Relevant Degree Programs
Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters
My research lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), computer-mediated communication (CMC), and educational technology. My primary research focus is to build rich collaboration systems that offer expressive multimodal interactions, i.e., interactions through multiple communication channels (e.g., speech, gesture, and grasp). My design approach translates natural human interactions into novel combinations of input modalities that serve as building blocks for fluid, rich, and lightweight interfaces. My evaluation approach deploys and evaluates high-fidelity systems in real world contexts (e.g., classrooms), from which we can obtain ecologically valid user data.
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Graduate Student Supervision
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2020)
With substantial industrial interests, conversational voice user interfaces (VUIs) are becoming ubiquitous through devices that feature voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa. Naturalness is often considered to be central to conversational VUI designs as it is associated with numerous benefits such as reducing cognitive load and increasing accessibility. The literature offers several definitions for naturalness, and existing conversational VUI design guidelines provide different suggestions for delivering a natural experience to users. However, these suggestions are hardly comprehensive and often fragmented. A precise characterization of naturalness is necessary for identifying VUI designers’ needs and supporting their design practices. To this end, we interviewed 20 VUI designers, asking what naturalness means to them, how they incorporate the concept in their design practice, and what challenges they face in doing so. Through inductive and deductive thematic analysis, we identify 12 characteristics describing naturalness in VUIs and classify these characteristics into three groups, which are ‘Fundamental’, ‘Transactional’ and ‘Social’ depending on the purpose each characteristic serves. Then we describe how designers pursue these characteristics under different categories in their practices depending on the contexts of their VUIs (e.g., target users, application purpose). We identify 10 challenges that designers are currently encountering in designing natural VUIs. Our designers reported experiencing the most challenges when creating naturally sounding dialogues, and they required better tools and guidelines. We conclude with implications for developing better tools and guidelines for designing natural VUIs.
No abstract available.