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User engagement in Living Labs: Issues and concerns
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Digital Services and Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5637-9572
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

User engagement and the participatory design approach are well-established in information systems research for many years, and several studies have investigated the challenges of user engagement in the innovation processes. The majority of these studies have discussed participatory design activities – specifically user engagement –in an organizational context. From this perspective, user engagement within an organization employs (relatively) mature technology, but the users are exclusively employees with certain levels of expertise and commitment. Therefore, the full spectrum of users’ perspectives is widely neglected. Accordingly, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate and discuss how the process of voluntary user engagement in real-life contexts (in this study, living labs) is shaped when the innovations are not yet mature. The objective is to propose a framework that addresses issues of sustainable user engagement and commitment by including the users’ perspectives.  To this end, the following research questions are further explored:

RQ1: What aspects of innovation have an impact on the process of user engagement?

RQ2: What aspects of the engagement context have an impact on the process of user engagement?

RQ3: What aspects related to the users themselves have an impact on the process of user engagement?

In order to meet the purpose of this study, the living lab was used as the context of participatory design activities in three different studied cases. The first living lab case was called “USEMP” and concerned testing and evaluation of a digital innovation with voluntary users. The second living lab case, “UNaLab”, incorporated ten European cities, aiming to develop nature-based solutions to problems in these cities following a living lab approach. The third living lab case, “U4IoT”, was designed to facilitate the engagement of five European Large-Scale Pilots with (current and future) users throughout the use and adoption of the Internet of things (IoT).

This thesis is based on a qualitative interpretive case study approach. Beyond conducting two rounds of literature review, this research used multiple data collection methods within the context of the studied living lab cases. These included two rounds of semi-structured interviews with the living lab and innovation experts (24 interviews), four international workshops with 62 participants, and two rounds of open-ended questionnaires with 41 participants. A high-level analysis of the results from the three cases was also conducted through qualitative data coding, in which the results of all appended papers were reinterpreted, reorganized, synthesized and presented.

This study contributes to the research on participatory design in the information systems research field by focusing on voluntary user engagement in living labs when the innovation is not yet mature. In so doing, this dissertation provides the Plan–Act–Reflect user engagement framework, which investigates the issues of user engagement and incorporates the perspectives of both users and innovation and living lab experts. The analysis of the results illustrated that user engagement in the living lab context is not a linear process with pre-determined entry and exit points. Instead, it is an iterative process characterized by complex interplay between different engagement phases, including cognitive engagement (plan), realize engagement (act), and engagement commitment (reflect). The results of this study could help participatory design practitioners, living lab organizers, project planners and decision makers on a larger scale – such as that of urban living labs – to understand not only how to engage users in the innovation processes but also how to keep them engaged. This may be accomplished through every part of the process, from user preparation to implementation to testing and adoption of innovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2020.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords [en]
participatory design, user engagement, user engagement framework, user perspective, commitment, living lab, innovation, test, adoption
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-80563ISBN: 978-91-7790-638-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7790-639-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-80563DiVA, id: diva2:1461089
Public defence
2020-10-21, A3024, Luleå university of technology, Luleå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-08-26 Created: 2020-08-26 Last updated: 2020-09-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. How to sustain user engagement over time: A research agenda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to sustain user engagement over time: A research agenda
2016 (English)In: AMCIS 2016: Surfing the IT Innovation Wave - 22nd Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

User participation in the Information Systems (IS) user studies has become a popular and widely studied research topic. Understanding of how users should be involved in the projects and how to deal with the various challenges of involving users is important. Keeping users motivated over the time is one of the biggest challenges in the process of user involvement. As the first step of research on how to build a sustained user engagement, the aim of this study is to identify, categorize and sum up existing research on why people drop-out of user studies before the project or activity has ended. The main findings of our study indicate that the performance of the prototype, user selection, user preparation, interaction with the users, privacy concerns and scheduling are highly influential on this issue. Based on the findings, this study also proposes a research agenda to guide future studies in this area.

