Taipei CVS Living Lab

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Information
Information doc: 
Contact: 

Dr. Yuan-Ling ChiaoCenter of Innovation and Synergy for Intelligent Home and Living Technology(INSIGHT CENTER)Social Sciences Division18 Sihyuan StreetTaipei City 10087, TaiwanPh: 886-2-3366-9962 Fax: 886-2-3366-9729

Email: insight@ntu.edu.tw

Effective member: 
No
Country: 
Taiwan

One of our endeavors at the INSIGHT Center is to make the connection between technology and people’s everyday lives. We have the technology and skills to create innovative products and services. However, in this process, we also believe that it is critical to keep in mind the social, cultural and ethical implications of these products and services.

A distinctive way we achieve this connection to the everyday user is through the Taipei CVS Living Lab project.  This Living Lab involves cooperation with the convenience chain store 7-11 (a part of the President Chain Store Group) and the Taipei City Government.  In Taipei, since 7-11 convenience stores are heavily integrated into people’s everyday lives this project serves as a prolific platform for our researchers to interact extensively with everyday users, on a frequent basis. Our research team has tested the user reactions to the various products and services by collecting both quantitative and qualitative data from convenience store patrons. This data enables INSIGHT to not only improve on the user interfaces, system integration, and information filtering, but also reveals clues about how to incorporate and implement various convenience products and services to make peoples’ lives more efficient and perhaps more enjoyable.

Description

For the Taipei CVS Living Lab project, resources are provided from three different sources: The host organization, INSIGHT Center, the President Chain Store Group (7-ELEVEN) and the Taipei City Government. Specifically, the INSIGHT Center provides project coordination, administrative support, human resources and research resources. The 7-11 company provides hardware, software and a platform, and their ancillary administrative and human resources. The Taipei City Government provides extensive access to information for citizens and is also a gateway for our researchers to access different government branches and sectors.

Some of most labor-intensive activities involve design, IT issues, gathering and analyzing user data. For the CVS Living Lab project, we have a research team from a variety of academic backgrounds, such as service science, business administration, industrial engineering and sociology who address these issues.  In addition, we have an active supporting team of research assistants who have degrees in the fields of social informatics, technology and management, and business administration.

We are currently in the process of analyzing the raw data from both questionnaires and in-depth interviews with a variety of convenience store patrons. Some preliminary results have given us some clues into how various ICT services are received by the general public. We found that areas relating to user interfaces, system integration and information filtering need further improvement. In addition to the IT related improvements, we also realized throughout this process the importance of qualitative research in understanding user-experiences. This is an area where our research team will devote more time, energies and resources. Simultaneously, we are in the process of conducting usability studies and time and space studies. These studies will allow us to gain contextually rich data that will help us gain a deeper understanding of user experiences. This results derived from qualitative research, combined with IT related improvements will give us a solid foundation to develop more innovative products and services.

References and Track Record

With the efforts of our technical and design teams, we develop sophisticated and innovative prototypes, software and services for Smart Living.   In addition, our industry liaison division works with various companies to co-develop products and services. Alongside these efforts, we also take into special consideration the user needs and experiences. Thus, all of our projects undergo an extensive testing process; first, in the User Experience Lab, where real or lead users test the prototypes or services, and their experiences are observed and evaluated by our research team. Secondly, larger scale tests are conducted in real life scenarios. Then, with these results in mind, our products and services are then made ready for diffusion and possible commercialization.

The process of observing and evaluating user needs and experiences are ongoing. Living Lab research methodologies encourages projects to remain active; since user needs and experiences may change and evolve through different circumstances. Thus, it is critical toconstantly examine if our products and services are responsive to changing social and culture trends.

This extensive testing and research process, while arduous and very time consuming allows us to ensure that the prototypes and services we develop at INSIGHT really serve the general public in a healthy, productive and socially responsible way. In addition, the test results gathered from field research process also provide a solid informational foundation to support future policy recommendations.