Research Context: With the recent maturity of various cutting-edge technologies, many industries have been motivated to adopt digital transformation in their business. In fact, an increasing number of companies that cling to traditional physical business channels, services, and methodologies start to face the real threat of being left behind. Not only these companies struggle to extend their market share, but also they can not retain their current clients and customers. On the other hand, the followers of the digitalization wave manage to survive and grow their business by integrating the opportunities of technology to drive success and innovation. In the retail industry, the famous example of the retail-lead Amazon, which started digital retail innovation two decades ago, can now be easily recognized. Nowadays, there are many successful digital innovations include Airbnb in lodging and housing, Uber and MyTaxi in transportation, Car2go in car sharing, and many more other examples in almost all fields. To this end, we can define service digitalization as the process of reshaping traditional analog/physical form of services with a new digital design that brings added value to both industries and their clients. One of the main reasons why some industries can not cope with the recent service digitalization trend is that they do not put enough effort and management attention into this digital transformation. For example, some companies succeed partially to define concrete regular plans for digitally revolutionizing their products but they rarely do that to the related services. Imagine the modern hospitals, where available medical devices, clinical tools, and healthcare-related products available to physicians have been updated regularly, while the service experience through the various practices and health processes is still the same as it was many years ago. Undoubtedly, the desired comprehensive digital change would be difficult to be applied with a large base of legacy assets optimized for a certain way of working. Despite that, many businesses focus their intention and employ their assets to harness digital technology, redefine service offerings, and improve the customer experience. As a result, they proceed to both lower their costs and gain a competitive advantage in their market. To support overcoming any issues and challenges that hamper a successful and comprehensive digital transformation in industries, we need to carefully consider all the factors that add to its success. Particularly, we aim to understand the evolving service digitalization landscape so that companies can learn to tap the potential for service innovation and seize the digitalization opportunities. To do so, we have discussed the main elements that draw jointly the promising service digitalization innovation as shown in Figure 1. These elements are divided into two main parts: the proposed principles of service innovation to be followed, and the recent evolving technological advents and trends that can be employed to drive the digitalization revolution. As for the first part, the proposed principles are: (i) systematic service innovation process, (ii) simple service delivery paradigm, and (iii) user-driven service design. The second part refers to the recent striking technological trends that are profoundly reshaping the future of service digitalization while being also promoted by the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution (or as referred to by the term "Industry 4.0"). These trends include but are not limited to the Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile and Pervasive Computing, Mobile Internet, Fifth-Generation Wireless Technologies (5G), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), 3D Printing, Robotics, etc. To sum up, exploiting these technological trends while following the indicated principles will eventually lead to the targeted service innovation, and altogether draw the promising service digitalization landscape. The main proposed principles are marked in blue, while the recent evolving technological trends are marked in red. One of the current game-changing technological trends that has a huge impact on the future of service digitalization is IoT, which refers to all the physical hardware devices (referred to as "things") that are employed into a specific space and connected over a network (e.g., Internet) so that they can communicate and interact (and possibly be monitored and controlled remotely). These connected devices, which are distributed through this space, collect data about their surroundings and perform corresponding actions (i.e., sensors and actuators). They can also share their collected and generated data among them in order to perform more complex actions within the whole space, through which this space can derive its smartness and can be interacted with as a unified coherent unit. In other words, connected hardware devices act actively and coherently influencing the whole environment at once, and the results of the actions influence the future computations of the devices themselves. The extension of this approach to every kind of environment is the conceptual base of Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Systems. In order to understand the implied significance of IoT, we can imagine a world in which the environment interacts with its inhabitants. The indication here is not just providing a passive interaction, rather it involves the environment itself as an active participant. An environment that learns the inhabitants’ preferences and can help each of them in a personalized way. This environment can be considered a smart or intelligent space that has always had its charm on people’s imagination, as a symbol of technological progress and lifestyle of the future. This concept of smart space can be applied to a huge variety of environments including airports and train stations in