28/10/2020 - Leila Lintula
From co-development to user experiment: case Hublet
The Hublet Solution offers customized digital content equally and easily for everyone in libraries, hospitals and service houses, for example. It is an all-in-one tool for learning, communication, and entertainment. The Hublet Tablet is a tablet for shared use that is always ready for use. Hublet lets you access the digital world safely and privately. The innovation behind Hublet comes from Finland and the user-friendly, cloud-based Hublet Manager management software is the heart of the service.
In December 2019, a user experiment planning event was organized together with Hublet Oy in the City of Helsinki’s senior center in Myllypuro. During the event, a framework and a preliminary plan for the Hublet Tablet user experiment were co-created. The Hublet Tablet provides a platform for different types of content, such as magazines, books, and TV programs. It is also possible to create your own content on the platform.
The development plan created together with Hublet Ltd, the co-creation framework and the research permission obtained from the City of Helsinki guided the course of the user experiment planning event. The objective of the user experiment was to provide Hublet with user experience information about the usability of the service as well as to estimate the suitability of the service and its potential benefits in an assisted living facility environment.
User testing planning event
15 professionals from different fields took part in the two-hour user experiment planning event. Participation in the event was voluntary. Overall, the event was a success. The participants were persons from different lines of business who had insight about and experience of the questions related to planning a user experiment. However, the event would have benefitted from having more resident and rehabilitation staff member participants. The planning event was carried out by adhering to the following stages of co-development: 1) welcome and introductions, 2) orientation, 3) value creation, 4) reflection and feedback, 5) summary and further measures. There were four main questions related to implementing the user experiment that included further sub-questions (Table 1).
The participants felt that the facilitation of the co-development was successful due to the timing and pacing of the discussed matters. The atmosphere was full of ideas and the event produced plenty of feasible ideas for the implementation of the user experiment. The attendants felt that they had been well informed about the Hublet Tablet. Overall, the event managed to reach the set objectives and produced valuable information for the implementation of the user experiment.
From co-development to user experiment
During the co-developed user experiment planning event, the attendants discussed the length of the user experiment, the schedule of its implementation and the suitable units for carrying out the experiment. Training the staff to use the device and informing the residents/customers, staff and relatives about the experiment were regarded as important matters. Posters with information about the device and its use were also discussed. Introducing the device was also discussed during the event. The participants were hoping for two different user profiles for the device: one for residents and their relatives and one for staff members. Several options for collecting feedback and information about the user experience were presented. Firstly, a short survey could be included after first starting to use the device. The survey could be provided electronically on the device or in paper form. Secondly, interviews could be organized after the trial period for the persons that have taken part in the user experiment. The following content features, among others, were requested for the Hublet Tablet:
- Instructions related to exercise and remembering
- Different games
- Music and images
- Audio books and magazines
- TV channels and program archives
- Websites related to health and medicines
- Information about units, events, and menu of the week
At the end of January 2020, a Skype meeting was held in order to discuss and specify matters related to the experiment. The discussed matters were recorded in the user experiment implementation form. The persons responsible for the implementation of the user experiment from the Myllypuro Senior Center, Hublet Oy and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences were present in the meeting.
Matters agreed about in the user experiment development plan and matters defined in the research permit were reviewed during the meeting. During the user experiment, the questions about the development plan that form the outline for the interviews and observations are being responded to. The material about the interviews and observations is collected in an anonymized form and without identification data about the situation of using the tablet. The materials of the user experiment are then analyzed by utilizing scientifically valid methods of analysis and the results are reported in such a way that it is not possible to identify the participants. The results provide the company with recommendations for matters that require further development and features that improve the usability of the device.
Each user experiment participant is provided with a written announcement and is orally informed about the purpose of the experiment. Written consent is required from the persons participating in the user experiment. The participants may discontinue their participation in the experiment at any time and without providing a reason. Discontinuing the experiment does not have an effect on the user’s services.
Information about the product/service forming during the user experiment must not be disclosed to external parties without the company’s consent. For this reason, the participants are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The participants use the product throughout the trial period. After the trial period, the product is returned to the company. The company is in charge of organizing product training, delivering the devices and the product’s user interface.
The implementation of the user experiment and the responsibilities of the persons in charge of the experiment were discussed during the Skype meeting. It was decided that the user experiment would be carried out in the spring of 2020 in two units, and the duration of the experiment was set to four months. The start and end dates of the experiment were also agreed upon.
Staff training was organized for the same day that the device was delivered to the unit. Technical requirements for using the device in the Myllypuro Senior Center were mapped out and established before the training. The user signed in to the device using a QR code that could be found on the device. The company ensured that the devices would not gather user information and would only collect information about the times the device is being used.
The unit staff instructed the residents about using the Hublet Tablet. The staff members also used the tablet together with the residents and looked at images of Helsinki, for example. After using the device, the nurse interviewed the resident and recorded the feedback through the tablet’s feedback icon if the resident was not able to do this themself.
The persons responsible for the user experiment had a Skype meeting halfway through the experiment in order to assess the successfulness of the experiment so far. At the end of the experiment, a user experiment feedback form was filled out. Details about reporting the feedback and information about the experiment to the company were discussed.
Feedback from the company
According to Business Unit Director Jukka Salonen and Marketing Manager Milla Kalliokoski from Hublet Oy, the cooperation with Myllypuro’s Senior Center was pleasant and successful. It was important for the company to visit the Myllypuro Senior Center in order to meet the residents and experience the operating environment. Co-development with the staff, volunteers and students concretized the implementation of the experiment and made it easier. The fact that the staff and residents were motivated to actively test the Hublet Tablet and provide feedback about their experience, for example, in the form of research, was regarded as important for the successfulness of the experiment. The information posters located in the unit also helped the residents and the staff to carry out the experiment. Especially the occupational therapists’ utilization of the Hublet Solution in group therapy demonstrated Hublet’s suitability as a digital extension tool for care work.
Implementing the co-development and user experiment in the Myllypuro Senior Center provided the company with information about the product’s suitability for the target group and for product development. The company may also utilize the survey results for go-to-market functions when entering international markets.
We are very proud of this cooperation and highly value Myllypuro’s approachable attitude towards digital functions and the Hublet Solution. – Milla Kalliokoski and Jukka Salonen, Hublet
Anna Alhonen, Head Nurse, Myllypuro Senior Center
Leila Lintula, Master of Health Care, occupational therapist, Metropolia UAS