Project

Designing User Assistance

Goal: Initial attempts in information systems (IS) to support users with more comprehensive, integrated assistance failed miserably, such as the famous Clippy by Microsoft. Yet, more recent assistance functionalities, primarily in the private life context, such as Apple’s Siri or Google Now, showed their usefulness and the major technology companies (Google, Amazon, and Microsoft) announced even more intelligent and innovative personal assistants for the future. In the IS context, a user assistance system is an intelligent and interactive information technology (IT) component that enables individuals to perform tasks better. The degree of interaction characterizes the assistance system’s capability to support users in an ongoing reciprocal and activating dialog using, potentially, different channels. The degree of intelligence describes the assistance system’s capability to provide guidance or advice based on the user’s current activities and usage environment.

By tailoring assistance to the users’ current context and needs during the task execution, for example by making use of the sensors or historical user data that many devices nowadays have access to, more advanced assistance systems can provide IS users with added value. Although there are various attempts in IS, especially in the human-computer-interaction community, to study the effects of assistance and to provide concrete solutions in the form of prototypes, a great deal of research is still needed. In particular, because technologies like smart watches, smart glasses, or virtual reality environments steadily evolve providing interesting data that can be used to tailor the assistance. Moreover, there is a recent trend in research as well as technology companies to invest in artificial intelligence research that could be leveraged for improving assistance systems in the IS context. Thus, designing user assistance systems is a promising research field that deserves more attention in IS research and related communities.

The next workshop on Designing UAS will be held during the European Conferences on Information Systems 2017 in Guimarães, Portugal.

Further information and submission details can be found here: http://uas.ksri.kit.edu/

Date: 1 January 2017

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Stefan Morana
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Workshop: Designing User Assistance in Intelligent Systems - ECIS 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden (June 11th, 2019)
Intelligent systems have become ubiquitous in modern life and increasingly shift the performance of tasks from humans to systems. Although this development has many advantages, the interplay between intelligent systems and humans remains a challenge. On the one hand, taking humans out of the loop may lead to “mindless” ways of working and result in various failures. On the other hand, human capabilities cannot always cope with intelligent systems’ functionalities. In sum, intelligent systems have increased their capabilities and functionalities with a rapid pace and thereby enlarged the gap to the humans’ (cognitive) capabilities to comprehend and utilize these systems.
One way to support humans in the usage of intelligent systems is providing assistance and there is some initial research addressing this. Recent assistance functionalities, primarily in the private life context, such as Apple’s Siri or Google Now, begin to show their usefulness and the major technology companies (Google, Amazon, and Microsoft) have announced even more intelligent, innovative, and interactive personal assistants for the future. Nevertheless, the interactions between humans and intelligent systems deserve more research. We define user assistance as a specific capability of interactive intelligent systems that help users perform their tasks better. Thereby, user assistance is a human-, task-, and context-dependent augmentation of task performance bridging the gap between the system’s functionalities and the human’s individual capabilities with the goal of positively influencing task outcomes. User assistance can be classified along two dimensions: (1) the degree of interaction enabled by user assistance, and (2) the degree of intelligence of user assistance. The degree of interaction characterizes the assistance systems capability to support humans in an ongoing reciprocal and activating dialog using, potentially, different channels. The degree of intelligence describes the capability to provide assistance based on the human, the context, and the current activity. User assistance can be instantiated in many different forms such as decision aids, recommendation agents, virtual assistants, guidance systems, task-support systems, conversational agents, chatbots, or robo-advisors.
The workshop welcomes manuscripts that address one of the following topics:
* Theory-grounded conceptualization of user assistance in general or along the two dimensions interactivity and intelligence
* Design of user assistance in the form of decision aids, recommendation systems, virtual assistants, guidance systems, task-support systems, conversational agents, chatbots, and robo-advisors
* Research on the IT-based support of individuals’ working routines in organizational or private life contexts
* Empirical (qualitative or quantitative) evaluation of user assistance artifacts in, e.g. laboratory experiments or field studies
* Research addressing the context and situation when user assistance is required
* Understanding and designing anthropomorphic attributes of assistance systems
* Research on the individuals’ cognitive processes when using user assistance and the related outcomes
We welcome research from various domains like Business Intelligence & Analytics, E-commerce, Service, and Health Care.
This year’s workshop is furthermore intended to be a paper-development workshop for submissions to the BISE Special Issue on “User Assistance for Intelligent Systems”, which is going to appear in June 2020. The initial submission date of the Special Issue is one month after the ECIS 2019 workshop (July 15th, 2019) leaving time to revise and finalize the manuscript. Therefore, we especially invite authors planning to submit their research to the Special Issue to participate in this year’s workshop and discuss their manuscripts with the SI guest editors and potential reviewers.
Website of the BISE Special Issue: http://www.bise-journal.com/?p=1551
-- Workshop Format & Submissions –-
Interested researchers can participate in two ways in the workshop:
First, by submitting a manuscript in English language (RIP or full paper according to the ECIS 2019 submission guidelines) that will be discussed during the workshop. The submitted manuscripts will be reviewed in a double-blind review process by at least two program committee members and authors of other workshop papers (if suitable). The review process will especially focus on the manuscripts’ relevance to the workshop, originality of the research, and research rigor. All submitted manuscripts will receive the review feedback before the workshop in order to have the chance to improve the manuscript for the workshop. All submitted and accepted manuscripts will be distributed among all workshop participants in order to read the manuscript as workshop presentation. Conceptual papers are also welcome.
Second, interested researchers can participate in the workshop without submitting an own paper, but by discussing the manuscripts of the workshop participants presented during the workshop.
Please submit your manuscripts to the corresponding workshop chair Stefan Morana (stefan.morana@kit.edu).
-- Workshop Proceedings –-
If wished by the author(s), accepted workshop papers can be published as either extended abstracts or full paper in the KIT SCIENTIFIC WORKING PAPERS series depending on the authors’ choice. The proceedings from last year’s workshop are available here: https://publikationen.bibliothek.kit.edu/1000083107.
Accepted papers will also be made available to other attendees for the period of the workshop and a printed abstract will be included as part of the workshop package.
In addition, this workshop is intended to be a paper-development workshop for the BISE Special Issue on “User Assistance for Intelligent Systems”.
-- Important Dates ---
* Submission deadline: 15.03.2019
* Authors notification: 15.04.2019
* Workshop: 11.06.2019 (TBC)
-- Workshop Chairs --
Stefan Morana, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany (corresponding chair)
Jella Pfeiffer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
-- Program Committee –
* Private Profile , The University of Newcastle, Australia
* Benedikt Berger, Ludwigs-Maximilian University Munich, Germany
* Henner Gimpel, University of Augsburg, Germany
* Shirley Gregor, Australian National University, Australia
* Alan Hevner, University of South Florida, USA
* Oliver Hinz, University of Frankfurt, Germany
* Christian Matt, University of Bern, Switzerland
* Martin Meißner, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
* Matthias Söllner, University of Kassel, Germany and University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
* Ali Sunyaev, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
* Timm Teubner, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
* Verena Tiefenbeck, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
* Manuel Trenz, University of Augsburg, Germany
* Barbara Weber, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
* Christof Weinhardt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
* Markus Weinmann, University of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
 
