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HCI – LOVE / The personal artificial intelligence  that cares for your family

HCI – LOVE / The personal artificial intelligence that cares for your family

How can a personal Artifical Inteligence for kids and parents look and behave in the future?

1. Course Description

„The basic course introduces the theoretical, methodical and practical basics of Human-Computer Interaction and the related topics Human-Centered Design, Usability Engineering and User Experience Design.

The participants get a comprehensive overview of current theories and methods for the conception, prototyping and evaluation of intuitively operable and emotionally appealing interactive products, systems and services. Who are my users? What are your requirements for a system or product? How can your needs be most effectively considered in the system, product or service design? How does a collection of ideas, contents or functionalities create a concrete information architecture and navigation structure for a website or a mobile application? Which forms of interaction are appropriate for which target group and which usage situation? How do design, prototyping and evaluation interact in agile development processes? Which methods are available for the evaluation of design drafts and prototypes? What ethical aspects should be considered in engineering design and what does this mean for the design process.

These and other questions are answered in the form of compact lecture blocks and practical group or individual projects from the various application domains of human-technology cooperation; e.g. Sustainable Design, Transportation Design or In-Vehicle Interaction Design, Smart Housing and Ambient Assisted Living, Mobile Services (e.g. Location-Based Services for Smartphones) etc.“

2. Task Description

For this Human-Computer Interaction Design Semester Task we had the following specifications:

What? Search, find and present project topic:

  • Optimization (redesign) of an existing interface, product or service
  • Conception and prototyping of a new fictional interface, product or service

  • If redesign, then: What are the biggest usability problems from your point of view?
  • If new conception, then: What are unique selling points of your idea and what or who has

3. Ideas

For this course I had three different ideas:

Optimization of an existing product

  • „Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?“: What could the mirror of the future look like? How can the Panasonic smart mirror interface be improved?

Conception of a new interface, product or service

  • MIXED REALITY SCHOOL / DIGITAL MEETS REAL: How can Mixed Reality be used in our school system? What can the school of the future look like?

  • PERSONAL AI / DIGITAL ASSISTANT: What do people expect in a personal artificial intelligence?

4. Final Idea

The idea that I decided to research and develop was: Personal AI

I find this subject relevant though to the development of technology and the great advancements happening in AI. I believe that we have to ask ourself how will our kids interact with such technologies in the future. What are the things that we want, that we don't and how can we use this technology to improve our children´s development.

Even if this technology scares us, it is in our hands to design their look and their function. Taking control from the start will allow us to live in a safer environment.

4.1. Research

With my first idea in mind, I started my research. I searched for similar or existing projects that would help me prototyping, comparing and studying how other people are working with this subject.

I asked and answer myself the following questions:

  • Difference between PAI and Smartspeaker
  • For what do we need a PAI?
  • Will a PAI improve anything in our lives? If yes what? If not, why not?
  • How will use a PAI?
  • How can this PAI look?
  • For what does a modern family require a PAI?
  • How can kids make use of it?
  • How does the relationship children –parents may develop?
  • How can we build trust in such a product?

My observations were that a PAI function is mainly of helping. This helping could have various forms: from cooking, helping with homework, give us company, teach us social skill, a new language…

Help, Serve, Teach, Entertain = does were the main features I observe in my exploration of the subject.

After my research, I got the conclusion that right now there is no Personal Artifical Intelligence (PAI) for families yet in the market. What we are able to find are smart speakers and smart toys that are capable to interact with parents and kids.

Some examples of those we find: Alexa, Google Dot, Cozmo, Aristoteles from Matel (not in the market) and we find in development a phone application called Muse.

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4.2. Ideation

With no reference for my project I had to create my own solution to the questions: What can a future AI look like for families? Which function does the AI fulfill?