National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59844 (URN)2-s2.0-84987617426 (Scopus ID)
Conference
22nd Americas Conference on Information Systems : Surfing the IT Innovation Wave, AMCIS 2016, San Diego, United States, 11-14 August 2016
Available from: 2016-10-19 Created: 2016-10-19 Last updated: 2020-08-26Bibliographically approved
2. Exploring Factors Influencing Participant Drop-Out Behavior in a Living Lab Environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Factors Influencing Participant Drop-Out Behavior in a Living Lab Environment
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems: 8th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems, SCIS 2017, Halden, Norway, August 6-8, 2017, Proceedings / [ed] Susanne Stigberg, Joackim Karlsen, Harald Holone, Cathrine Linnes, Cham: Springer, 2017, p. 28-40Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of “living lab” is a rather new phenomenon that facilitates user involvement in open innovation activities. The users’ motivations to contribute to the living lab activities at the beginning of the project are usually higher than once the activities are underway. However, the literature still lacks an understanding of what actions are necessary to reduce the likelihood of user drop-out throughout the user engagement process. This study aims to explore key factors that are influential on user drop-out in a living lab setting by engaging users to test an innovation during the pilot phase of the application’s development. The stability of the prototype, ease of use, privacy protection, flexibility of the prototype, effects of reminders, and timing issues are the key influential factors on user drop-out behavior. This paper summarizes the key lessons learned from the case study and points to avenues for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2017
Series
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, ISSN 1865-1348 ; 294
Keywords
User engagement, Drop-out, Living lab, Case study, Field test
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Information Systems
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65068 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-64695-4_3 (DOI)2-s2.0-85028300455 (Scopus ID)978-3-319-64694-7 (ISBN)978-3-319-64695-4 (ISBN)
Conference
8th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems, SCIS 2017, Halden, Norway, August 6-9, 2017
Projects
USEMP, Privacy Flag, U4IOTUser Engagement for Large Scale Pilots in the Internet of Things, U4IoT
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 732078
Available from: 2017-08-14 Created: 2017-08-14 Last updated: 2021-05-07Bibliographically approved
3. A Taxonomy of Factors Influencing Drop-Out Behaviour in Living Lab Field Tests
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Taxonomy of Factors Influencing Drop-Out Behaviour in Living Lab Field Tests
Show others...
2018 (English)In: Technology Innovation Management Review, E-ISSN 1927-0321, p. 5-21Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of a “living lab” is a relatively new research area and phenomenon that facilitates user engagement in open innovation activities. Studies on living labs show that the users’ motivation to participate in a field test is higher at the beginning of the project than during the rest of the test, and that participants have a tendency to drop out before completing the assigned tasks. However, the literature still lacks theories describing the phenomenon of drop-out within the area of field tests in general and living lab field tests in particular. As the first step in constructing a theoretical discourse, the aims of this study are to present an empirically derived taxonomy for the various factors that influence drop-out behaviour; to provide a definition of “drop-out” in living lab field tests; and to understand the extent to which each of the identified items influence participant drop-out behaviour. To achieve these aims, we first extracted factors influencing drop-out behaviour in the field test from our previous studies on the topic, and then we validated the extracted results across 14 semi-structured interviews with experts in living lab field tests. Our findings show that identified reasons for dropping out can be grouped into three themes: innovation-related, process-related, and participant-related. Each theme consists of three categories with a total of 44 items. In this study, we also propose a unified definition of “drop-out” in living lab field tests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Carleton University, 2018
Keywords
User engagement, Drop-out, Living Lab, Field test, Taxonomy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69366 (URN)10.22215/timreview/1155 (DOI)000437485600002 ()
Projects
User Engagement for Large Scale Pilots in the Internet of Things, U4IoT
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 732078
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-06-12 (andbra)

Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved
4. Drop-out in living lab field test: analyzing consequences and some recommendations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drop-out in living lab field test: analyzing consequences and some recommendations
Show others...
2018 (English)In: Twenty-Sixth European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2018), Portsmouth, UK, 2018, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Involving individual users in the process of information systems development is a key dimension of open innovation. Living Labs are socio-technical systems that facilitate information systems development by integrating technical, social and organizational structures and focusing on individuals, tasks, technologies and the interactions between different stakeholders. Testing digital innovations in real-life use context is one of the key components of Living Labs. The users’ motivations to participate in Living Lab field tests at the beginning of the project are usually higher than once the field tests are underway. However, there is a dearth of research on other issues related to participants’ drop-out in Living Lab field tests. This study contributes to the existing literature by investigating the consequences of drop-out in Living Lab field tests and providing recommendations that would facilitate prolonged user engagement. The paper also discusses some ethical considerations regarding involvement of participants within Living Lab field tests. In doing so, we interviewed fourteen Living Lab experts in two Living Labs in Sweden and Belgium. Based on these interviews, we propose a first set of consequences, recommendations and ethical considerations to take into account when setting up Living Lab field tests. Keywords: User

