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«What can I ask you?» – The User Experience of Conversational Interfaces

Vortrag Chatbots & Conversational Interfaces
ZHAW Eulachpassage
ZHAW Eulachpassage, Technikumstrasse 71, 8400, Winterthur

The conference SwissText 2018 will host a talk full of insights about human-machine conversation. Dr. Sibylle Peuker will share our knowledge about Alexa, Siri and their friends.

Abstract Zeix Talk

Conversational Interfaces are considered the new heroes of human-machine interaction. Smart assistants like Alexa from Amazon and Google Home are catching up in more and more households, and there’s hardly any industry that does not experiment with chatbots.

But can humans and machines really understand each other? We wanted to know if such conversational interfaces are as easy to use as is claimed. For this purpose, we have investigated many chatbots and other conversational interfaces within a year, we observed many people (individuals and groups) interacting with such interfaces, and we also built chatbots.

To substantiate the hypotheses built during this year, we tested the user experience and acceptance of language assistants and chatbots in an exploratory study with 16 users. In in-depth interviews, we saw that think big is okay, but start small is the way to success.

In the talk, we discuss what we have learned from user research:
• What are the hurdles in the communication between man and machine?
• For which tasks is a conversational interface suitable?
• When is it useful?
• When should the chatbot rather hand over to a human employee?
• How do I design a conversation so that it feels natural and meaningful to the user?

We back up our user research with 17 years of experience with user behavior in usability tests. We will discuss several examples to show the potential and the pros and cons of conversational interfaces.

About the Conference SwissText

SwissText 2018 is a two-­day conference on automatic text analytics. The conference will see keynotes and presentations by distinguished international experts from research and industry, and a poster exhibition of recent research results. It will be also enriched by tutorials and hands-on workshops targetting a broad audience.

Checkout the website for details and registration 


Further reading about Conversational Interfaces

Report of the Study «What can I ask you» (German)

Product Design support for conversational Interfaces (German)