"You talking to me?" Exploring voice in self-service user interfaces

Graham I. Johnson*, Lynne Coventry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Automated teller machines (ATMs) are a classic example of ubiquitous computing as they pervade our everyday life and, for many, are typical artifacts of convenient, modern living. More important, most people are unaware that in using an ATM they are connected via a computer to a powerful network. Through our research reported within this article, we examine the user acceptance and usability aspects of a novel, "contactless" ATM. This prototype ATM has iris identification, speech recognition, speech synthesis, and communication to a user's personal digital assistant (PDA). In this article, we describe our experiences of and explorations with "Stella," a contactless ATM. First, we briefly discuss the background to the study in terms of technology and trends, and then overview previous usability research in the area. We report our findings from a cognitive walkthrough, the heuristic review of the prototype, focus groups, and a user trial. These results underline the need for multiple evaluation methods for novel concepts. In general, from the findings of this work, consumers believe that speech is a technology that will create more usable applications, even when faced with the relative failure of current technology to live up to their expectations or fulfill their practical needs. People are often initially resistant to the concept of iris identification and the PDA interaction, yet basic experience with a usable prototype quickly overcame people's reservations. Finally, we outline some of the underlying challenges facing voice-based interaction approaches to this form of ubiquitous, public self-service computing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-186
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes


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