Actively and continuously engaging users is essential to drive a living lab that supports research projects. When a project identifies the need for users, whether it is to conduct user research or usability tests of innovative health and well-being mobile apps, COLABORAR should promptly provide users. Often we recruit the same user multiple times, if he/she fits in the inclusion criteria. Our statistics show that each participant have participated in 2.7 activities in average since the project started in November 2011. This implies that we are able to maintain the users in the network and it is one of the biggest challenges of managing a living lab.Throughout the last 8 years we tried and enhanced some strategies. Here are some of the lessons that have helped us being able to maintain volunteers “actives”, that is, willing to be invited to take part in research.
1 – Show appreciation of the importance of their contribution to research
2 – Maintain contact
3 – Building trust
We are pretty sure these tips will help you to successfully manage a living lab.
We congratulate all professionals in the field and all volunteer participants in usability studies.Whether they work on objects such as tables or cars, or they work on software for computer, TV, smartphone or tablet, they are very important as their study methods enable users having good experiences on using a device.
At Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, there is an entire team dedicated to these issues. They are engineers, designers, and other professionals working together within the Human Centred-Design team.
Whether you are 18 or 80 years old, be part of innovation.
COLABORAR promotes a research approach that brings together scientists and stakeholders that have knowledge about a particular issue. It could be in the area of social assistance, healthcare services, public transportation or urban planning. Accordingly, social workers, healthcare professionals, ageing specialists and citizens are encouraged to engage in science. This is as simple as share their needs, priorities and preferences.
International organizations reccomend this collaborative model of research with the aim of improving outcomes. We are certain that our research is more valuable when it addresses the concerns of patients, professionals and users.
Be part of this initiative and influence the research we do. Shape technologies and technological services you will use. Your oppinion is important. To voluntarily engage in research, fill in the contact form.
We are happy to have achieved the milestone of 3000 user research and testing sessions!
In the last 7 and a half years, COLABORAR supported 3000 user research activities. Requirements gathering, user interviews, diary studies, prototype testing, card sorting, focus groups, in-person usability studies, surveys and pilot studies are the activities carried out.
The COLABORAR team could not be more glad. We learned many things during this time regarding the recruitment of people for research and testing, as well as about carrying research with users. For the next years, we expect to double this milestone!
Psychologists often collect and analyse large amounts of data from their patients in their clinical practice. At Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, an engineering student is developing a mobile app to support psychologists in their job.
Sixty COLABORAR volunteers made an important contribution to science by taking part in a session with a psychologist. The psychologist, also a volunteer, applied some psychology methods and instruments to evaluate each person.
The study received approval from an independent ethics committee. In the end of the study, participants will receive an individualized report provided by the psychologist. Many thanks to all participants for being so kind to participate in research! Your help adds value to technology, since real data are used in its development.
Pressure ulcers are a complex problem that requires attention from healthcare professionals and caregivers.
Technology may be able to optimize care for patients. With this aim, a new project is underway at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. This project is being developed by a Master’s student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Patients, informal caregivers, nurses and technical directors of institutions participated in interviews that will be valuable for understanding the complexities of this problem. COLABORAR gave a helping hand in the organization of interviews for this study.
The qualitative analsys of these interviews will enable the student and team to come up with a solution that will facilitate the care to patients with pressure ulcers.
Our volunteers were the stars of the event because they participated in the role of experts in technology for older adults. The young competitors validated their ideas for projects with the 15 volunteers, who gave some tips about practical and useful aspects they should include in their projects in order to have impact in seniors’ daily life. Their knowledge on technology comes from individual propensity, constant updating spirit, a close look at the new technological features that are appearing and, of course, their experiences in participating in research activities using technology from Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.
The participation of older adults in this event was hilighted in the media – additionally to the COLABORAR and Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS Facebook pages – and you can see here a news piece from the online journal “Dinheiro Vivo”.
Researchers at Fraunhofer AICOS are working in a new application to be integrated in the SmartCompanion system.
We have in our team a student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. She is carrying out field work, namely interviews with older adults within her work of user research. The student will be using the insights to build a smartphone application and she is applying human-computer interaction principles in her work, specifically for the elders, since the user interfaces of this app should be simple and easy to read to the user.
We expect to test the prototype with volunteers in the network very soon!
Recently, researchers working on CordonGris interviewed some seniors from the user network COLABORAR to pre-test of the script they used for the guided interview by questionnaire. We could count on volunteers to be interviewed about their nutrition habits and nutritional choices. The final interviews will be made in Portugal, in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom.
Thank you to all the participants! Your insights were really valuable as we were able to validate the scrip of the interview that will be used in three different countries!
At Fraunhofer AICOS researchers are working in a new European project related to seniors at higher risk of physical and mental disease.
“My Active Ageing” (myAHA) is a new project that aims to address physical, cognitive and social frailties of seniors. Knowing their daily habits and characteristics related to health, nutrition, sleep, social activities and hobbies will enable researchers to develop tools to motivate seniors to keep active and reduce frailty. The engagement of seniors in these activities will reduce their risk of illness.
In order to better understand older adults’ characteristics, researchers are conducting interviews with older adults at Day-Care/Living Centres and Nursing Homes of the user network COLABORAR.
COLABORAR is happy that Portuguese seniors are participating in a European study that in the near future will help many seniors!
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