Designing Automated Facilitation for Design Thinking: A Chatbot for Supporting Teams in the Empathy Map Method

AbstractThe Empathy Map Method (EMM) in the Design Thinking approach is a powerful tool for user centered design but relies on the methodological skills and experience of rare facilitation experts to guide the team. In a collaboration engineering effort, we aim to make this expertise available to teams without constant access to a professional facilitator by packaging facilitation knowledge into structured process support and state-of-the art technology. Based on requirements from scientific and practitioners’ literature, we introduce the concept of a conversational agent in the form of a chatbot to take over the role of the facilitator of the EMM. We present an initial wizard of oz evaluation to derive insights and implications for improvements and the software implementation towards the ambitious goal of automated, non-human facilitation of EMM.

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