• Aarushi

The UX of Conversation

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

Week 2: The UX of Conversation

Project Brief: Design a conversation between a human user and a machine.

Team Members: Aarushi, Zoe, Xiyun, Hannah

Strong Competencies: Research Methods, Storytelling, Ideation, System awareness

Weak Competencies: Reflection, Designing for Immersion, Agility, Interdisciplinarity

This project was literally all about exploring, exploding and exploiting the process.

According to the “Gossip Theory”, the language of Homo sapiens was itself evolved by gossiping. (Harari, 2011)

However, this project was not about human conversations, it was about the conversation between a human and a machine, and that was the challenging part.

Step 1: Secondary Research

We started working on the project by doing some secondary research about different types of communications (verbal & non-verbal). We took references from several articles and books, such as "Body Language" (Floyd, 2016). This research gave us a lot of different ways of communications to think about.

Step 2: Brainstorming

After research, we did brainstorming on different ideas where we could improvise and experience a conversation between a human and a machine. We started thinking about the communication gap felt by the LGBT community and after changing several ideas on Speed dating and AEIOU stages we finally reached on designing communication for people having sleep issues.

Photos by Zoe, Aarushi and Nancy

To design communication between a machine & people having sleep disorders, we initially thought of having a smart pillow or a wearable piece of technology. This product could understand issues regarding your sleep and will provide you with an adequate solution on the basis of that. But it failed on the Speed Dating phase, as people were sceptical about the radiations that pillow might have and thought the wearable activity reader would be creepy and will take away their privacy.


Story Boards

Speed Dating:

Some Speed Dating, Video by Hannah, GIF by Aarushi


The Idea:

After doing speed dating and AEIOU for all our concepts we narrowed down to the idea that people want to escape the stress from their day-to-day busy life in order to sleep well. Hence, we thought of creating an illusional space which can help them escape stress in order to sleep better.

We observed different people's bedrooms and sleep patterns.

We designed a conversation between "Illu - The illusional space creator" and different users, such as, people- who want to escape the city life; or like to sleep close to loved ones; or who want to feel like home when they are away, etc.

We again did speed dating with 5 different scenarios. Most of the people appreciated the idea and thought it was compelling, but they had worries like what if you sleep talk to the product and it creates something frightening in the middle of the night and then that would turn out to be the worst nightmare.

Feedback from Class:

We got very helpful feedback from the class, people thought it would be better if the user is not defined in categories and there is one solution for all different types of users. Also, they thought it would be better if we can eliminate the talking part of the product.


Harari, Y. (2011). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

Floyd, L. (2016). Body language. [United States]: Lucy Floyd.

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