The online Living Lab is a place for designers or developers to get feedback from users. The Living Lab environment is a website with social functionality and a media content management system. The feedback is given in response to an idea, concept, prototype, or final system – presented as text, images, video, or functioning solutions.
See an example screen shot from a study conducted in 2010. (Concept by Theo Tveterås and Lars M. Vedeler, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design – AHO. Click to enlarge.)
The designer / developer perspective
Your design is made available to users for feedback. The feedback is structured according to a set of discussion topics, concerning the key aspects of your design. You are invited to follow the user feedback in real time as it is collected. You can also use the response functionality to ask follow up questions to participating users.
At the end of the study, typically a few days and 50-200 participants, the Living Lab admin presents the analysed user feedback including praise, problems, ideas and suggestions, as well as details on the context of use.
>The user participant perspective
The user participants are invited on basis of the user characteristics relevant to the design in questions. We have recruited users from the NorStat internet panel panel.no as well as the case-partners’ own customer bases.
Invitations for participation may be distributed as e-mails or website posts. When accepting the invitation, the user establishes a participant profile and answers a few questionnaire questions for background data. Then the design is presented, and the user is asked for feedback to be given as free text comments and ratings.
All user feedback is made available to all participants in comment threads. The users are encouraged to respond to each other’s feedback, to provide more in-depth feedback. When comments are given on other’s feedback, the other user is notified by e-mail to support dialogue.
See an example of the user participant perspective at the Interaction design lab in a study from 2009. (Screen shot above; concepts by Jon Olav Eikenes, The Oslo School of Architecture – AHO)
The Living Lab admin
The Living Lab admin sets up the Living Lab study, makes the designs available for feedback and invites the users. The Living Lab admin also moderates the user feedback session, asking following up questions to participants and giving praise to good comments.
The website may be configured according to the needs of the particular study, including configuration of discussion thread, rating scale, comment likes, tagging. The website support a range of image and video formats.
Studies may be conducted openly or confidential (only available for logged-in participants).
All study results can be exported in .csv format
For details, see this report