For that, I decided that I would need two things:

  1. A product which would interact with the kids in a verbal way. The product is a Kids companion which should encourage his/her development (personal, school, etc..). It should be a toy a teacher and friend

Product Features:

  • Learning Encouragement
  • Homework Help
  • Answer Questions
  • Projects Entertainment
  • Tells Stories

(It grows with you through the school time)

  1. And a App that will be of only use for the parents. This App will be connected with the product that the kids use. The App should make a connection between the development of the Kid and the parent. It should allow communicating when the parent is far away and understand the development of the kid and his/her needs.
  • App Features:

  • Video Call

  • Parent Control (Unwante d content)
  • Settings
  • Log In
  • Profile
  • (Devices Overlook)
  • Push notifications
  • Kids needs
  • Invitations to play
  • Suggestions of activities

4.3. Target Group

For my target group, I decided on kids between the age of 5 and 8

Men and women between the age of 20 to 45

These users are potential members of a family.

4.4. Persona and Scenario

With my research, question, target group and my first idea, the next step was to create a persona or personas and scenarios which would help me define where was that product going exactly.

I created a total of 4 Personas and 4 different scenarios but I set my design in „Lea“ and in her specific scenario.

To create my persona and scenario I used the book „Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat: A Handbook of Methods Book by Cara Wrigley and Martin Tomitsch“ which I found of great use and support.


4.4.1 Persona


Name: Lea   Gender: Female   Age: 38   Job: Psychology   Level of education: Bachelor   Place of living: Berlin Charlottenburg

Computer experience: She owns a smartphone, computer and iPad.   Social environment/ Backstory: She lives with her husband and her two kids in an apartment. Her son Jacob is 8 years old and her daughter Mila is 6. She studies psychology and sociology and has her own office. She loves her work but she is good at combining being mom and an independent woman. She works a lot from home which allows her to spend quality time with their children and she finds that important for their development. She was born in a small city and has two siblings, she moved to the city on the search of bigger opportunities and wants the same for their kids. Finding new technologies that promise a successful development in her kids very interesting.

Personality: (like, deslikes, etc):

Calm / Patient / Loving / Studious / Worried / Protective

Motivations (why does the persona need to use the product/service?): - She is interested in new technologies - Wants to see how can it improve the relationship with her kids - Wants to study and understand the product - Wants to learn what can she do better as a mother

Frustrations: As a Kid she felt many times lonely and misunderstood even with siblings She had some difficulties integrating herself with other kids when she was young When she had Jacob she was lost during her motherhood and the first 3 years she wasn’t good combing work and being a mother

Ideal experience / goals / aspirations / feelings: - She wants to give security to her children and help them develop - She wants to be prepared to help her children in adversity - She wants to give her kids a great education

4.4.2. Scenario

Key Aspects


Lea Scenario

Lea has been using the service for 8 months. She receives notifications through the chat every day that inform her about various subjects. The chat with the services informs her whether her children had done their homework if they present signs of sickness or an emotional difficulty. The chat suggests her what to do with each of them separately and also as family activity. Lea, of course, has the chance to use this advice or not. She bought the product to help her kids with their homework, ask as many questions as they wanted and have another way of entertainment.

Is afternoon after work, Lea is at home after spending the morning at work. She still has to do some papers for work but she decides to go and have look at the progress of Spanish from Jacob where he was finding some difficulties when he started school. She opens her phone and finds two messages that inform her that Jacob has done his homework of mathematics and that Mila really enjoys telling stories and Lea should ask her to tell her a story. She first slides the notification which leads her to Milas chat and asks “Lola” how should she ask Mila to tell her a story. “Lola” replies that Lea could try by asking Mila if she likes to tell stories, wait for her response, and then ask her if she could tell Lea one. Lea says thankyou –decides to do that after checking Jacobs progress – and go back to the main menu where she clicks on his son icon which leads her to a section in which she gets information about Jacobs learning progress. There she can choose to see the overall progress of the school subjects or deceived on an induvial look. Then she clicks on Spanish and has an overview of the last 8 month of Spanish and how was Jacob progress. Lea can decide if she looks at the information in year, months, weeks or the present day. She then clicks on month and below the information visualization, there are some information that congratulates Jacob and Lea on the progress. Lea feels happy when seeing that her son is doing great. She goes back to the main menu and decides that she wants to play a game with her kids together. She then goes to his parenting section where she gets suggestions and ideas personalized for hey family needs about games, stories and of course the chat that informs her about her kids. She decides to type and ask to receive help with finding a game. She then receives help, chooses her game and closes the App.

