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Putting a Face on Embodied Interface Agents

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by John Zimmerman, Ellen Ayoob, Jodi Forlizzi, Mick McQuaid
Rapid increases in agent technology as well as the movement of computing into more and more social transactions has increased the need for embodied interface agents. However, interaction designers currently lack sufficient guidelines to confidently and successfully design the visual form of these agents. In this paper we offer a summary of research on the visual form of agents. In addition, we present our own study that explores the relationships between an agents visual form, the task it performs, and the demographics of users. As a result of the review and our own study, we frame the task of design of an agent’s form as being similar to “casting”. Finally, we offer some design guidelines to aid interaction designers in selecting human and non-human forms, in deciding how to address stereotypes, and in looking for opportunities to recast the agent’s visual form.




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