Social software for co-creation in existing Living Labs

How can existing Living Lab infrastructures take up social software for co-creation? In the SociaLL WP3 this has been the key reseach question. On basis of the cases run in the SociaLL project, in particular three cases conduced by Halmstad Living Lab, a set of challenges and lessons learnt has been formulated.

In the report from the work you can learn about a criteria model that can aid Living Lab personnel when assessing or evaluating social software to be used to support co-creation in collaboration with users in a Living Lab. Furthermore, a social technology mesh method is proposed to aid the setup and facilitation of concept evaluations supported by social software.

You can download the report here

Social software for co-creation in Living Labs

Which social software to choose for co-creation activities in Living Labs? And what can you expect when involving users in such co-creation activities?

In the SociaLL we have tried to answer these questions by formulating requirements for social software to be used in co-creation, by getting an overview of existing solutions, and by developing new solutions for co-creation in Living Labs.

In a report from the project work package on requirements and design, we first present different types of social software designed to support user involvement and co-creation at different phases of the innovation process. In particular, we go into detail on a social software solutions developed within the SociaLL project to support user feedback on design.

We also present our experiences and lessons learnt from using this social software in cases of user involvement in innovation. Our experiences are based on the results from the user involvement, as well as post factum reports from clients and participants. In particular, we discuss challenges and findings concerning participant interaction.

Want to know more? See the full report

User recruitment and commitment in Living Labs

Living Labs are arenas for involving users in innovation processes. However, to recruit and maintain groups or communitie of user participants in a Living Lab is challenging.

As part of the SociaLL project, Marco Bertoni and Anna Ståhlbröst at Luleå Technical University have reported on their work to study how social media can be used to support user recruitment and commitment for online Living Lab studies.

They take as their starting point seven challenges for the implementation of social software in Living Labs, then present findings from an analysis of existing social networking platforms, a user study in the RECORD online Living Lab, and focus groups on participation online innovation activities.

The end result is a framework for user recruitement and commitment in Living Labs, particularly concerning online Living Lab studies. Their findings have also been used to orient the development of Collaboration Network @ LTU, a Drupal-based platform to be used to support Living Lab initiatives.

Interested? Download the report here.

Innovating with users - open seminar in Oslo

  • Do you want to know more about how to involve users in innovation?
  • Learn about social software for user involvement?
  • Share experiences with fellow practitioners?

More than 50 participants at the seminar arranged by the Nordic research projects SociaLL and SmartIES. Invited speakers: Morten Falch / Lene Tolstrup Sørensen (Aalborg University Copenhagen), Martin Bekkelund (Posten/Norway Post), and Bengt Lerpold (Visma).

Click here to see the seminar program.

The seminar was for industry and public sector professionals who work to involve users in innovation and development processes.

Seminar in Halmstad: Innovation focusing on the user - a practical guide

On Wednesday the 14th of November between 9.00-12.00 Halmstad University, Centre for Health Technology Halland, and the Region of Halland arranges an open industrial dissemination seminar about user involvement in innovation processes with the help of social software.

The seminar is a part of the dissemination activates done within the SociaLL project. Three researchers will be presenting and discussing the following three themes:

  • Jesper Svensson, Halmstad University: Openness and IP – How to successfully involve multiple actors and user groups in digital innovation processes
  • Anna Ståhlbröst, Luleå University: Recruitment and motivation of users/consumers in development processes
  • Esbjörn Ebbesson, Halmstad University: Opportunities and challenges with social software in digital innovation processes

Interested to know more? Please contact seminar organizer Jesper Svensson, jesper.svensson(at)

Facebook as arena for participatory design?

Master student Lill Francis M. Reyes worked with the SociaLL project when doing her thesis on translating the participatory design method Future workshops for use on Facebook. The future workshop is a renowned method for engaging users in design, where user participants are taken through three phases of critique, fantasy and implementation, where they respectively criticize the current way and suggest their dream way of solving the design challenge, before working out how to translate the dream solution to real-world implementation.

In this Facebook version of the future workshop, potential users, designers, and to some degree the project owner cooperated for three weeks to explore new designs for an online photo heritage service. The result is an engaging journey into both how such an online service journey could be, but more importantly how a social networking service such as Facebook can be used to facilitate participatory design.

