Pontus Wärnestål

Service and UX Designer · Associate Professor (PhD)· Public Speaker

Pontus Wärnestål (Ph.D) is an award-winning Service Designer and Human-Computer Interaction researcher, with 20 years of work experience in the fields of Interaction, User Experience, and Service Design.

During his Master studies in Cognitive Science, Pontus designed and developed a spoken dialogue AI system for Nokia Home Communications. The work transformed into his Ph.D dissertation on design and development of user-adaptive spoken recommender systems. After finishing his Ph.D, Pontus did Interaction and UX Design consultancy work for various clients, including Volvo Cars and web agency Daddy, before joining digital creative agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe where he spearheaded the UX department as Director of User Experience.

In 2012, Pontus joined the Informatics department at Halmstad University, researching and teaching as Assistant Professor/Senior Lecturer in HCI. Pontus' focus on Health Service Innovation led to award-winning research on peer support for children cancer-survivors (SIGCHI Honorable Mention Award 2014, Livestrong Innovation Prize Winner 2014, Svenska Designpriset nominee 2015). Pontus created and directed the Bachelor program Digital Design and Innovation given at Halmstad University, where he received the Accomplished Teacher Pedagogical Merit degree in 2014 and Excellent Teacher Pedagogical Merit in 2019.

Since 2016 Pontus works as Director of Service Design and Human-Centered AI at design agency inUse in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, alongside with academic research on Human-Centered AI and Smart Cities at Halmstad University. Pontus earned the Associate Professor (Docent) degree in June 2018 and he is currently developing design resources and education programs in the intersection of Service and UX Design and Artificial Intelligence.


Current Work

Here are initiatives, resources, and thoughts from the past couple of years when it comes to Human-Centered Design and Artificial Intelligence. The resources here are a mix of Swedish and English.

1. Halmstad University

1.1 Research Projects

At Halmstad University we are doing research in several projects where AI and Design intersect. I am leading the Service Design synergy project in our future-oriented mobility service initiativ called OSMaaS (Open and Sustainable Mobility as a Service).

Smarta städer – panelsamtal på Stadsbiblioteket i Halmstad (Swedish)
Smarta städer – Utbildningsradion UR Samtiden (Swedish)


1.2 Education, Pedagogy, and Learning

I teach at Master Level (e.g. courses like Intelligent Services) at the Digital Service Innovation program, as well as on Bachelor level in the program Digital design och innovation which I co-created and managed 2013-2016.

I work with AI and Service Design and innovation in professional education and life-long learning.

In particular, we give the course Service Design Based on Data Analytics since 2019, which aims at connecting Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Human-Centered Service Design.

Podcast: Human-Centered Machine Learning

In order to spread the knowledge in the interesting intersection of AI and Service Design, I led a VINNOVA project with the aim of producing a MOOC in the form of a podcast.

The result is the podcast Human-Centered Machine Learning which consists of 13 episodes. The podcast can be found on all major podcast platforms, such as Spotify.

Listen to the introduction eposide here:

Paper: Rethinking Continuous University Education for Professionals

Our work on the podcast has been published in a paper in the Proceedings of the HCI International Conference in 2020:

Intervju i podden Digitalsamtal

Jag blev intervjuad om Högskolan i Halmstads kursutbud inom AI i podcasten Digitalsamtal:

2. Design Director Work for inUse Part of AFRY

As Design Director at inUse I work with how to practically make sense out of digital service innovation using Service Design, UX Design, and AI. Below are some video clips and blog posts on that work:

Design at AFRY 2021 – inUse is in the business of making impact - English

Director of Human-Centered AI på InUse (del 1) - Swedish

Director of Human-Centered AI på InUse (del 2) - Swedish

Human-Centered AI at InUse part of AFRY - English

My talk on design tools on From Business To Buttons 2018 - English

Blog Posts on AI as Design Material
InUse Awards (Swedish)


Podcastintervju - Tekniksnacket (Swedish)

InUse är en del av AFRY och i det nätverket finns enorm kompetens inom maskininlärning och Data Science. Här är en episod av Tekniksnacket där InUse och AFRYs väg mot människo-centrerad AI är i fokus.

