Building a Device Lab

Copyright © 2015 Destiny Montague & Lara Hogan

Learn to build a device lab with advice on purchasing, power solutions, and much more in this handy pocket guide.

Book Cover

Table of Contents


  1. Choosing Devices
  2. Power
  3. Device Setup and Configuration
  4. Networking
  5. User Experience


About this book

A device lab is a highly functional way to provide handsets, tablets, and other Internet-capable devices to those interested in testing their work across a variety of screens and hardware. Designers, developers, content creators, and others can use a device lab to gain a better understanding of what users experience when visiting your site from these devices. By creating a device lab, you can empower your teammates to test their own work on real physical devices in an easy and intuitive way.

Our aim with this book is to provide a Pocket Guide for you to keep as a reference, a companion manual to your lab as you purchase devices, sort out power solutions, set up shelving and a checkout system, and iterate on the lab’s usability. We hope to save you from many of the headaches that we encountered as we continued to iterate on our own lab, and to equip you with the tools to build the best possible user experience for your device lab’s users.

You can also download this book in an ebook format:

About the authors

Lara and Destiny Destiny Montague, Security Engineer, and Lara Hogan, Senior Engineering Manager, built a physical device testing lab to help empower engineering teams at Etsy to begin building for mobile. Destiny’s years of experience in computer software and hardware tech support equipped her to both understand the human factor and troubleshoot technical issues with the device lab. Lara’s background in crafting user experiences on the Web equipped her to optimize the lab to reduce headaches and increase use, and also prepared her for the tasks of gathering feedback and iterating on efficacy over time.

Thanks to Destiny and Lara’s ongoing work, research, and tutorials on building your own device lab, people around the globe have been able to kickstart their own labs to help their coworkers test their work and troubleshoot bugs rapidly across platforms, even before their work hits production.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You are free to share and adapt this work, but must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.