As part of its innovation component, the West Creative Industries programme supports and accompanies the emergence of three new UserLabs in the Pays de la Loire region in 2020-2021 and their networking.
The three winning projects of the call for expression of interest launched in 2019 aim to set up multidisciplinary UserLabs and to offer expertise for the design and evaluation of the user experience in the service of research, higher education and innovation.
A UserLab is a platform combining multidisciplinary expertise, measurement equipment and advanced methodologies to explore user behaviour in order to understand, model and predict interactions between users and their environments (products, services or spaces).
The user experience has become an issue and a source of innovation for many economic sectors undergoing transition (health, tourism, mobility, production systems, agri-food, education/training and entertainment) and in which testing is essential in the process of innovation through uses. At the heart of the experience economy, a UserLab is the instrument through which all actors, both academic and industrial, must be able to support their research or innovation by drawing all of its value from experimentation (scientific and technical validity of the protocol, measurements, processing and results obtained).
The WCI programme co-funds and accompanies the three projects carried out by three universities in the Loire region and their partners :
UserLab in Halle 6 Ouest – University of Nantes
A UserLab aims to bring together hardware and software resources with the skills necessary to build tools and expertise dedicated to usage analysis. With several types of equipment (EEG, NIRS, oculometers, etc.) and a technical platform comprising six testing rooms and a control room, it takes advantage of a research base, notably in the digital sciences, for the development of original protocols, using in particular artificial intelligence to collect and analyse data. It is a place of testing for students, creative people, industrialists and researchers.
P2AC – University of Angers
The P2AC platform for behavioural analysis in Literature, Languages, Humanities and Social Sciences is intended to be a UserLab comprising two interview rooms, one observation room and six testing cubicles. Based on the expertise of psychology, economics, management, geography and sociology laboratories, it will allow the development of experimental studies drawing on the collection of quantitative and qualitative data from individuals and groups: tests of new products or environments, cognitive tests, behavioural tests associated with specific stimuli, and cognitive and sensory stimulation workshops.
UDP – University of Le Mans
The UDP educational distributed UserLab is supported by the Educational Sciences (CREN) and Computer Science (LIUM) laboratories. Its aim is to promote the co-design of educational situations with lecturers to generate technical and pedagogical innovations and to evaluate them scientifically in terms of their usefulness and usability. This will be done by means of video recordings, digital footprints, movement and eye tracking technologies, etc. With two remote equipped sites (Laval and Le Mans), the UserLab will have the specificity of making it possible to understand individual and collective dynamics, both in face-to-face and distance learning situations.
This network of three UserLabs linking the Loire region will be a resource open to socio-economic and academic actors to access all the expertise of the members of the WCI programme relating to the design, testing and evaluation of experience.
Contact: Julien Laflaquière, Innovation Project Manager, West Creative Industries programme, firstname.lastname@example.org