You find the thesis here. Recommended reading.

Innovation through Social Media - international workshop

The SociaLL project supports ISM 2012, the international workshop on social media, where practitioners and researchers are invited to share and build knowledge. The workshop will be held December 3 in Oslo, Norway.

The call for workshop papers is out now. Deadline for submissions is September 20. All accepted papers will be published in the ISBN-numbered workshop proceedings and also made available online as open access.

Participation is free of charge. Read more at the ISM 2012 website.

Workshop on the Scandinavian Living Lab approach

At the ICE-conference in Münich in June 2012, the SociaLL project and the Smarties project (both financed by Nordforsk) collaboratively arranged an international Living Lab workshop. The aim of this workshop was to contribute to research on Living lab activities and illuminate the opportunities the Living Lab Key Principles offers to Living Lab Practices. In the workshop we also discussed how to implement and use social software to support Living Lab practices. At the workshop, lively group discussions and presentations contributed to the concept of Living Labs.

Curious about the Scandinavian approach to Living Labs? Want to join in on the The European Conference in Technology and Innovation Management – ICE-2012, arranged in Munich, June 18-20?

The SociaLL project, by Anna Ståhlbröst of Botnia Living Lab, is co-organizer of an international workshop with the aim to explore the value of the Scandinavian Living Lab approach in innovation processes. In particular, the workshop takes as a starting point the following key principles: openness, influence, sustainability, realism and value.

The workshop should explicate the opportunities these five key-principles offer to Living Lab practices. Also, discussions will be conducted on how to implement social software to support the Living Lab practices.

Want to know more? See the workshop description and the conference programme

Social design feedback in an online Living Lab

SociaLL report on social design feedback

In innovation and development projects it is useful to get feedback from users on ideas, concepts and designs. However, acquiring such feedback can be challenging – in particular if users are to be involved by way of face to face methods.

In the SociaLL project we are researching how to use social software to get such user feedback. In particular, we are looking at solutions for commenting on new ideas, concepts and designs – where designers and developers can show their design to user participants, and the users can provide feedback as comments in an ad-hoc group online.

We experience that such social design feedback may indeed be valuable. However, we also see the need to increase the interaction between the participants in such design feedback studies – sol that the participants can build on each others insights and thereby provide richer feedback.

In the first year of SociaLL we have conducted two cases on social design feedback, trying out different layout configurations to increase interaction between participating users. We also tried out comment tagging as a mechanism for real-time analysis of design feedback.

Our experiences, as well as a detailed presentation of social design feedback is provided in this report. Welcome :-)

Users' motivations in innovation communities

Users contributions in innovation communities can be valuable to organizations. Example innovation communities are brand communities where members are motivated to contribute ideas (such as the spotify community), beta testing communities (such as Nokia beta labs), or innovation intermediaries (third party innovation community hosts, such as Botnia Living Lab).

But what motivates users to make contributions in innovation communities? Anna Ståhlbröst and Birgitta Bergvall-Kareborn have explored this question within the SociaLL project. They have collected data from more than 2000 participants in the Botnia Living Lab on who they are and what makes them contribute.

When classifying the responding users, they found that the largest group of participants were technology enthusiasts responding that “as soon as a new product or service is available at the
market, I want to start using it”. However, also regular utility users of technology also was a large group – more than one third of the respondents.

The user participants were found to be particularly motivated by their wish to learn something new, their curiosity, and their wish to try out new technology. Learning was seen as important to virtually all the respondents, and seen as “very important” by more than 70 percent.

The majority also reported to be highly motivated by the opportunity to win something, but as much as one fifth stated that this was not an important motivational factor. Getting to know other people and social belonging was not important to the vast majority of the respondents.

One lesson learnt is that economical rewards – such as a ticket in a lottery – may be a useful motivator, but that providing the users an opportunity to learn something new is even more important.

Read the whole paper (post-acceptance version, publised in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management)


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Living Labs is a new approach to the involvement of users in innovation processes, where users participate in their everyday context. In SociaLL we conduct research on how social software can improve user involvement in innovation processes, engage users in co-creation activities, and be implemented as part of Living Lab infrastructures. Join us in discussions on social software, user involvement, co-creation, and Living Lab innovation. More about this site

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