requesting available dates to to book the lab.

Your email must include:

  • a brief description of your service or project
  • a summary of the research you want to do
  • your equipment and recording needs - for example, usability testing on mobile devices, reviewing paper forms, eye tracking
  • any specific needs for participants - for example, participants under 16 years old, deaf people with a sign language interpreter

After a booking is confirmed, you’ll need to send:

  • the session times
  • names of the team members attending

Read more about running user research sessions in the lab.

Visiting the lab

Email to arrange a visit or tour of the lab.

Published 16 August 2018