Abstract

Conversational agents are becoming an integral part of today’s technological landscape. Their presence on our everyday devices (e.g. Siri on mobile phones and tablets) and as stand-alone devices (e.g. Amazon Echo and Google Home) changes the way people interact with each other and with their environments. Our investigation of conversational agents as a new emerging form of interaction has led to a realization that this new technology brings new challenges to the interaction design process that are not necessarily considered in traditional interaction design contexts. In this paper, we address some of the issues that our study revealed that we have found not to be included in traditional interaction design, but which may be particularly relevant to conversational agents. We also discuss this example of the emergence of a new technology (CAs) as a challenge to design research in general. We argue that design research has to pay serious attention to developments and changes in the technological field since it might radically influence core aspects of design practice. However, by doing this, design research could become a vehicle for research innovation – provoking new ways of understanding what it means to do research and, in parallel, new ways of understanding what is (or can be) designed.

Keywords:

conversational agents; voice assistants; voice; agent

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

How Emerging Technologies Influence Designing – The Case of Conversational Agents and Interaction Design

Conversational agents are becoming an integral part of today’s technological landscape. Their presence on our everyday devices (e.g. Siri on mobile phones and tablets) and as stand-alone devices (e.g. Amazon Echo and Google Home) changes the way people interact with each other and with their environments. Our investigation of conversational agents as a new emerging form of interaction has led to a realization that this new technology brings new challenges to the interaction design process that are not necessarily considered in traditional interaction design contexts. In this paper, we address some of the issues that our study revealed that we have found not to be included in traditional interaction design, but which may be particularly relevant to conversational agents. We also discuss this example of the emergence of a new technology (CAs) as a challenge to design research in general. We argue that design research has to pay serious attention to developments and changes in the technological field since it might radically influence core aspects of design practice. However, by doing this, design research could become a vehicle for research innovation – provoking new ways of understanding what it means to do research and, in parallel, new ways of understanding what is (or can be) designed.

 

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