On the 25th of February this year I gave a talk at UXPA UK in London on User Experience (UX) of designing computer technology for animals (scroll down for video).
The event was held within Unruly, where I was followed by two speakers, Rosie Fitzgerald from the BBC who spoke about how to designing with children and Jane Marshall and Steph Wilson on designing with aphasia. Both of these talks related to designing to users who were outside of the norm: children and limited cognition. This lead to my talk about designing for the non-verbal user.
The main questions asked around this research were
- Does this hold relevance of this work towards working and assistance dogs?
- Where did I see this work going?
While other researchers, such as Clara Mancini & Charlotte Robinson, design for assistance dogs, I design for pet dogs. The difference in this is that assistance dogs are trained to use a system as pet dogs use of a system is not vital but optional. This difference in design allows for more freedom within the dog over the interaction.
With regards to the second question, I see my work going into the areas of an automated dog-computer system which learns the dogs behaviour and not only reacts but learns accordingly using Artificial Intelligence (AI). I see the field of ACI overtaking our homes through the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming as prevalent as technology is to humans for our pets, helping animals play in zoos and assisting working animals.
Whilst this talk was about ACI, there was an overarching message for HCI, in the sense that the feedback method needs to be approprate for the user in order to get correct results.
Lastly my favourite tweet of the night!