- Talk and Tools
- The best of both worlds in mobile user interfaces for E-coaching
- Personal and ubiquitous computing
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Amsterdam University College (AUC)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In this paper, a user interface paradigm, called Talk-and-Tools, is presented for automated e-coaching. The paradigm is based on the idea that people interact in two ways with their environment: symbolically and physically. The main goal is to show how the paradigm can be applied in the design of interactive systems that offer an acceptable coaching process. As a proof of concept, an e-coaching system is implemented that supports an insomnia therapy on a smartphone. A human coach was replaced by a cooperative virtual coach that is able to interact with a human coachee. In the interface of the system, we distinguish between a set of personalized conversations (“Talk”) and specialized modules that form a coherent structure of input and output facilities (“Tools”). Conversations contained a minimum of variation to exclude unpredictable behavior but included the necessary mechanisms for variation to offer personalized consults and support. A variety of system and user tests was conducted to validate the use of the system. After a 6-week therapy, some users spontaneously reported the experience of building a relationship with the e-coach. It is concluded that the addition of a conversational component fills an important gap in the design of current mobile systems.
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