transportation, hospitals and clinics in healthcare, schools and universities in education, museums and archaeological sites in tourism, stores and shopping malls in retail, etc. Unfortunately, the world is still far from the full implementation of this kind of scenario, but the scientific community started to put particular attention to the research fields strictly correlated to this topic. After all, IoT is a key ingredient towards a successful and comprehensive realization of smart spaces. As we are approaching the new era of smart spaces, the digitalization of the provided services in such spaces should evolve accordingly. In fact, smart spaces try to help their inhabitants by minimizing the needed physical and cognitive effort while accomplishing tasks, and therefore, providing a more natural interaction within the space. To that extent, the main goal should be developing digital services that exploit the new opportunities of smart spaces in order to support a natural user-oriented interaction in a way that minimizes the end user’s need to interact with computers as computers. In retail, for example, the self-checkout service can be redesigned innovatively in the context of a smart store. In such a store, the shopping cart can be dynamically assigned to its current user possibly by Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) card that securely identifies users and their preferred payment method. During the shopping process, the cart automatically identifies shopped items possibly by reading their barcodes. At the end of the shopping journey, the user can smoothly and quickly checkout from the store with only one click at the checkout Point Of Sale (POS) confirming all the shopping items and the final price. Such seamless interaction is the ultimate goal of exploiting smart space’s digital opportunities in the generation of new innovative digital services design in order to achieve satisfying User eXperience (UX). Failing to adhere to the full potential of smart spaces during the engineering process of the digital services will probably lead to a naive service design, which in turn can result in a bad UX. At this point, the provided UX is considered a key indicator of the quality of the interactive technological solution and a dominating factor for the success of any digital service. In general, UX can be referred to as the user’s perception of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) through a specific channel or device. In other words, it describes the user’s experience of using a software system deployed into a device or across a set of devices (i.e., interaction channels or touchpoints). By analyzing this concept in the field of digital services, it can be inferred that this experience will be based not only on the ‘look and feel’ of the developed User Interface (UI) but also on its practical aspects such as usability and efficiency. This means implementing more in-depth UX values while designing the digital service instead of focusing on how to employ advanced technologies and solve UI technical challenges, which in turn considers providing more user-driven functionalities rather than usable UI alone. In the context of smart spaces, providing innovative digital services requires a well-designed UX, which aims at investigating a comprehensive service design to derive a more natural interaction with both the physical and digital world of the space. First of all, this targeted design involves facilitating both direct and indirect users’ interaction with all the connected devices/objects employed into this space, while considering their proximity to the user (physically and psychologically) at the time of interaction. Moreover, the required design should support a consistent experience across all touchpoints in the space, which does not necessarily mean to implement identical interfaces for all interaction channels through the space but rather to ensure that users motivations and goals will be supported accordingly at each interaction channel, and therefore delivering the desired coherent experience in total. Furthermore, the design should follow a user-driven methodology that pays close attention to how the actual user will be using the service in the related defined context. Considering these aspects of a satisfying UX design for digital services in smart spaces will eventually support users in a successful and joyful accomplishment of required goals/tasks in such spaces while driving the related business success. Following this direction, many research work in HCI has been targeting how to customize applied technologies to meet humans’ natural interaction in various applications and contexts. In particular, User-Centered Design (UCD) approaches, which promote UX by putting the actual user at the center of the system’s design, implementation, and evaluation processes, have been studied. These approaches employ users’ cognitive abilities (such as perception, memory, learning, problem- solving, etc.) to steer a successful realization of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) applications and software solutions by anticipating and eliminating all the factors that can lead to a bad UX, and therefore, a possible failure. However, despite all the recent efforts, there is still no common accepted methodology to precisely define, measure, and evaluate UX and its factors in the research literature. This is particularly true in the context of smart spaces, where each connected object, device, or interaction channel that is used by some user in this space create possibly a completely new UX, which can be seen as a momentary, primarily, and evaluative feeling for that interacting user. Given these observations, a promising UX of digital services in smart spaces should shift the attention from all the expected touchpoints (related to each digital service) in the space to the humans and their feelings while interacting with