& , Anthropomorphic User Interfaces: Past, Present and Future of Anthropomorphic Aspects for Sustainable Digital Interface Design, in ECCE 2024: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, . WWW WWW


Interactions with computing systems and conversational services such as ChatGPT have become an inherent part of our daily lives. It is surprising that user interfaces, the gateways through which we communicate with an interactive intelligent system, are still predominantly devoid from hedonic aspects. There is little attempt to make communication through user interfaces intentionally more like communication with humans. Anthropomorphic user interfaces can transform interactions with intelligent software into more pleasant experiences by integrating human-like attributes. Anthropomorphic user interfaces expose human-like attributes that enable people to perceive, connect and interact with the interfaces as social actors. This integration of human-like aspects not only enhances user experience but also holds the potential to make interfaces more sustainable, as they rely on familiar human interaction patterns, thus potentially reducing the learning curve and increasing user adoption rates. However, there is little consensus on how to build these anthropomorphic user interfaces. We conducted an extensive literature review on existing anthropomorphic user interfaces for software systems (past), in order to map and connect existing definitions and interpretations in an overarching taxonomy (present). The taxonomy is used to organize and structure examples of anthropomorphic user interfaces into an accessible collection. The taxonomy and an accompanying web tool provides designers with a reference framework for analyzing and dissecting existing anthropomorphic user interfaces, and for designing new anthropomorphic user interfaces (future).

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