Implicit user-adaptive system engagement in speech and pen interfaces

Sharon Oviatt, Colin Swindells, Alex Arthur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


As emphasis is placed on developing mobile, educational, and other applications that minimize cognitive load on users, it is becoming more essential to base interface design on implicit engagement techniques so users can remain focused on their tasks. In this research, data were collected with 12 pairs of students who solved complex math problems using a tutorial system that they engaged over 100 times per session entirely implicitly via speech amplitude or pen pressure cues. Results revealed that users spontaneously, reliably, and substantially adapted these forms of communicative energy to designate and repair an intended interlocutor in a computer-mediated group setting. This behavior was harnessed to achieve system engagement accuracies of 75-86%, with accuracies highest using speech amplitude. However, students had limited awareness of their own adaptations. Finally, while continually using these implicit engagement techniques, students maintained their performance level at solving complex mathematics problems throughout a one-hour session.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '08 - Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFlorence, Italy — April 05 - 10, 2008
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781605580111
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2008 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 5 Apr 200810 Apr 2008
Conference number: 26th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2008
Abbreviated titleCHI 2008
OtherThe 26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
April 5-10, 2008 in Florence, Italy
Internet address


  • Educational interface
  • Implicit
  • Pen pressure
  • Speech amplitude
  • System engagement
  • User-adaptive

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