The Users and Innovation research group creates in-depth knowledge on the role of users in socio-technical change.
Users were for long seen as invisible and insignificant actors in technology development. People adjust technology, invent new uses, innovate new products and services and shape the paths that new technology takes in society through a range of different contributions. INUSE research projects examine how users do this in real life settings, and how do they affect the design and designers by doing so. INUSE research predominantly takes the form of longitudinal case studies, where we seek to study both design and use across several generations of the innovation(s) in question. Methodologically, this means reconstructing and then following how the biographies of technology interlink with those of designers and users and focusing on the key means, arrangements, methods and settings through which this is done. We call this the biographies of artifacts and practices approach.
INUSE research is multidisciplinary simply because users’, consumers’, customers’, prosumers’ and citizens’ engagement with technology projects is studied a range of fields. Our main points of reference reside in design research, (particularly human centred design and participatory design) innovation studies (particularly user innovation research and sustainability transitions research) and in Science & Technology Studies (particularly in social shaping of technology and practice theories therein).
Current research projects: