Ideate and Create

We conducted 4 techniques for ideation phase:

︎”Point of view” problem statement

Helps to ideate in a goal-oriented manner


One participant  wrote their ideas down on a piece of paper and then pass it on to the next participant who uses them as a trigger for their own ideas;

︎Worst possible ideas

Bringing out all the bad ideas we had in our minds for the identified user problems, as doing this can often lead you to the best one


After we had carried out all these techniques, we brainstormed over all the ideas we had and the outcomes from each ideation technique

“point of view” problem statement
Worst possible ideas

︎Ideation results

  • Sleeping mode for a completely quite status

which requires haptic interaction to activate the device

  • Light feedback for the users

Being quiet and calm while providing feedback to make the device less annoying and interfering

  • Gesture control along with voice control 

Guesture control fits well into the natural human instinct. Gesture could make up the context of misunderstanding given by voice control. Reversely, voice could help with gesture control fails. Apart from this, the device will become accessible to persons with a speaking disability.

Interaction Scanerios  ︎︎︎

Gesture control instruction when voice couldn’t be understood

Sleeping mode with haptic wake up gives a complete quite environment

︎ Experiential Prototype

We initially had three goals, namely ‘accessibility’, ‘control’ and ‘calmer approach’. As the users see Google Home as a ‘warm friend’ to talk to and who makes their life easier, we narrowed down our focus to reduce the ‘annoyance’ in the users and give more control while communicating with the device



︎ Interaction Design 

We implemented five basic functions that the user can apply on a regular day using gesture controls. The gestures were chosen such that the users can easily relate with them in daily life and feel natural about it

Evaluate and Communicate

︎User Test 

Main questions:
  • How does our prototyped experience help the user to communicate with Google Home?
  • How much control does the user have?
  • And how does the new Google Home experience enhance the overall user experience as well as Google Home’s calmness?


  • Expert-based cognitive walkthrough:
help to understand a product’s learnability for new users

  • User-based A/B Testing by Wizard of Oz:
optimize the user experience and to test two design features

Cognitive walkthrough


4 design-based university students 

  • Being acquainted with prototype: giving a manual with gestures they need to perform 

  • Asked them to perform actual tasks: playing the next song, reducing the volume, asking for the weather forecast and switching off the device.

  • 1-7 scale to measure the finishing time(efficiency), completed rate(effectiveness), satisfaction rate (satisfaction)

Results ︎︎︎
Results from survey
Results from interviews

A/B Test

10 university students without design base

Cooking a meal at home and listening to music while doing so with the help of Google Home.

  • Asked participants to accomplish the tasks, then fill a questionnaire at the end and a short semi-structured interview regarding the usability and user experience.

  • 1st A/B test: gesture control vs. voice control: Evaluate our prototyped way of communication and user experience

  • 2nd A/B test: voice feedback vs. light feedback: To measure the prototype’s calmness

Results ︎︎︎

Results from gesture vs. voice control
Results from light vs. voice feedback

Inisghts from semi-structured interviews ︎︎︎

1. Previous Experience

Most of the users who test the prototype didn’t have previous experience with a voice assistant. The few users with previous experience used Alexa or similar.

2.Preferred Features

The preferred feature by the participants was the gesture control, especially music player controls. The led feedback was also liked. Both features were perceived less anoying than current feraturers.

3. Intuitive

Most of the participants felt the gestures natural and comfortable. While some found them unintuitive, all agreed that the gestures were easy to learn after some use.

4. Overall Acceptance

Overall the prototype was well recieved and gesture control was

preferred by most participants as they felt uncomfortable talking to a device out loud.

5. Pain Points

The main concern was the difficulty on memorizing more gestures when new features will be included, and some actions are hard to translate into

6. Daily Use

Most of the participants think they could use the prototype in their daily routines and felt comfortable around it, but they don’t consider the prototype a necessity.

Discussion and refection 

︎Reflection on Results

  • Both tests yielded similar results and the overall experience perceived by the participants was positive 

  • Gesture commands as an alternative to voice commands, in general, provided a more natural experience according to the participants, as many participants consider it strange to talk to an IoT device

  • Among the experiences, changing music with gestures was the preferred interaction as most participants felt these controls naturally comfortable

  • Led lights feedback may not be necessary for every response of the device

  • Deactivating the device completely through a button was felt secure. As most of the participants mentioned this is mainly because physical contact guarantees that their command is understood without being mistaken

︎ Reflection on Socially Responsible Calm Technology

  • Prototyped calm experience fits into the users’ periphery in the calmest way possible without being interruptive or annoying 

  • Google Home’’s interruptive and annoying nature is taken care of by incorporating gesture control and light feedback.

  • Prototyped experiences helped in making the interaction natural. This makes the device as a regular being in thedaily life  

  • More calmness helps the users carry out  their daily activities without being led on by the device

  • More work can be done further to ensure that the design keeps offering better experiences with the changing societal and user needs

︎Reflection on the Design Process

  • User research is filled with listening, understanding and reflecting. Transfered  “I think ...” and “I feel ...”, to ''People might feel ...” and “The user might think...”

  • The thing persona guided us to create a calm smart device with particular roles during people’s daily life and distinct thing-personality.

  • Difficulties is to avoid more problems generating during solving existing problems

  • Crucial to establish a rapport between the human and the technology by coordinating the conflict between expectation of users and limit of the technology

  • Keep thinking and relecting in the daily life

Further development

  1. How to smoothly transfer and distinct voice input mode and gesture recognition mode, otherwise it makes the usability complex
  2. How to avoid gestures being activated randomly by daily movement? Physical touching activating may be a possible solution, but it would make the experience less convenient.