Series
AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Keywords
User engagement, Drop-out, Living Lab, Field test, Recommendations, Ethics
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69367 (URN)2-s2.0-85061326020 (Scopus ID)
Conference
26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2018), Portsmouth, UK, 23–28 June 2018
Projects
UNaLabUser Engagement for Large Scale Pilots in the Internet of Things, U4IoT
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 732078
Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2021-07-08Bibliographically approved
5. Urban Living Labs: Towards an Integrated Understanding of Their Key Components
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban Living Labs: Towards an Integrated Understanding of Their Key Components
2019 (English)In: Technology Innovation Management Review, E-ISSN 1927-0321, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 50-62Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In today’s ongoing urbanization and escalating climate change, there is an increasing demand on cities to be innovative and inclusive to handle these emerging issues. As an answer to these challenges, and in order to generate and adopt sustainable innovations and nature-based solutions in the urban areas, the concept of urban living labs has emerged. However, to date, there is confusion concerning the concept of the urban living lab and its key components. Some interpret the urban living lab as an approach, others as a single project, and some as a specific place – and some just do not know. In order to unravel this complexity and better understand this concept, we sought to identify the key components of an urban living lab by discussing the perspective of city representatives in the context of an urban living lab project. To achieve this goal, we reviewed previous literature on this topic and carried out two workshops with city representatives, followed by an open-ended questionnaire. In this article, we identify and discuss seven key components of an urban living lab: governance and management structure; financing models; urban context; nature-based solutions; partners and users (including citizens); approach; and ICT and infrastructure. We also offer an empirically derived definition of the urban living lab concept.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ottawa: Talent First Network (Carleton University), 2019
Keywords
Urban Living Lab, Key components, Users, Innovation, Partners, Governance, Place, Financing, Approach, City
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73424 (URN)10.22215/timreview/1224 (DOI)000463833900005 ()2-s2.0-85082432476 (Scopus ID)
Projects
UNaLab project
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 730052-2
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-04-08 (oliekm)

Available from: 2019-04-04 Created: 2019-04-04 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved
6. Adoption Barriers of IoT in Large Scale Pilots
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adoption Barriers of IoT in Large Scale Pilots
2020 (English)In: Information, E-ISSN 2078-2489, Vol. 11, no 23, p. 1-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The pervasive connectivity of devices enabled by Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is leading the way in various innovative services and applications. This increasing connectivity comes with its own complexity. Thus, large scale pilots (LSPs) are designed to develop, test and use IoT innovations in various domains in conditions very similar to their operational scalable setting. One of the key challenges facing the diffusion of such innovations within the course of an LSP is understanding the conditions in which their respective users decide to adopt them (or not). Accordingly, in this study we explore IoT adoption barriers in four LSPs in Europe from the following domains: smart cities, autonomous driving, wearables and smart agriculture and farming. By applying Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation as a theoretical lens and using empirical data from workshops and expert interviews, we identify a set of common and domain specific adoption barriers. Our results reveal that trust, cost, perceived value, privacy and security are common concerns, yet shape differently across domains. In order to overcome various barriers, the relative advantage or value of using the innovation needs to be clearly communicated and related to the users’ situational use; while this value can be economic in some domains, it is more hedonic in others. LSPs were particularly challenged in applying established strategies to overcome some of those barriers (e.g., co-creation with end-users) due to the immaturity of the technology as well as the scale of pilots. Accordingly, we reflect on the theoretical choice in the discussion as well as the implications of this study on research and practice. We conclude with providing practical recommendations to LSPs and avenues for future research

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2020
Keywords
internet of things, adoption, end-user, innovation, barrier, large scale pilot
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77357 (URN)10.3390/info11010023 (DOI)000513801000023 ()2-s2.0-85079058476 (Scopus ID)
Projects
U4IoT
Note

Validerad;2020;Nivå 2;2020-01-15 (svasva)

Available from: 2020-01-12 Created: 2020-01-12 Last updated: 2020-10-15Bibliographically approved

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