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!
A new pilot study led by researchers at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS has just began, in Porto.
GoLivePhone is a mobile app that acts as a real companion for older people. GoliveClip is a wearable that captures body movements and communicates with the GoLivePhone app. After several lab tests conducted at Fraunhofer AICOS, researchers want to get real world data about the use of these technologies. This study will enable researchers to understand the role of technology in assisting older people in their daily routines, for example, in terms of maintaining social relationship and helping them monitoring their physical activity.
The first group of participants from the user network COLABORAR initiated the study, by answearing questionnaires and performing some motor-physical tests. Then, they will participate in a workshop to get acquainted with the app and the wearable that then they will get home.
The study will run during a year and will bring important information about the use of technology by older people in the real world.
COLABORAR attended the “Ethics Committee of the University of Porto Day” on April 11 at Salão Nobre of Oporto University Rectorate building.
The new Academic Code of Ethical Conduct of the University of Porto was offically presented in this event. It is of our interest to fully comply with the highest ethical standards and regulations regarding ethical issues in research. Our aim is to maintain excellence and integrity in conducting research, respecting the rights and dignity of others.
In this event we got to know the general principles to which we intend to adhere when conducting research activities. We were presented with a paper copy of the ethics code, which will be made available in digital format as well.
We have more news about FallSensing. This project that aims to develop tools for fall risk assessment, falls monitoring and prevention had many advances through the past months.
Researchers and designers together created new games and couldn’t wait to test them! With the help of the volunteers in the user network COLABORAR, for sure. Therefore, we went to a living centre in Porto and organized some research activities. We started with the recruitment of participants, and then we applied tests and questionnaires to assess the fall risk of each user. Then, we scheduled tests with users at the centre. Both fall risk assessment and exercises for prevention were accompanied by a physiterapist. Researchers took notes of some details related to usability issues while seniors were playing the games. Researchers were also paying attention to questions related to comfort of body sensors that older adults were using to capture movements during the game, enabling the evaluation of their performance.
The feedback from users was great, as they said they enjoyed playing in group with their friends. The laughts also indicate that they had a good time playing the FallSensing games. The team could not be as happy with the success of FallSensing!
These past weeks we went to the centre in order to collect information about the use of the ExerGames. Participants in the tests answered to questionnaires about their experience with the games, their opinions and preferences.
Along with the observations carried out, these information is very valuable from the point of view of a researcher, as it will enable us to understand the aspects older adults like the most about ExerGames: the user interface, doing exercise, a good hobby, amongst others. Researchers want to know if users think the system is easy to use and if they are aware of the benefits of doing exercise for fall prevention.
A master thesis is being developed to study these aspects and evaluate the impact of information and communication technologies on older adults´well-being, contributing, therefore, to seniors’ autonomy.
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!
Fraunhofer Portugal is leading a European project called CordonGris, which is looking to fight malnutrition with the help of new digital technologies. Don’t worry, we don’t want anyone eating virtual food! The idea is to develop a system that can providesome food tips and help manage the budget for grocery shopping.
At this point in time, we are trying to characterize the habits and food knowledge of younger and older adults through a questionnaire that was launched in the three countries participating in the project: United Kingdom, Portugal and the Netherlands.
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