1 CICT, Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modeling, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modeling, Technical University of Denmark
In a mobile service and application development perspective
User involvement in the innovation process is not a new phenomenon. However, combined with the growing individualisation of demand and with highly competitive and dynamic environments, user involvement in the innovation process and thereby in the design, development, and manufacturing process, can nevertheless provide a competitive advantage. This is the case as an intensified user involvement in the innovation process potentially results in a more comprehensive understanding of the user needs and requirements and the context within which these are required, and thereby provides the possibility of developing better and more suitable products. The theoretical framework of this thesis is based on user involvement in the innovation process and how user involvement in the innovation process can be deployed in relation to deriving and colleting user needs and requirements, and thereby serves as a foundation for developing better and more supportive service and application concepts within the information and communication technology domain. Three interrelated research areas are deployed within the theoretical framework, which combined constitute and highlight the intertwined and complex interaction of people and their use of information and communication technologies: mobile system requirements, mobility, and the concept of Personal Networks. The mobile system requirement perspective is related to providing a more user oriented research approach, which historically has not been the case. The mobility perspective is related to categorising and conceptualising the term mobility in a combined user need and requirement perspective and service and application development perspective. The Personal Network concept perspective is seen in relation to the introduction of new information and communication technologies, and in particular in relation to derive and collect user needs and requirements. Within the theoretical framework of user involvement in the innovation process the concepts of lead users, sticky information, and toolkits, and the usages and perspectives of these rooted in a method development and testing perspective, have been deployed to derive user needs and requirements within two case studies: a diabetes case and a journalist case. The diabetes case has been conducted in collaboration with a diabetes treatment centre and diabetics and the journalist case in collaboration with the sports department at a large Danish broadcasting company, both with the main objective of deriving and collecting real user needs and requirements and based on these to develop service and application concepts which support diabetics and journalists in their activities and tasks. The lead user theory has been deployed as it indicates that users residing on the leading edge of any given market, technology, etc. are more likely to develop innovations compared to more ordinary users as the lead users will be experiencing needs and requirements presently, which the ordinary users will not experience until later. Sticky information denotes the transferability of a given unit of information, which in this context is related to the transferability of user needs and requirements. The deployment of different toolkits has been related to transferring sticky information (user needs and requirements) into less sticky information and thereby shifting the deriving and collecting of user needs and requirements into the user domain. This thesis shows how the deployment of the lead user, sticky information, and toolkit methods combined with some more traditional approaches and in relation to the two case studies have proven to provide a more detailed and context related understanding of the user needs and requirements within the two case segments. Furthermore the mobility and context related aspects of user needs and requirements have been deployed and incorporated into the gathering and colleting process, and have provided valuable insights in relation to the developed future service and application concepts, which are based on real user needs, requirements, mobility, and contexts. All with the purpose of deriving user needs and requirements and thereby develop and describe the concepts for future services and applications, which support these users in their everyday life, tasks, and contexts – value innovation.