YSU-ODL (Open Device Lab)

The YSU-ODL (Open Device Lab) is a program housed within the Department of Art originally created for the purpose of providing a testing lab to YSU graphic & interactive design students and designers and developers in the Youngstown community. This program was funded with the support of a $3,000 College of Creative Arts & Communication Summer Faculty Improvement Grant awarded to Graphic + Interactive Design Professors RJ Thompson and Michelle Nelson.

Does your portfolio/app/game/etc work on Android/iOS/retina?



Just schedule a time to meet with us. Availabilities vary per semester. As of now we are not open in the summer.


You do. We will assist only if requested. We do reserve the right to observe your testing. 


We recommend you prepare your work in advance, but you are not required to.


As of now, there is no cost since we are still getting set up. However, this may change in the future.


(from OpenDeviceLab.com)

The fragmentation of operating systems and browsers as well as the diversity of internet-enabled devices makes it impossible for the vast majority of developers to personally own a representative pool of test devices. Nevertheless, quality assurance across real devices is a must to ensure a pleasant user experience, sufficient stability and security.

Open Device Labs (ODLs, #ODL) are a grass roots community movement. They establish shared community pools of internet connected devices for testing purposes of web and app developers. In result, ODLs lead to an ultimate improvement of the web & app experience both for developers and for consumers. Learn more and read the FAQ.

OpenDeviceLab.com is here to serve three major goals:

  • Help people to locate the right Open Device Lab for the job
  • explain and promote the Open Device Lab movement – and ODLs to become more visible
  • attract Contributors and Sponsors to help and donate to ODLs.

Available Devices

Smartphones + Pods

  • Droid MAXX (two models)
  • Apple iPhone 3G
  • Apple iPhone 4
  • Apple iPhone 5s
  • Apple iPhone 6
  • Apple iPod Red


  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
  • Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Verizon Ellipsis 7 (two models)
  • Apple iPad Mini
  • Apple iPad 2
  • Apple iPad Pro


  • Dell Latitude 5285
  • Apple MacBook Pro


  • Apple iMacs
  • Dell Optiplex 780
  • Apple Powermac G5

Wearable and Embedded Devices

  • Google Cardboard

Video Game Consoles

  • Nintendo Wii (three models)
  • xbox 360
  • Playstation 2 (two models)
  • Nintendo DS

Video Game Controllers

  • WiiFit Board
  • Generic Joystick
  • Generic Steering Wheel

Smart TVs

  • Samsung Smart TV

Miscellaneous Items

  • Illustration tablets
  • HP Color Laserjet (Duplex & Tabloid printing)


Have an old or unused device you want to donate? Let us know! Your tax-deductable contribution will strengthen our device accessibility and research goals. Contact YSU-ODL director RJ Thompson by calling 412.779.7665 or e-mailing rjthompson01@ysu.edu. Thank you!

To find an Open Device Lab near you, visit

Lab maintained by
IxDA Logo

Graphic + Interactive Design

Research Goals + More

Significance to field, department, and college

The American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) finds that most employers need designers that embody traditional design skills, but are also able to expand their capabilities into much broader methodologies, mediums, and disciplines – specifically, but not limited to, interactive design. Interactive design generally covers graphic design that is digital-based, be it animations, websites, or mobile apps, to name a few. The fragmentation of operating systems and browsers, as well as the diversity of internet-enabled devices, makes it impossible for the vast majority of designers and developers to personally own a representative pool of test devices. Nevertheless, quality assurance across real devices is a must to ensure a pleasant user experience, sufficient stability, and security. Many educational institutions struggle to adapt to the swift pace of innovation experienced in the industry and are unable to fully develop scalable, responsive-to-industry curricula that are able to utilize the best of technology. In order to improve our program across the board relative to the demands being pressed upon it, we are proposing the creation of a G+ID-based Open Device Lab. An Open Device Labs (ODLs) initially began as a pool of internet connected devices for testing purposes. In result, ODLs lead to an ultimate improvement of the interactive design and development experience for all involved. A G+ID-based Open Device Lab offers significant academic opportunities across multiple channels of investment: curriculum development, assessment, scholarship/research, teaching, learning, service, and the overall student experience.

Specific goals of YSU-ODL

  • Enhance the cross-pollinated curriculum between the G+ID courses that introduce innovative technologies to traditional design and enhance interactive design.
  • Become the fifth recognized ODL in the State of Ohio
  • Approved listing on OpenDeviceLab.com
  • Offer free access to YSU students.
  • Provide access and cost-effective services to non-YSU entities, which sustains growth.
  • Develop unique programming, such as user testing focus groups or user experience studies that enhance curriculum, student learning outcomes, and encourages scholarship.
  • Enhance available course content, such as lectures, demos, assessment, and projects and even lead to the development of new classes, such as an “Intro to App Design” course.
  • Create unique learning partnerships within Department of Art programs and separately between Department of Art and other disciplines.
  • Submit student-built mobile apps to Apple App Store and Google Play.
  • Enhance grant-writing capabilities that would sustain and grow the G+ID ODL.

Proposed methodology and creative approach

For an ODL to be truly innovative, it has to have a cutting edge curricular approach that constantly challenges the innovation found in both education and technology. The YSU-ODL would be fully integrated into each G+ID course individually or in a cross-pollinated method. Additional workshops, lectures, training, and research opportunities will also be available.

Results of evaluation and dissemination strategy: Conference Presentations, Website, White Paper

Proposals on the YSU-ODL will be submitted to the following design and educational technology conferences, some of which both Thompson and Nelson have experience presenting at: UCDA Design Education Summit, Design Principles and Practices, AIGA Design Education Community, Southeastern College Arts Conference, and Design Incubation. A website for G+ID ODL will be built that will offer information and research content. A White Paper will be developed on the topic of building the G+ID ODL program and specifically address the technological expectation of industry versus availability of technology to students and the use of technology in pedagogical practices. The white paper would be available on the proposed website.

Logo designed by Rachel Rubinic, Kasey Badgley, Lorenzo Devine, Kayla Hay, Ryan Ferrebee

Special Thanks to our Donors

Cristine Bowser (Fall 17)
Bob McGovern (Fall 17)