Intelligent guides: architecting systems for context-driven interactions

A 75 minute Experience Report by:

Tim Caynes


Slides from session

The slides used for this session are available to download from here.

About this Experience Report

What if an actor could determine their own flow through a system? What if that system could dynamically create pathways to support free wandering, signposting just enough to enable discovery without direction? And what if the flow through the system was determined by the actor, but the system could create the most desired of all possible paths?

As designers, we can imagine a system where meaning can be derived by the alignment of data and context, based on the current interactions: a transient information architecture where the arrangement of things and the relationships between them is determined in the moment. A blueprint for free roaming. An intelligent guide. If this, then that.

But we only consider the experiential layer of a system that needs to understand and arrange data in response to those interactions. What we need is to architect a system that can use its knowledge of data relationships to create meaning at the point of interaction, because data only becomes information when you ask it to arrange itself.

And the way you ask it to arrange itself is by compiling a query that determines the data that is to be arranged and a context within which the arrangement makes sense. How do we architect the system so that it can determine the most likely linking of data? How do we architect the data so that the system can make sense of it?

This session will look at the theory of intelligent information systems and draw from a case study to provide examples of experience design and system architecture approaches for a large corporation considering intelligent guides for their primary customer experience.

About the Speaker

Tim is a principal designer at Foolproof, meaning that he's responsible for the integrity of the thinking behind Foolproof's experience design practice. He works closely with design, strategy and insight teams, and with business stakeholders and third parties, to create evidence-based designs for global brands such as Sage, Santander, Coke, Apple, Sky, HSBC and Shell. As principal designer, he is focused on understanding user needs and behaviours, contexts of use and interactions with information systems - to do smart things for good people.