User Centred Design of Social Signals Feedback for Communication Skills Training

Abstract: Affective technologies enable the automatic recognition of human emotional expressions and nonverbal signals which play an important part in effective communication. This paper describes the use of user-centred design techniques to establish display designs suitable for feeding back recognised emotional and social signals to trainees during communication skills training. The channels of communication investigated are facial expression, hand gestures, voice emotion recognition and Pentland’s ‘honest signals’. Ease and understanding of the different feedback methods was assessed using System Usability Scale (SUS) and obtaining qualitative views using semi structured interviews. The SUS revealed that participants preferred consistency of feedback method over ease of understanding the method on initial exposure. The themes identified across all communication channels were comparison to good performance, scale considerations, value of visual display, guidance, explanations and temporal behaviour.

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