Development of an ai userbot for engineering design education using an intent and flow combined framework

Yu Hung Chien*, Chun Kai Yao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


As the inclusion of users in the design process receives greater attention, designers need to not only understand users, but also further cooperate with them. Therefore, engineering design education should also follow this trend, in order to enhance students’ ability to communicate and cooperate with users in the design practice. However, it is difficult to find users on teaching sites to cooperate with students because of time and budgetary constraints. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in recent years, chatbots may be the solution to finding specific users to participate in teaching. This study used Dialogflow and Google Assistant to build a system architecture, and applied methods of persona and semi-structured interviews to develop AI virtual product users. The system has a compound dialog mode (combining intent-and flow-based dialog modes), with which multiple chatbots can cooperate with students in the form of oral dialog. After four college students interacted with AI userbots, it was proven that this system can effectively participate in student design activities in the early stage of design. In the future, more AI userbots could be developed based on this system, according to different engineering design projects for engineering design teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7970
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 2


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Chatbot
  • Participatory design
  • Product user
  • Userbot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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