C Collins/D Attwater

Sen Consult/Sen Scientist


Home Assistants: Designing an efficient, effective and satisfying experience

Artificial intelligence is a very hot topic at the moment but often ill-defined. The leading home automation products are undoubtedly examples of artificial intelligence but a huge amount of that “intelligence” is still designed and coded by a person. We still have to “fake it” through good design and careful analysis of user needs and expectations. This workshop focuses on the practical aspects of designing home assistants, drawing on video clips of users of the technology, showing good and bad design practices. Attendees do paper and pencil hands-on design work. Attendees also learn the design principles that underpin the design of sustained natural conversations, which include the following:

A brief overview of the technology and the underlying speech technologies

Who uses home assistants and for what?

How do I present the correct narrative voice and persona for my assistant?

How do I signpost the features of my user interface?

How do I keep the user interface stable while making it feel natural?

About C Collins/D Attwater

David Attwater has over 17 years of experience in speech user interface design and testing. He has a specific focus on customer usability testing and is an acknowledged expert in the design and testing of natural language solutions for customer service, including digital assistants.

Caroline Collins has been working as a conversational interface consultant for over 15 years covering projects in the UK, US, Europe and Africa. She is fascinated by spoken language, particularly when people communicate with machines, and loves any opportunity to do detailed usability studies observing not just the language used but also the paralinguistic features that tell us so much about the user experience. She also loves baking.