Chatbot or voice assistant in a help desk application? : A study of users’ experiences and preferences

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Umeå universitet/Institutionen för tillämpad fysik och elektronik

Sammanfattning: Companies across a wide range of business areas are working hard to fulfill users wishes to speak to digital voice assistants. The trend of replacing chatbots in favour for voice assistants carries a risk of companies not considering which applications will actually benefit from getting a voice user interface (VUI) resulting in poor user experience.  This thesis aims to investigate which help desk support task will benefit from being implemented in a VUI. By following the Service Design methodology, research on the topic has been conducted and a prototype has been build and tested on a target audience. The results from a user study were evaluated and conclusions have been drawn about which tasks are best suited for being handled by a digital voice assistant.  Two kinds of help desk tasks were evaluated in a user study to compared users experience of the current text based digital assistant with a prototype of a voice based assistant. The aim of the user study was to find which task would benefit from becoming voice based by looking at users acceptance level and over all experience.  The results from the user study showed that employees who use the current text based assistant for help desk tasks, will not choose to speak to a digital voice assistant because they are happy with the service available today. However, employees who don’t use the current text based assistant, will find the digital voice assistant useful. It was also found that short executing tasks such as unlocking accounts, are a better fit for the VUI compared to longer interactions providing information. Two conclusions were drawn, peoples’ preferences are different, meaning that it should be possible to interact with both a text based and voice based assistant when performing help desk tasks. Secondly, the voice based assistant should be implemented as a function in the help desk phone queue instead of being implemented in a browser. Because the users argued that they would be more comfortable speaking to a phone then to a screen. 

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