Stefan Morana
added an update
CALL FOR PAPERS - Workshop: Designing User Assistance in Interactive Intelligent Systems - ECIS 2018 in Portsmouth, UK (June 25th, 2018)
Interactive intelligent systems have become ubiquitous in modern life and are increasingly shifting the performance of tasks from humans to systems. Although this development has many advantages, the interplay between intelligent systems and humans remains a challenge. On the one hand, taking humans out of the loop may lead to “mindless” ways of working and result in various failures. On the other hand, human capabilities cannot always understand and cope with intelligent systems’ functionalities. One way to support humans in the usage of intelligent systems is providing assistance.
We define user assistance as a specific capability of interactive intelligent systems that help users perform their tasks better. Thereby, user assistance is a human-, task-, and context-dependent augmentation of task performance bridging the gap between the system’s functionalities and the human’s capabilities with the goal of positively influencing task outcomes. User assistance can be described along the same two dimensions as the systems they belong to: (1) interactivity, and (2) intelligence. The degree of interactivity characterizes the assistance systems capability to support humans in an ongoing reciprocal and activating dialog using, potentially, different channels. The degree of intelligence describes the capability to provide assistance based on the human, the context, and the current activity. User assistance can be instantiated in many different forms such as decision aids, recommendation agents, virtual assistants, guidance systems, task-support systems, conversational agents, chatbots, or robo-advisors.
The workshop welcomes manuscripts that address one of the following topics:
* Theory-grounded conceptualization of user assistance in general or along the two dimensions interactivity and intelligence
* Design of user assistance in the form of decision aids, recommendation systems, virtual assistants, guidance systems, task-support systems, conversational agents, chatbots, and robo-advisors
* Research on the IT-based support of individuals’ working routines in organizational or private life contexts
* Empirical (qualitative or quantitative) evaluation of user assistance artifacts in, e.g. laboratory experiments or field studies
* Research addressing the context and situation when user assistance is required
* Understanding and designing anthropomorphic attributes of assistance systems
* Research on the individuals’ cognitive processes when using user assistance and the related outcomes
We welcome researchers from various domains like Business Intelligence & Analytics, E-commerce, Service, and Health Care.
-- Workshop Format & Submissions –
Interested researchers can participate in two ways in the workshop.
First, by submitting a working paper in English language (RIP or full paper according to the ECIS submission guidelines) that will be discussed during the workshop. The submitted manuscripts will be reviewed in a double-blind review process by at least two program committee members. The review process will especially focus on the manuscripts’ relevance to the workshop, originality of the research, and research rigor. All submitted manuscripts will receive the review feedback before the workshop in order to have the chance to improve the manuscript for the workshop. All submitted and accepted manuscripts will be distributed among all workshop participants in order to read the manuscript as workshop presentation. Conceptual papers are also welcome.
The manuscripts should be submitted as email attachments (anonymized PDF document that includes a title and 3-5 keywords) to the workshop chairs (stefan.morana@kit.edu and jella.pfeiffer@kit.edu) with the subject heading "Submission to ECIS 2018 Workshop".
Second, interested researchers can participate in the workshop without submitting an own paper, but by discussing the manuscripts of the workshop participants presented during the workshop.
-- Workshop Proceedings –
Accepted papers will be published as either extended abstracts or full papers in the KIT SCIENTIFIC WORKING PAPERS series depending on the authors’ choice. Accepted papers will be made available to other attendees for the period of the workshop and a printed abstract will be included as part of the workshop package.
-- Important Dates --
* Submission deadline: 30.03.2018
* Authors notification: 30.04.2018
* Workshop: 25.06.2018
-- Workshop Chairs --
Stefan Morana, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany (corresponding chair)
Jella Pfeiffer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
-- Program Committee –
* Alexander Benlian, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
* Henner Gimpel, University of Augsburg, Germany
* Shirley Gregor, Australian National University, Australia
* Oliver Hinz, University of Frankfurt, Germany
* Christine Legner, HEC Lausanne, Switzerland
* Alexander Maedche, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
* Martin Meißner, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
* Michael Scholz, Universität Passau, Germany
* Ali Sunyaev, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Further information can be found on the ECIS 2018 workshop website: http://ecis2018.eu/call-for-workshops-or-tutorials/
 
