Abstract of Ph.d. thesis
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences
Social and Emotional Characteristics of Speech-based In-Vehicle Information Systems: Impact on Attitude and Driving Behaviour
Modern vehicles use advanced information systems in vehicles to provide and control a wide variety of functions and features. Even modest vehicles today are equipped with systems that control diverse functions from air-conditioning to high quality audio/video systems.
Since driving requires the use of eyes and hands, voice interaction has become more widely used by in-vehicle systems. Due to the technical complexity involved in voice recognition, focus has been on issues of speech ecognition. Speech generation is comparatively simple, but what effect does the choice of voice have on the driver? We know from human-human interaction that social cues of the voice itself influence attitude and interpretation of information. Introducing speech based communication with the car changes the relationship between driver and vehicle. So, for in-vehicle information systems, does the spoken voice matter?
The work presented in this thesis studies the effects of the voice used by invehicle systems. A series of studies were used to answer the following questions: Do the characteristics of voices used by an in-vehicle system affect driver’s attitude? Do the characteristics of voice used by an in-vehicle system affect driver’s performance? Are social reactions to voice communication the same in the car environment as in the office environment?
Results show that voices do matter! Voices trigger social and emotional effects that impact both attitude and driving performance. Moreover, there is not one effective voice that works for all drivers. Therefore an in-vehicle system that knows its driver and possibly adapts to its driver can be the most effective. Finally, an interesting observation from these studies is that social reactions to voice communication in the car are different than in the office, Similarity attraction, an otherwise solid finding in social science, did not hold all studies. It is hypothesized that this difference can be related to the different kinds of task demands when driving a car or working in an office environment.
Stakeholder Engagement for Service Design: How service designers identify and communicate insights
Service design is a field emerging from the new-found interest in services as a design material by practitioners and academics of the human-centred design tradition. As such, the field can build on the knowledge from previous work in design as well as in service research. Introducing a new design material may however also introduce new challenges to practice. The research presented in this thesis investigates how the design research phase of the human-centred design process is affected by making services a design material.
How users, staff and other stakeholders are involved in service design projects was studied in four studies. Two studies focused on getting a holistic view of how service designers engage stakeholders in their design research. The methods used for these two studies were interviews in one case and participatory observation in the other. The two remaining studies focused on specific aspects of the stakeholder engagement process. One compared how designers and anthropologists approach ethnography, whereas the second investigated the communicative qualities of service design visualisations.
It is argued that service design is a stakeholder-centred design discipline. The tools used in service design are to a large extent borrowed from other qualitative research traditions, but design-specific tools do exist. The information gathered with the tools for stakeholder engagement is then transformed into insights through analysis and synthesis. These insights are visualised to provide easily accessible representations of service situations.
Representing Future Situations of Service: Prototyping in Service Design
This thesis describes prototyping in service design through the theoretical lens of situated cognition. The research questions are what a service prototype is, what the benefits of service prototyping are, and how prototypes aid in the process of designing services. Four papers are included. Paper one suggests that service prototyping should be considered from the perspectives of purpose, fidelity, audience, position in the process, technique, representation, validity and author. The second paper compares research about how humans use external representations to think, with reasons for using prototypes in service design and service design techniques. The third paper compares two versions of a service prototyping technique called service walkthrough; showing that walkthroughs with pauses provided both more comments in total and more detailed feedback. The fourth paper also contributes to our understanding of how prototypes aid in designing services, by connecting the surrogate situation with the future situation of service. The paper shows how the formative service evaluation technique (F-SET) uses the theory of planned behaviour to add knowledge to service prototype evaluations about the intention to use a service in the future. Taken together the research provides a deeper understanding of what prototypes are, and their roles in service prototyping. This understanding is further deepened by a discussion about service as a design material, suggesting that from a design perspective, a service consists of service concept, process and system. The service prototype acts as a surrogate for the future situation of service. The thesis describes what the benefits of using surrogates are, and shows how prototypes enhance the ability to gain knowledge about future situations. This leads to an understanding of prototyping as a way of thinking in design.
