Virtual assistants (Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) as well as chatbots (e.g. in the customer service of online shops) have now found their way into our lives and are changing the way we interact with information systems. It is now possible to interact with computers in a human way using natural language.
With increasing technological progress we might not get answers like “Sorry, I didn’t understand you” anymore. In this context, we assume that an interpersonal connection (companion approach) can and should be created between the information system and the user, following the thought: “from assistance to companionship”.
Since technological implementation may be compley and not yet possible, the design and discussion should be separated from the implementation. The Virtual Companion Canvas (VC Canvas) is designed to support designers and practitioners in designing a Virtual Companion. The following graphic visualizes an exemplary design process for a Virtual Companion, in which the VC Canvas is used: