스크린샷 2018-11-18 오후 2.30.11.png

Project Melo

Project Melo is a personal voice assistant that learns about the user through active conversation. It evolves through time catering to user’s personality, behavior, and taste.

user experience
motion graphics

4 weeks

My groupmates and I were to design or come up with an intervention that would enhance the user experience based on voice interaction.

Bo Kim
Jeongmin Seo
Hae Wan Park


problem space

Smart assistant, although technically usable, is not utilized to its full extent due to user’s lack of sentimental attachment and motivation to use an assistant, and limited personalization of an assistant.

Many products are currently out in market, but they feel mechanical and unnatural, discouraging users to be motivated.

Many companies have invested to create a ‘smart’ assistant, but their products currently do not deliver satisfying experiences for users. Not a single company had a great success in this market yet, which gives an opportunity for a company to go one step further compare to its competitors.

Also, enhancing the user experience of a CUI(conversation user interface), and gathering extensive amounts of unique, personalized data of individual users can bridge the gap of creating AI or creating a new platform/domain of interacting with a machine.


What are we looking for?
In order to understand how current voice assistants are used, we individually used voice assistants (Google Assistant and Siri) for a week and logged our experience in a diary. We used this method because we were specifically interested in when we had a demand and found value in using a voice assistant.

Moving forward
We discovered that our interaction with the voice assistant feels very mechanical and often just connects the user to other apps.

research I: diary study
How do we use voice assistants?


research II: contextual inquiry
How do we start a conversation?

What are we looking for?
We conducted three rounds of conversations with strangers to investigate how people talk to each other when they meet for the first time. We had a post-conversation interview to gain insight on when people felt comfortable or awkward and paid particular attention to the colloquial techniques we often overlook that current voice assistants lack.

Moving forward
Based on the interview, we drafted a rough script for the initialization process of a more humane and conversational assistant and tested the script with 6 people.


research III: role play
How should we converse with an assistant?


What are we looking for?
Using our drafted script we conducted a role play through the phone as if one was a smart assistant and the other person was a user trying the smart assistant for the first time. We wanted to learn whether our initial scenario effectively conveyed the personalization process and analyze user responses to the proposed assistant experiences.

Moving forward
We learned the importance of setting expectations to the user before the onboarding process. Also, we discovered some fallbacks to linking user’s music taste with the assistant’s voice and decided to add a visual character instead for the personalization process.


First impression matters. We think introducing a personal assistant should feel more organic as it is with getting to know new people.

The name of the assistant, its look and feel are initialized through your words. Now your assistant exists not only vocally but also visually. People use many nonverbal cues to deliver their point and message across, which can be captured through having a visual character to show nonverbal cues.

This step of personalization will increase the user’s attachment to the assistant.

project melo