Living labs are a well-known approach to manage innovation activities; the activity takes place in real-life contexts when the innovations are not yet mature. In a living lab, voluntary users explore, co-create, implement, test, and adopt innovations in collaborative, multi-contextual and real-world settings. They focus on both social and technical aspects and the idea is to facilitate sustainable user engagement and commitment of voluntary, heterogeneous user groups in innovation processes.
Problems and issues
But the complexity of living labs and user engagement also pose several issues and concerns in relation to the immaturity of innovation, voluntariness of participation, real-life context, lack of control over the situation and the innovation, difficult to observe, and heterogeneity of users.
– In my thesis, I investigate and discuss how the process of voluntary user engagement in the real life setting is shaped with the objective to propose a framework that addresses issues of sustainable user engagement and commitment by including the users’ perspectives, says Abdolrasoul Habibipour.
Abdolrasoul Habibipour’s results illustrated that user engagement in living labs is an iterative process that is characterized by complex interplay between different phases and activities. That includes planning for engagement, realization of the planned activities in real-life setting, and reflecting upon the plans and actions that aim at sustaining user engagement and developing user commitment to use the innovation in regular, everyday use context.
Abdolrasoul Habibipour’s results will help stakeholders in living lab activities, for example researchers and project organizers, to get better knowledge and understanding of the process.
– In addition, it leads to empowering users in the innovation processes, as user empowerment is the core message of participatory design movement.