The Conversational Role of Electronic Guidebooks

  • Allison Woodruff
  • Margaret H. Szymanski
  • Paul M. Aoki
  • Amy Hurst
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2201)


We describe an electronic guidebook prototype and report on a study of its use in a historic house. Visitors were given a choice of information delivery modes, and generally preferred audio played through speakers. In this delivery mode, visitors assigned the electronic guidebook a conversational role, e.g., it was granted turns in conversation, it introduced topics of conversation, and visitors responded to it verbally. We illustrate the integration of the guidebook into natural conversation by showing that discourse with the electronic guidebook followed the conversational structure of storytelling. We also demonstrate that visitors coordinated object choice and physical positioning to ensure that the electronic guidebooks played a role in their conversations. Because the visitors integrated the electronic guidebooks in their existing conversations with their companions, they achieved social interactions with each other that were more fulfilling than those that occur with other presentation methods such as traditional headphone audio tours.


Paper Guidebook Delivery Mode Audio Clip Computer Support Collaborative Learn Audio Description 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison Woodruff
    • 1
  • Margaret H. Szymanski
    • 1
  • Paul M. Aoki
    • 1
  • Amy Hurst
    • 1
  1. 1.Xerox Palo Alto Research CenterPalo AltoUSA

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