them (the "user" side of the intended digital service). To conclude, in order to capture a positive UX that leads to an innovative digital service delivery in smart spaces, we need to adopt a customized UCD approach tailored to that context and the related defined scenario, which ensures a user-driven methodology throughout the whole system’s realization (i.e., design, implementation, and evaluation) process and iterative prototyping. Research Objectives and Contributions: In this thesis, we aim to investigate and exploit the role of applying UCD methodologies when realizing (i.e., designing, implementing, and evaluating) service digitalization in smart spaces in order to leverage positive UX, so that we can derive the required service innovation and success. In particular, we have chosen three case studies to analyze and validate the effectiveness of this approach. We have formulated our research objectives and the related contributions around the selected case studies as follows: • Localization as a Service: the first case study discusses the digitalization of localization services in smart spaces. More precisely, it targets the retail industry in which a smart retail space helps users (both customers and employees) to localize themselves, the available retail items, and possibly different store’s parts. As a result, an indoor navigation system can be built employing these localization services to guide users effectively while performing related tasks in this smart retail environment. While this proposed system can help customers through their shopping routine, the main purpose is dedicated to retail employees supporting them in the pick-&-pack order fulfillment scenario, and allowing them to easily manage items (e.g., inserting new items, updating current ones, etc.). Based on these details, the first objective of this thesis is to: O1. Define a methodology for a complete development of innovative digital localization services in a smart retail space (e.g., store or warehouse), which should support extant physical localization techniques in the space (e.g., a physical floor plan map, printed shelves numbers, etc.) while delivering a reliable and user-friendly digital indoor navigation system through the space, with a cost-effective added value. The proposed methodology must consider UX foundations while building the digital map of the retail space (knowing the store layout and where the items are located in the store dynamically), localizing persons within this map (calling for the selection of suitable technologies and technology combinations), and providing navigation and routing solution for retail employees mainly (which can be possibly extended later for customers too). Regarding the first objective O1, the following research contributions have been achieved: C1-1 Investigating UCD techniques to realize the proposed system while considering a real use case in the retail industry. C1-2 Performing a complete analysis of the requirements (both functional and non- functional) of the related retail partner. C1-3 Building task flow diagrams based on the expected positive UX flows through all possible encountered channels in the space while following the analyzed requirements. C1-4 Implementing a running prototype of the system that deploys the required digital localization service. C1-5 Validating the acquired UX through a robust evaluation user study considering main quantitative and qualitative measures related to the defined retail scenario. This research part was conducted in the context of an EU-research project called "FIRST": virtual Factories: Interoperation suppoRting buSiness innovaTion (EU-project number: 734599) within the programs RISE (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange) and MSCA (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) and "Horizon 2020" . The FIRST project includes different work packages in different areas related to automation and business innovation in the industry. In detail, the work was conducted in collaboration with a german retail-lead industry partner of this EU project called GK Software SE (EU-registration number: 918734628). While working on this project, a one-year secondment to this company office in Germany was arranged for better collaboration on the aforementioned topics. Besides this concrete research topic, the secondment included attending many seminars and presentations for different speakers from both academy and industry in various innovation topics regarding the retail industry. • Clinical Guidelines as a Service: Healthcare is considered one of the most important fields for human development, and a revolutionary industry with a significant business segment. Recent efforts try to ensure more efficient and personalized delivery of care procedures by enabling flexible access to medical and patient-related information empowered by advanced distributed clinical mobile technologies among healthcare practitioners. To that extent, this case study targets the healthcare industry and is directed towards providing the required clinical guidelines as a digital service to doctors while delivering the needed care to patients. In a smart healthcare space, this digital service can be deployed on mobile devices, and their execution and mobile orchestration among clinical staff can be further supported by the connected medical objects and devices employed in the space. In order to achieve the required structured implementation of the proposed service framework, the second objective of this thesis is: O2. Define a generic development methodology for realizing innovative digital services facilitating clinical guidelines enactment and fulfillment in a smart healthcare space (e.g., hospital or clinic). This methodology should provide a system that employs advanced technologies in such a space, with the main focus on utilizing clinical mobile technologies, to support doctors in a personalized and patient-centered delivery of healthcare operations. Besides, this methodology should promote positive UX practices of working doctors ensuring a patient-centered clinical operation in such a challenging environment by eliminating overwhelming cognitive and physical demands while allowing a non-invasive interaction with the system, which in total alleviates expected medical errors. Regarding the second objective O2, the following research contributions have been achieved: C2-1 Investigating UCD techniques to realize a digital clinical system that provides the required clinical guidelines as a digital service while addressing the chest pain clinical guideline as it is considered a common clinical case study in emergency healthcare. C2-2 Analyzing the general nature of healthcare processes and their related clinical tasks in chronological order, from patient registration until patient discharge, in order to correctly identify and collect the related clinical characteristics of the selected clinical guideline and derive corresponding patient-specific care pathways that can be digitally implemented. C2-3 Introducing a reasonable digital representation of the generated care pathways by utilizing the Process-Aware-Information-System (PAIS) model and exploiting concepts from Business Process Management (BPM) in order to ensure process-driven automa- tion and execution of clinical tasks following a proper enactment of the whole clinical guideline. C2-4 Harnessing the required positive UX by adopting a multimodal graphical user interface (GUI) with both vocal and touch interaction features coupled well with the process- driven execution of the clinical tasks. This multimodal interaction supports doctors to flexibly execute clinical guidelines, switching dynamically between the touch and hands-free (i.e., vocal) modes as required for the proper fulfillment of care procedures. C2-5 Implementing a running prototype of the system that deploys the required digital service, and validating the acquired UX through a robust user evaluation performed in a real hospital with the actual users (i.e., doctors) by analyzing the usability and effectiveness of the system. This research part was partially supported by the Sapienza grants TESTMED and SUPER and performed also in the context of the Centro Interdipartimentale "Information-Based Technology Innovation Center for Health” (STITCH). • Power Saving as a Service: in this case study, we aim to provide digital services for power saving in smart spaces. Such services include controlling lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, heating, etc., based on an auto-detection strategy of the inhabitants’ presence and their current location in such a smart space. This application tends to provide a power-saving solution with an added value in huge spaces with many changing inhabitants (i.e., too many inhabitants that dynamically enters/leaves/changes location within the space). Furthermore, it can be extended to many contexts like smart home, smart store, smart hospital, smart museum, etc. Considering UX measures of such application in smart spaces will be a dominant factor for its widespread and innovation success. Based on these details, the third objective of this thesis is to: O3. Introduce a user-oriented development methodology for digitalizing automated power- saving services in smart spaces (e.g., smart home), while focusing on lighting control as the main use case that can be extended to other use cases. This methodology should skillfully employ available advanced technologies that can be integrated into such a space in order to support its inhabitants while performing ongoing activities and related tasks. Additionally, positive UX practices should be considered carefully (e.g., how fast/smooth should light be turned on/off, handling multiple users at different zones at the same time, etc.) by observing the nature of the inhabitants’ navigation pattern influenced by their usual related tasks while being in the space. Such UX considerations should alleviate overwhelming cognitive and physical demands needed to simultaneously control many different power-consuming services and devices in the space, while effectively delivering the required power-saving feature. Regarding the third objective O3, the following research contributions have been achieved: C3-1 Investigating UCD techniques to realize a digital system that provides automated power-saving services for helping users to reduce and control power consumption while navigating the space based on the current location of the navigating user (i.e., using location-based services). C3-2 Analyzing the required technologies and related technical structure for implementing such digital services, while promoting simplicity and usability. C3-3 Implementing a running prototype of the system that deploys the required digital services while considering positive UX flows that space’s inhabitants would naturally adopt. This research part was conducted in collaboration with the "Service Computing Department" at Stuttgart University. Other Contributions: Since the start of the Ph.D. program, the conducted research activities related to applied HCI and UCD are distributed in various topics around service digitalization and targeted innovation to enrich the research perspectives and skills, and therefore, to guide the core outcome of this program which is presented in this Ph.D. thesis. Besides this final main outcome, other research activities are conducted targeting the evolution and application of UCD approaches. • Evaluating Humans Collaboration Attitude towards Service Robots in Symbiotic Autonomy Settings: given the aforementioned research objectives and the related selected case studies discussing the important role of applying service-oriented computing in localization, clinical guidelines, and power-saving while adopting UCD approaches to achieve the required