5. First Design

After having my persona, scenario and the concept of the usage of the AI product and App, I started iterating in the design which should solve the scenario from Lea.

For that, I did a user flow which would help me understand which process were done in the app, which were desitions or thoughts.

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5.1. App Design Iteration

With the user flow, I then started creating my final App, but before having the final version. I created a Paper Prototype, which help me understand the Onboarding and see where the App design was going.

After that, I then started with a simple design in Sketch in grey scale to concentrate on the interface usage and then I added color which I then iterate till I found a form of visual language that would feel warm, family-like and child approachable.

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5.2. Product Design Iteration

For the product design, I drew different ergonomic forms that I taught would be comfortable for the hand of a kid so no edges and it should be too big.

Since my idea is that every kid would choose the look of its own AI I decided for my prototype to use a Robot. This Robot I also did iterations in order to find one that I considered friendly looking.



6. Final Design

To have a recapitulation:

The Subject of my Design is: Personal Artifical Intelligence for kids and parents.

The question to answer and prototype is: What can a future AI look like for families? Which function does the AI fulfill?

With all the gather information, my persona, scenario and the iterations I finally created and Information Architecture in order to create an App prototype that would precisely fulfill the need of Lea.

With all this in hand, I named my App and AI service: LOVE

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6.1. LOVE Concept

Love is an AI-based family service that serves as a companion for children and as counsel for the parents.

The AI supports the children in their development. It helps with homework, answers questions and offers various forms of entertainment. The interaction with the child is purely verbal.

Parents can use the app to follow their child’s development and communicate with the AI via text or speech. This feedback allows parents to gather ideas for interacting with their children or to adjust the behavior of their AI. Video chat allows the parents to speak directly with the child.

Through the use fo the app and the help of the AI, parents the oportunitiy to understand the need of their kids better and thus provide better support.

6.2. LOVE Design

After the multiple color and form iterations of the design I tried to create a clean but still warm App. These are the specifications:

  • Warm pink tones in the Main Menu
  • Each Kid Profile can have a picture
  • The chat is color code for each kid, the parent can change the color of the chat and therefore of the notifications
  • The different subjects can be organized by category and therefore by color or by alphabetical order
  • All the icon used should be soft and playful
  • Have white space to give air to the design and also contrast

Below you find the result:

The screen design corresponds to the scenario of Lea





6.3. AI Product Design

After the first design of the product not much changed. I only decided to do a 3D model in order to show it's size and have a more „physical“ form to show the product.

The following considerations where important:

  • Transportable
  • Ergonomic
  • Lights to show when its OFF and ON
  • The AI is customizable

Below you can see a prototype that shows it's size, the representation when its ON and OFF and a first example of how can a customize AI look.

In this case, you can see the AI POPI from Jacob (Scenario from Lea).




7. Poster

At the end of the course, we had to create a poster in order to show our results at the Werkschau 2018.

In my poster I explain the importance of the subject, the concept, usage and the feedback that I got from few parents I got the chance to pitch my idea.


8. Conclusion & Learnings

Regarding my conclusion and learning, I really enjoyed doing this project and confronting myself with a new subject. Doing the research, creating the personas and scenarios was very interesting and I could see myself doing that for other projects.

On the other hand, I would still like to improve my design of the App, since it touches various topics it was a rather big project. From data visualization, to wording and product design. Especially I would like to work on my icon system and see how else could I optimize my interface.

I also wish I have had enough time to do a user test with real families to get feedback about their needs. I did have some conversation with some parents but unfortunately, they didn't get to see the prototype and give real feedback.

In general, this course was of high value to me since I also got to explore a topic that I find very important which is the education of the future. I look forward to use again all the methods I learn through this course and even keep working with this interesting subject.




Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im ersten Studienabschnitt


foto: Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann foto: Edmundo Mejia Galindo

Zugehöriger Workspace

Human-Computer Interaction Design


Sommersemester 2018