Chatbot-based Emotion Management for Distributed Teams: A Participatory Design Study


Fueled by the pervasion of tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, the usage of text-based communication in distributed teams has grown massively in organizations. This brings distributed teams many advantages, however, a critical shortcoming in these setups is the decreased ability of perceiving, understanding and regulating emotions. This is problematic because better team members’ abilities of emotion management positively impact team-level outcomes like team cohesion and team performance, while poor abilities diminish communication flow and well-being. Leveraging chatbot technology in distributed teams has been recognized as a promising approach to reintroduce and improve upon these abilities. In this article we present three chatbot designs for emotion management for distributed teams. In order to develop these designs, we conducted three participatory design workshops which resulted in 153 sketches. Subsequently, we evaluated the designs following an exploratory evaluation with 27 participants. Results show general stimulating effects on emotion awareness and communication efficiency. Further, they report emotion regulation and increased compromise facilitation through social and interactive design features, but also perceived threats like loss of control. With some design features adversely impacting emotion management, we highlight design implications and discuss chatbot design recommendations for enhancing emotion management in teams. CCS Concepts: • Human-centered computing → Computer supported cooperative work; Natural language interfaces; Participatory design.

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 4, CSCW2, Article 118