service digitalization innovation, this part is directed towards the context of Robotics-as-a- service (RaaS) which has a significant trend in the future of digitalization and smart spaces. These RaaS units are considered part of Autonomous decentralized systems (ADSs), whose components are designed to operate in a loosely coupled manner and data are shared through a content-oriented protocol, which can be easily integrated with other IoT and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) [236, 302, 274]. In particular, this research is one of the initial efforts focusing on understanding the opportunities and challenges of integrating autonomous robots in future smart spaces, where the humans need to collaborate efficiently with them in performing tasks. To that extent, in order to operate in human-populated environments, robots need to show reasonable behaviors and human-compatible abilities. In the so-called Symbiotic Autonomy, robots and humans help each other to overcome mutual limitations and complete their tasks. When the robot takes the initiative and asks the human for help, there is a change of perspective in the interaction, which has not yet been specifically addressed by HRI studies. Based on these details, the fourth objective of this thesis is to: O4. investigate the novel scenario brought about by Symbiotic Autonomy in HRI, by addressing the factors that may influence the interaction. Regarding the fourth objective O4, the following research contributions have been achieved: C4-1 Introducing the term of “Collaboration Attitude” to evaluate how the response of users being asked by the robot for help is influenced by the context of the interaction and by what they are doing (i.e., ongoing activity). C4-2 Performing a first user study and presenting its results which confirms the influence of conventional factors (i.e., proxemics) on the Collaboration Attitude, while it suggests that the context (i.e., relaxing vs. working) may not be much relevant. C4-3 Performing a second user study to better assess the influence of the activity performed by the humans in our population, when (s)he is approached by the robot, as an additional and more compelling characterization of context (i.e., standing vs. sitting). While the experimental scenario takes into account a population with distinctive characteristics (i.e., academic staff and students), the overall findings of our studies suggest that the attitude of users towards robots in the setting of Symbiotic Autonomy is influenced by factors already known to influence robot acceptance while it is not significantly affected by the context of the interaction and by the human ongoing activity. Such findings can help to reshape innovative future RaaS design by anticipating such UX factors and addressing them skillfully in the service design. Chapter 5 discusses this research work related to UX validation via controlled user studies in the context of Symbiotic Autonomy, where humans’ collaboration attitude towards service robots was quantitatively and qualitatively measured and analyzed. This research part was conducted in collaboration with the Ro.Co.Co. Laboratory of the Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering "Antonio Ruberti" at Sapienza University of Rome. • Evolving User-Centered Design towards Participatory Design in Service Digitalization: another research has been conducted discussing the promising evolution of UCD towards PD (Participatory Design) and the related role in delivering service digitalization innovation and success. Such evolution is directly related to the arising of new technologies ranging from smartphones to social networks which are constantly increasing interactions between people. In the ICT community, adapting technology to human nature is the key concern of UCD. However, UCD tends to neglect the emerging social dimension of technology: users are consulted in the design process, but they do not have any direct involvement or cre- ative control over the developed technological solutions. On the other hand, the collaborative and social nature of the design process is getting increasingly explicit in the Product Design community, where PD approaches are applied to involve stakeholders, designers, and end-users in the creative process of new products. Based on these details, the fifth objective of this thesis is to: O5. investigate how the integration of the unique features of PD into UCD can lead to innovation in the design process. We advocate that such innovation can be obtained by giving the right voice not only to the users who reach consensus in the design process but also to the marginals. Regarding the fifth objective O5, the following research contributions have been achieved: C5-1 Providing a deep analysis of the state of the art of Participatory Design in both ICT and Product Design communities. C5-2 Providing an exploratory model with some experiments to create innovation in the design process. C5-3 Introducing a Visual Analytics system to support the user interaction in the participative process. This research is detailed in Chapter 6 that discusses how to push forward UX of digital services by evolving UCD towards PD in which actual users participate actively in the whole design and prototyping process of the software (similarly to the product design process). This research part was conducted in collaboration with the HCI Laboratory of the Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering "Antonio Ruberti" and the Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture at Sapienza University of Rome.
Towards an innovative service digitalization in smart spaces: a user-oriented approach / Sharf, Mahmoud. - (2020 Feb 28).
|Titolo:||Towards an innovative service digitalization in smart spaces: a user-oriented approach|
|Data di discussione:||28-feb-2020|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||07a Tesi di Dottorato|