Human-Robot Interaction for Semi-Autonomous Assistive Robots: Empirical Studies and an Interaction Concept for Supporting Elderly People at Home
The research addresses current shortcomings of autonomous service robots operating in domestic environments by considering the concept of a semi-autonomous robot that would be supported by human remote operators whenever the robot cannot handle a task autonomously. The main research objective was to investigate how to design the human-robot interaction for a robotic system to assist elderly people with physical tasks at home according to this conceptual idea. The research procedure followed the principles of human-centered design and is structured into four phases:
In the first phase, the context of use of the system to be designed was determined. A focus group study yielded characteristics and attitudes of several potential user groups. A survey determined the demands of elderly people and informal caregivers for services a semiautonomous assistive robot may provide. An ethnographic study investigated the living conditions of elderly people and determined technical challenges for robots operating in this type of environment. Another ethnographic study investigated the work environment in teleassistive service centers and determined the feasibility of extending their range of services to incorporate robotic teleassistance.
In the second phase, two studies were carried out to understand the interaction requirements. The first study determined common types of failure of current autonomous robots and required human interventions to resolve such failure states. The second study investigated how the human assistance could be provided considering a range of potential interaction devices.
In the third phase, a human-robot interaction concept with three user groups and dedicated user interfaces was designed. The concept and user interfaces were refined in an iterative process based on the results of evaluations with prospective users and received encouraging results for user satisfaction and user experience.
In the fourth and final phase the utility of two specific user interface features was investigated experimentally. The first experiment investigated the utility of providing remote operators with global 3D environment maps during robot navigation and identified beneficial usage scenarios. The second experiment investigated the utility of stereoscopic display for remote manipulation and robot navigation. Results suggested temporal advantages under stereoscopic display for one of three investigated task types and potential advantages for the other two.
Assessing Shared Strategic Understanding
This thesis describes the development of an instrument for assessing shared understanding in teams. The purpose was to develop an instrument that would be usable, understandable, objective, flexible and self-explanatory. Teams working in naturalistic settings are expected to have a shared understanding concerning common goals and how to achieve these. The problem investigated in this thesis is that current techniques and instruments for assessing shared understanding in teams generally suffer from one or more of the following drawbacks, namely that they are expensive, difficult to use, time-consuming, requiring expertise, and are often based on subjective perceptions. Departing from existing theory in team cognition techniques and theories, the research questions posed in this thesis are: 1) How can shared understanding be measured without the disadvantages of existing methods? 2) How can shared understanding be assessed without the bias of self-ratings and/or assessments by experts/observers? 3) Can team performance be better understood by the outcomes of an instrument that measures shared understanding?
These research questions are answered through six studies that are presented in this thesis. Over the six studies an instrument was iterated and subsequently developed, called the “shared priorities instrument”. When using this instrument, team members are instructed to generate items and rank these in order of importance. By comparing these rank orders from different participants, a team measure of shared understanding can be calculated. The advantages of this instrument compared to earlier measures are that it is less expensive, easier to use, less time-consuming, does not require subject matter expertise, and that the instrument is distanced from subjective perceptions. Furthermore, the final study provides results where outcomes from the shared priorities instrument correlate with performance, supporting earlier research connecting shared understanding in teams with team performance. A structural equation model, a result of the final study, shows that the instrument is both valid and reliable.
Distributed cognition in home environments: The prospective memory and cognitive practices of older adults
In this thesis I explore how older people make use of, and interact with, their physical environment in home and near-by settings to manage cognitive situations, specifically prospective memory situations. Older adults have in past research been shown to perform better on prospective memory in real-life settings than what findings in laboratory-like settings predict. An explanation for this paradox is that older adults has a more developed skill of using the environment for prospective memory than younger adults. However, research investigating this explanation has primarily been based on self-reports.
I contribute to the understanding of this skill by doing two related things. First I introduce distributed cognition, a theoretical perspective that primarily has been used within professional and socio-technical environments, to the research field of prospective memory in everyday life. Second I present a cognitive ethnography conducted during two years across eight home, and near-by, environments and old-age retired persons, for which I have used theoretical concepts from distributed cognition to analyze observations.
The analysis shows rich variations in how participants use common cultural cognitive tools, invent their own cognitive tools, deliberately and incidentally shape more or less functional spaces, make use of other physical features, orient themselves toward and make sense of cognitive resources. I complement both prospective memory and distributed cognition research by describing both the intelligent shaping and use of space. Furthermore, by taking a distributed cognitive perspective I show that prospective memory processes in home environments involve properties, and the management, of a multipurpose environment.
Altogether this supports the understanding of distributed cognition as a perspective on all cognition. Distributed cognition is not a reflection of particular work practices, instead it is a formulation of the general features of human cognition. Prospective memory in everyday life can be understood as an ability persons have. However, in this thesis I show that prospective memory can also be understood as a process that takes place between persons, arrangements of space, and tools.
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