Horse, Butler or Elevator? Metaphors and enactment as a catalyst for exploring interaction with autonomous technology
Paper in proceeding, 2018

As technology becomes increasingly intelligent and progressively gains agency, the relationship between system and human is redefined. Conventional interaction design methodologies cannot fully encompass the emerging new types of relationships, and new methods are necessary to address interaction at early stages in the design process. Both design metaphors and enactment techniques have been suggested as a way forward, and this paper explores whether a combination of the two can support the design of interaction with future autonomous systems. In three workshops, 27 participants in total utilised this combination of methods to design the interaction with an autonomous vehicle. The analysis of the workshops shows that the combination of the methods manages to support the imagining and design, where the metaphors aided the creation of a joint conceptual vision of the relationship, and the enactment created tangible experiences and contextualisation of the design concepts. Nine guidelines for the use of the methods when designing intelligent systems are defined, based on the insights from the workshops.

design methods


autonomous vehicles



Helena Strömberg

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Ingrid M Pettersson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science

Wendy Ju

Cornell University

Proceedings of DRS2018

2398-3132 (ISSN)

Vol. 3 1193-1207

Limerick, Ireland,

AUX - Automotive User Experience

VINNOVA (2012-03664), 2013-01-01 -- 2016-12-31.

HMI design for automated vehicles - HATric

VINNOVA (2014-01411), 2014-08-01 -- 2017-06-30.

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories


Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction

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