Stefan Morana
added a research item
User assistance systems are often invoked automatically based on simple triggers (e.g., the assistant pops up after the user has been idle for some time) or they require users to invoke them manually. Both invocation modes have their weaknesses. Therefore, we argue that, ideally, the assistance should be invoked intelligently based on the users’ actual need for assistance. In this paper, we propose a research project investigating the role of users’ cognitive-affective states when providing assistance using NeuroIS measurements. Drawing on the theoretical foundations of the Attentional Control Theory, we propose an experiment that helps to understand how cognitive-affective states can serve as indicators for the best point of time for the invocation of user assistance systems. The research described in this paper will ultimately help to design intelligent invocation of user assistance systems.
Stefan Morana
added 2 research items
Health care is a domain characterized by low and slow adoption of IS compared to other domains, such as manufacturing or avionics. It seems to be promising to transfer existing (design) knowledge and solutions from these domains to the HIS context to increase effectiveness of HIS by, for example, improving usability of HIS and accessibility to assistive technology. Inattention to usability and accessibility of HIS will result in ineffective use of HIS, user dissatisfaction with HIS, the emergence of workarounds, and, ultimately, in a potentially decreased quality of care. One concept in IS research that can address these challenges is user assistance. With our research, we aim to enable users to better understand the functional capabilities of HIS, to effectively master their tasks using HIS, and, ultimately, to increase their performance.
Stefan Morana
added a research item
Nutzerassistenz unterstützt Anwender dabei, ihre Aufgaben unter Verwendung von Informationstechnologie besser auszuführen. In der Vergangenheit haben sich Assistenzfunktionen im Wesentlichen auf die von Anwendern explizit eingeforderten textuellen Hilfefunktionen beschränkt. Die rasante Entwicklung der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie bietet heute jedoch zahlreiche Möglichkeiten, neue Formen der Nutzerassistenz zu gestalten, welche über eine reine Hilfestellung hinausgeht. Durch den Einsatz innovativer und disruptiver Technologien, wie beispielsweise der Spracherkennung und -verarbeitung, der Emotionsmessung oder der Analyse von Augenbewegungen in Echtzeit, ist es möglich, die Interaktion zwischen Menschen und Informationstechnologie auf eine intuitive Art und Weise zu gestalten. Der vorliegende Beitrag gibt einen Überblick über den aktuellen Stand in Praxis und Forschung im Bereich der Nutzerassistenz und zeigt zukünftige Entwicklungen auf.
Stefan Morana
added a research item
User assistance systems are often invoked automatically based on simple triggers (e.g., the assistant pops up after the user has been idle for some time) or they require users to invoke them manually. Both invocation modes have their weaknesses. Therefore, we argue that, ideally, the assistance should be invoked intelligently based on the users’ actual need for assistance. In this paper, we propose a research project investigating the role of users’ cognitive-affective states when providing assistance using NeuroIS measurements. Drawing on the theoretical foundations of the Attentional Control Theory, we propose an experiment that helps to nderstand how cognitive-affective states can serve as indicators for the best point of time for the invocation f user assistance systems. The research described in this paper will ultimately help to design intelligent nvocation of user assistance systems.
Stefan Morana
added an update
Submission deadline approaching!
The submission deadline for the workshop on designing user assistance systems at the European Conferences on Information Systems 2017 in Guimarães, Portugal is the 15.04.2017.
Further information and submission details can be found here: http://uas.ksri.kit.edu/
 
