User Experience of Socially Interactive Robots: Its Role and Relevance

User Experience of Socially Interactive Robots: Its Role and Relevance

B. Alenljung (University of Skövde, Sweden) and J. Lindblom (University of Skövde, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7278-9.ch017
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Socially interactive robots are expected to have an increasing importance in everyday life for a growing number of people, but negative user experience (UX) can entail reluctance to use robots. Positive user experience underpins proliferation of socially interactive robots. Therefore, it is essential for robot developers to put serious efforts to attain social robots that the users experience as positive. In current human-robot interaction (HRI) research, user experience is reckoned to be important and is used as an argument for stating that something is positive. However, the notion of user experience is noticeably often taken for granted and is neither described nor problematized. By recognizing the complexity of user experience the intended contributions can be even more valuable. Another trend in HRI research is to focus on user experience evaluation and examination of user experience. The current research paths of user experience of socially interactive robots are not enough. This chapter suggests that additional research directions are needed in order accomplish long-term, wide-spread success of socially interactive robots.
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In this section, first, the field of human-robot interaction is introduced. Then, the type of robot in focus, i.e., socially interactive robots, is presented. Lastly, the notions of UX as well as UXD are described.

Key Terms in this Chapter

User Experience (UX): “The totality of the effect or effects felt by a user as a result of interaction with, and the usage context of, a system, device, or product, including the influence of usability, usefulness, and emotional impact during interaction and savoring memory after interaction” ( Hartson & Pyla, 2012 , p. 5).

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI): “HRI is the science of studying people’s behavior and attitudes towards robots in relationship to the physical, technological and interactive features of the robots, with the goal to develop robots that facilitate the emergence of human-robot interactions that are at the same time efficient (according to original requirements of their envisaged area of use), but are also acceptable to people, and meet the social and emotional needs of their individual users as well as respecting human values” ( Dautenhahn, 2013 ).

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): “Human-computer interaction is a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them” ( Hewett et al., 1996 ).

User Experience Design (UXD): User experience design “refer to the judicious application of certain user-centered design practices, a highly contextual design mentality, and use of certain methods and techniques that are applied through process management to produce cohesive, predictable, and desirable effects in a specific person, or persona (archetype comprised of target audience habits and characteristics). All so that the affects produced meet the user’s own goals and measures of success and enjoyment, as well as the objectives of the providing organization” (User Experience.UX Design, 2010).

Socially Interactive Robots: Socially interactive robots are “robots for which social interaction plays a key role” ( Fong et al., 2003 , p. 145).

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