Alternativ länk: Så påverkas teknikonsulterna av AI

3. InUse Academy (Swedish)

Framtagning och genomförande av kurser inom Service Design och AI:

Human-Centered AI - kurspresentation

4. AI.m

Halmstad University, business incubator High5 and local design agencies are coming together in the AI.m program to coach small and medium enterprises in their AI + Design journeys. Read more about it here:
Halland Tech Meet (Swedish)

Våren 2020 genomfördes ett webinar på Halland Tech Meet på temat AI och design i hälso- och sjukvård:

AI.m at Interaction19 in Seattle (English)

På Interaction19 hade jag förmånen att få presentera AI.m-modellen och de designverktyg vi tar fram inom ramen för programmet.

"Get Your Gear in Order - Service Design Tools for AI Platforms" Pontus Warnestal - Interaction19 from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

HighFive Halmstad - Videoklipp om AI.m

AI.m Del 1

AI.m Del 2

AI.m Del 3

5. Writing about AI, strategy, and design

5.1 Blog Writing

Here are some articles published on popular platforms (English):

And, some of my own writing on the subject (Swedish and English):

5.2 Academic Writing

All my scientific writing is listed below.


Director of Human-Centered AI

inUse Experience

Design Director for strategic digital projects involving adaptive AI-powered functionality.

As Director at inUse, I am developing the design discipline internally and externally by public speaking, running workshops, as well as teaching and developing courses for inUse Academy. I am also coaching my colleagues to develop value-creating design using various aspects of AI, such as Machine Learning.

May 2016 - Present

Associate Professor

Halmstad University

Researching and teaching UX design and Service Innovation with a research focus on health innovation and urban development/smart cities. I designed and implemented the interaction design-oriented Digital Design and Innovation bachelor program and worked as Program Director.

See my list of published research.

October 2011 - Present

UX Director

CP+B Europe

Leading the UX and interaction design discipline at Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe with my skilled colleagues. Working with methodology development, contextual inquiry, analyzing user mental models and behavior patterns, deriving information architectures, laying out digital ecosystems, wireframing, prototyping, and doing usability testing for both local and international clients.

My work also involves presenting interaction design concepts for global and local clients, evangelizing the UX field and giving guest lectures and workshops.

2009 - 2012; 2015 - 2016

Interaction and UX Designer

Etteplan Tech

Consultant in Interaction Design, UX, and Usability Analysis at clients such as Volvo Cars, AxTech GPS/GSM-enabled alarm systems, and digital advertising agency Daddy.

September 2007 - June 2009

PhD Student

Linköping University
Graduate School of Language Technology

Doctoral research in Language Technology. Design and implementation of conversational recommender systems with spoken and typed interaction. Multimodal interaction design and implementation (gesture and speech). Publication and oral presentation of research papers at international conferences. Graduate course work, and teaching at university level.

September 2002 - September 2007

Interaction Designer and Software Developer

Nokia Home Communications

Design and development of electronic program guides for TV set-top boxes with spoken interaction. Java, Speech recognition (Nuance), dialogue system development and usability evaluation. Contextual analysis (qualitative analysis and affinity diagramming) and Interaction Design concepting that lead to academic publications.

