Dimension-based interactions with virtual assistants: A co-design project with design fictions

Hebitz C.H. Lau, Jeffrey C.F. Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study presents a co-design project that invites participants with little or no background in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to design their ideal virtual assistants (VAs) for everyday (/daily) use. VAs are differently designed and function when integrated into people’s daily lives (e.g., voice-controlled VAs are designed to blend in based on their natural qualities). To further understand users’ ideas of their ideal VA designs, participants were invited to generate designs of personal VAs. However, end users may have unrealistic expectations of future technologies. Therefore, design fiction was adopted as a method of guiding the participants’ image of the future and carefully managing their realistic, as well as unrealistic, expectations of future technologies. The result suggests the need for a human–AI relationship based on controls with various dimensions (e.g., vocalness degree and autonomy level) instead of specific features. The design insights are discussed in detail. Additionally, the co-design process offers insights into how users can participate in AI/ML designs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Co-design
  • Design fiction
  • Design method
  • virtual assistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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