Hybridization as a core element of user experience

Transhumanism or collapse theory, frantic or frugal consumption, programmed obsolescence or repair, robots or humans, -philic or -phobic, pro- or anti, generation X or Y, old workaholics or millennials in constant search of meaning… As described by Patino in 2019, “the hysterization of public debate takes everything out of its path“, but are we forced to choose our side, without any nuance? First elements of answer by Julien Soler, Sociologist, User eXperience Project Manager at Ixiade.

Should we leave more room for negotiated, hybrid forms?

When we carry out prospective work, lead creative work or support strategic thinking, it is important to identify trends and to define a vision that generates tensions, presents challenges and sets a course. This is an affirmation, a non-negotiated form that federates an innovation team, that produces challenges.

On the other hand, when it comes to evaluating an innovation with potential users, the conducted studies show the extent to which hybridization is present, claimed and expected by users. Values, personal and professional identity, adjustment, negotiation, etc. are at work in each of the experiments we carry out: they are not rejections expressed by users nor unconditional acceptances. They are “yes, but…” (a banished expression in creative session but common in the user experience area). Thereby, innovation also means accepting that users’ feedback can bring nuances and express difficulties to foresee change.

Isn’t hybridization a problem for innovation?

Hybridization is not a problem but rather an opportunity to:

  • anticipate the emergence of hybrid forms such as Phygital (contraction of Physics and Digital),
  • understand the negotiated forms of use of digital tools coexisting with extremely strong claims regarding data security,
  • analyze expectations of technical design offices to be assisted by intelligent tools for certain tasks while wishing to preserve the expertise and added value of their businesses,
  • improve the application of digital tools and remote monitoring in particularly dangerous activity contexts, etc.

How can this hybridization be exploited?

At Ixiade, this hybridization and its negotiated forms are an unlimited source for developing techniques, methods and tools to explore, imagine and experiment. We are committed to adapting or creating tools to assess the professional or private users’ innovations’ acceptability.

If the motivations expressed by users for an innovation allow to confirm the interest or to challenge a team’s choices, rejections and neither good nor bad motivations (more precisely named “under conditions of improvement“) are challenges to be addressed to improve an idea. Thereby, it is an invitation to rework a proposal even before it is developed or industrialized in order to bring it as close as possible to expectations and aspirations.


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