Stefan Morana
added 2 research items
Guidance design features in information systems are used to help people in decision-making, problem solving, and task execution. Various information systems instantiate guidance design features, which have specifically been researched in the field of decision support systems for decades. However, due to the lack of a common conceptualization, it is difficult to compare the research findings on guidance design features from different literature streams. This article reviews and analyzes the work of the research streams of decisional guidance, explanations, and decision aids conducted in the last 25 years. Building on and grounded by the analyzed literature, we theorize an integrated taxonomy on guidance design features. Applying the taxonomy, we discuss existing empirical results, identify effects of different guidance design features, and propose opportunities for future research. Overall, this article contributes to research and practice. The taxonomy allows researchers to describe their work by using a set of dimensions and characteristics and to systematically compare existing research on guidance design features. From a practice-oriented perspective, we provide an overview on design features to support implementing guidance in various types of information systems.
Many Emergency Medical Service (EMS) systems worldwide handle emergency rescues as well as patient transports and dispatchers need to assign ambulances to incidents manually throughout the day. The management of the complex system together with the manual assignments can easily create stress for and pressure on the dispatchers. Mathematical algorithms can help improving the dispatching quality, but then dispatchers still need to choose the best-fitting algorithm and furthermore, trust the algorithm’s dispatching suggestion. We propose an assistant that can support the EMS dispatchers. The assistant offers explanations for the choice of the algorithm as well as the dispatching suggestion in order to increase the dispatchers’ trust and decrease their stress. We ground the assistant’s design in Information Systems as well as Operations Research literature and thus, show how interdisciplinary service research can contribute in designing artefacts for complex service systems to solve real-world problems.
Stefan Morana
added 2 research items
The nature of information system provision has changed as the business models of software firms are continually changing towards software-as-a service and platform-as-a-service solutions. Involving end users in a continuous development of such information systems promises to increase the overall system’s success. The conceptualization and actual realization of the user involvement concept is subject of ongoing research. Based on a systematic literature review, we identified three implications of this research that are relevant for the development of an information technology based assistant for user participation and involvement. In this paper, we introduce our Design Science Research project on the theory grounded design of a user participation and involvement assistant. We aim to enable end users to provide meaningful feedback to the developers during their actual system use. Moreover, the assistant will enable developers to effectively analyze the vast amount of complex end user feedback.
Stefan Morana
added an update
Call for papers is published on the AISWorld newsletter.
 
Stefan Morana
added 3 project references
Stefan Morana
added a project goal
Initial attempts in information systems (IS) to support users with more comprehensive, integrated assistance failed miserably, such as the famous Clippy by Microsoft. Yet, more recent assistance functionalities, primarily in the private life context, such as Apple’s Siri or Google Now, showed their usefulness and the major technology companies (Google, Amazon, and Microsoft) announced even more intelligent and innovative personal assistants for the future. In the IS context, a user assistance system is an intelligent and interactive information technology (IT) component that enables individuals to perform tasks better. The degree of interaction characterizes the assistance system’s capability to support users in an ongoing reciprocal and activating dialog using, potentially, different channels. The degree of intelligence describes the assistance system’s capability to provide guidance or advice based on the user’s current activities and usage environment.
By tailoring assistance to the users’ current context and needs during the task execution, for example by making use of the sensors or historical user data that many devices nowadays have access to, more advanced assistance systems can provide IS users with added value. Although there are various attempts in IS, especially in the human-computer-interaction community, to study the effects of assistance and to provide concrete solutions in the form of prototypes, a great deal of research is still needed. In particular, because technologies like smart watches, smart glasses, or virtual reality environments steadily evolve providing interesting data that can be used to tailor the assistance. Moreover, there is a recent trend in research as well as technology companies to invest in artificial intelligence research that could be leveraged for improving assistance systems in the IS context. Thus, designing user assistance systems is a promising research field that deserves more attention in IS research and related communities.
The next workshop on Designing UAS will be held during the European Conferences on Information Systems 2017 in Guimarães, Portugal.
Further information and submission details can be found here: http://uas.ksri.kit.edu/