September 2001 - September 2002

Education & Academic Career

Associate Professor (Docent)

Halmstad University, Sweden
June 2018

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)

Linköping University, Sweden
September 2007

Licentiate of Philosophy (Ph.Lic)

Linköping University, Sweden
April 2004

Master of Cognitive Science

Linköping University, Sweden
June 2001

Cognitive Science Bachelor Student Exchange

Adelaide University, Australia
January 2001

College Student Exchange

Whatcom Community College, WA, USA
June 1995



  • Wärnestål, P.(2020). Tools for Designing AI-Powered Services. NordiCHI Workshop: The UX of Interactive Machine Learning. October 25, 2020.
  • Wärnestål, P., Sjöberg, J. (2020). Rethinking Continuous University Education for Professionals – a Podcast-Based Course on Service Design and AI. In: C. Stephanidis et al. (Eds.): HCII 2020, CCIS 1294, pp. 324-332. Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-60703-6_42


  • Wärnestål, P. (2019). Facilitating Urban Planning with Human-Centred Digital Design Methodology. IM+io Best and Next Practices aus Digitalisierung, AWSi Publishing, ISSN: 1616-1017, 90-93.


  • Smedley, J. (2018) "Guest editorial", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 119 Issue: 12, pp.698-700, https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-11-2018-137. (Editor and reviewer for Special Issue on The Information Journey).


  • Wärnestål, P., Svedberg, P., Lindberg, S., Nygren, J. (2017). Effects of Using Child Personas in the Development of a Digital Peer Support Service for Childhood Cancer Survivors. Journal Of Medical Internet Research, 2017 May 18; Vol. 19 (5), pp. e161.
  • Nygren, J., Lindberg, S., Wärnestål, P., Svedberg, P. (2017). Involving Children With Cancer in Health Promotive Research: A Case Study Describing Why, What, and How. JMIR Research Protocols, ISSN 1929-0748, E-ISSN 1929-0748, Vol. 6, no 2, e19.


  • Svedberg, P., Einberg, E.-L., Wärnestål, P., Stigmar, J., Castor, A., Enskär, K. & Nygren, J. (2016). Support from healthcare services during transition to adulthood – Experiences of young adult survivors of pediatric cancer. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 21, 105-112.
  • Wärnestål, P. (2016). Formal Learning Sequences and Progression in the Studio: A Framework for Digital Design Education. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 15, 35-52.


  • Weman Josefsson, K., Ebbesson, E., Halila, F., Johnson, U., Lund, J., Wickström, N. & Wärnestål, P. (2015). Application of self-determination theory in the e-health industry – promoting sustainable exercise motivation. In: Olivier Schmid & Roland Seiler (Ed.), Proceeding: 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology: Sport Psychology: Theories and Applications for Performance, Health and Humanity: 14-19 July 2015, Bern, Switzerland.
  • Weman Josefsson, K., Halila, F., Johnson, U., Wickström, N. & Wärnestål, P. (2015). Digital interventions in self-determined exercise motivation – interdisciplinary innovations. In: ISBNPA 2015: Advancing Behavior Change Science : 3rd – 6th June 2015: Abstract Book.
  • Weman-Josefsson, K. A., Halila, F., Johnson, U., Wickström, N. & Wärnestål, P. (2015). Digital Innovations and Self-determined exercise motivation: an interdisciplinary approach. In: Proceedings of The 6th International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics: IMCIC March 2015. Orlando, Florida.


  • Weman-Josefsson, K. A., Halila, F., Johnson, U., Lindwall, M., Wickström, N. & Wärnestål, P. (2014). Digital innovations and self-determined exercise motivation: a person-centred perspective. In: Vitalis – Nordens ledande eHälsomöte 2014, Göteborg, 8-10 april 2014, (pp. 22-25).
  • Lindberg, S., Wärnestål, P., Nygren, J. & Svedberg, P. (2014). Designing digital peer support for children: design patterns for social interaction. In: IDC '14 Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC 2014), Aarhus, Denmark, 17-20 June, 2014, (pp. 47-56). [S.l.]: ACM Press.
  • Wärnestål, P., Svedberg, P. & Nygren, J. (2014). Co-constructing Child Personas for Health-Promoting Services with Vulnerable Children. In: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2014), Toronto, ON, Canada, 26 April-1 May, 2014 (pp. 3767-3776). Toronto, ON, Canada: ACM Press.
  • Wärnestål, P. & Kronlid, F. (2014). Towards a user experience design framework for adaptive spoken dialogue in automotive contexts. In: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Haifa, Israel – February 24-27, 2014, (pp. 305-310). New York, NY: ACM Press.


