A Categorization of Virtual Agent Appearances and a Qualitative Study on Age-Related User Preferences

  • Carolin StraßmannEmail author
  • Nicole C. Krämer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10498)


Various variables influence the perception of appearance, which are difficult to examine holistically in a quantitative approach. To give a holistic overview of appearance variables, a systematic categorization of different dimensions was developed. This is also of special importance with a view to the application field of companions for seniors whose preferences regarding appearance are under-researched. Therefore, based on the categorization, 11 interviews with two different target groups (six students, five elderly) were conducted. Results indicate that seniors tend to prefer a realistic humanoid agent, while students mostly rejected this appearance and instead favored zoomorphic or machinelike agents in comic stylization. In sum, the current research gives a first hint that there are age-related differences with regard to appearance.


Visual appearance Categorization Daily-life support Age differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Psychology: Media and CommunicationUniversity Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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