The conversational role of electronic guidebooks

Allison Woodruff, Margaret H. Szymanski, Paul M. Aoki, Amy Hurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUbicomp 2001
Subtitle of host publicationUbiquitous Computing - International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsGregory D. Abowd, Barry Brumitt, Steven Shafer, Gregory D. Abowd
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)3540426140, 9783540426141
StatePublished - 2001
EventInternational Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Ubicomp 2001 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Sep 30 2001Oct 2 2001

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Ubicomp 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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