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Title: Designing Touchpoints with Intelligent Systems

Author: Joerg Beringer, Blue Yonder, USA


Blue Yonder is a vendor of Supply Chain software, offering solutions that automate business decisions and processes related to supply chain planning and execution. This included applications like dynamic tasking of shopfloor workers, dynamic pricing, and automatic replenishment of retail stores.

When designing intelligent systems, it is important to understand the envisioned engagement model of the intelligent system with the user. An intelligent system can be a faceless service running in the background to influence the sort order of movies, an autonomous agent replacing the user, or an intelligent assistant supporting the user to make better decisions.

While the intelligent agent obviously requires a user interface, the primary objective of the embedded and autonomous system is to run without any user interaction. In this case, the user is only an indirect user being affected by the output of the intelligent system, but not interacting directly with the system.

In all cases, the human and the intelligent system establish a distributed situational awareness and intelligence which is not static but needs to be managed. Even if the primary design objective is to automate decisions, users should be able to interrogate, finetune, and override the intelligent agent to develop a proper mental model of the system’s functionality and state, and to feel in control of delegating cognitive functions to an intelligent system.

The overall design of an intelligent agent should therefore not only about the primary functions, but should be approached as a service design identifying and focusing on all touchpoints that influence and improve acceptance and confidence in the intelligent agent. This includes making meta decisions on how to team up to optimize the overall outcome.

We will discuss what those influencing factors are and what touchpoints an intelligent agent should provide to be accepted and integrated by users and enable a feedback loop to learn and align with the user over time.

Short Bio Dr. Jörg Beringer

Joerg is Chief Design Officer at Blue Yonder in Dallas, USA. In this role he is leading the UX organization and experience strategy of all Blue Yonder’s solutions including the Luminate Supply Chain Platform. Prior to Blue Yonder, Joerg was working at SAP on UX frameworks and emerging solutions, and at Splunk on big data analytics and process mining. Joerg is actively collaborating with the academic community to drive innovation in enterprise software solutions, in particular in the field of CSCW, end user development, UX of intelligent systems, and Situational Workspaces.