  • Weman-Josefsson, K., Wärnestål, P., Johnson, U., Halila, F. & Wickström, N. (2013). An interdisciplinary project plan on Digital Innovations and Self-determined Exercise Motivation. In: Proceedings of CVHI Research School "Entrepreneurship and Health", 2nd Open Seminar, "Entrepreneurship, Health, and Innovation", November 12th 2013, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.
  • Kronlid, F., Larsson, S. & Wärnestål, P. (2013). Using Learned Predictions of User Utterances to Decrease Distraction. In: Raquel Fernandez and Amy Isard (Ed.), Proceedings of the 17th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of the Dialogue, SemDial 2013, Amsterdam, 16-18 December (pp. 210-212).
  • Wärnestål, P. & Nygren, J. M. (2013). Building an Experience Framework for a Digital Peer Support Service for Children Surviving from Cancer. In: Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC'13), New York, NY, United States, 24-27 June, 2013 (pp. 269-272). New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
  • Einberg, E.-L., Svedberg, P., Wärnestål, P., Thomsen, M., Stigmar, J., Enskär, K., Nygren, J. (2013). Involving children in research and innovation processes in the development of digital health promotion intervention. In: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services, Body & Mind, Gothenburg, Sweden, May 22-24, 2013 (pp. 80-80).
  • Wärnestål, P. (2013). Studio Course Progression in Digital Design Education. In: Proceedings of The 36th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS), Gran, Norway, August 11-14, 2013.
  • Wärnestål, P. & Lindqvist, M. (2013). Designerly Ways of Teaching and Learning: A Course Structure for Interaction Design. Journal of Learning in Higher Education, 9(1), 181-190.
  • Einberg, E.-L., Svedberg, P., Wärnestål, P., Thomsen, M., Stigmar, J., Enskär, K., Nygren, J. (2013). Hur gör man barn delaktiga i forsknings- och innovationsprocesser vid utveckling av digitala hälsoinnovationer. Paper presented at Barnrättsdagarna, 16-17 april 2013, Örebro, Sverige.


  • Einberg, E.-L., Svedberg, P., Wärnestål, P., Thomsen, M., Stigmar, J., Enskär, K., . . . Nygren, J. (2012). Participatory innovation process for development of a digital peer support service for children with cancer. In: SIOP Publication Abstracts. Paper presented at 44th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology, London, United Kingdom, October 5-8, 2012 (pp. 88-88). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Einberg, E.-L., Svedberg, P., Wärnestål, P., Thomsen, M., Stigmar, J., Enskär, K., . . . Nygren, J. (2012). Hur gör man barn delaktiga i forsknings- och innovationsprocesser vid utveckling av digitala hälsoinnovationer. Paper presented at Medicinska riksstämman, 28-30 november, Stockholm, Sverige.
  • Wärnestål, P. (2012). Kan man föreläsa på ett bibliotek?: Kombinerad lärande- och designmiljö på fältet. In: NU2012: Gränslöst lärande: Göteborg 17-19 oktober 2012: konferenskatalog. Paper presented at Konferens för Nätverk och Utveckling: Gränslöst lärande 2012 (NU2012), (pp. 29-31).
  • Einberg, E.-L., Svedberg, P., Wärnestål, P., Thomsen, M., Stigmar, J., Enskär, K., . . . Nygren, J. M. (2012). Participatory innovation process for development of a digital peer support service for children with cancer. In: Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Society of Pediatric Oncology Nurses meeting, NOBOS 2012, Uppsala, Sweden, May 19-22, 2012 (pp. 118-118).
  • Wärnestål, P. & Lindqvist, M. (2012). Course Structuring for Procedural Knowledge in Interaction Design Education. In: IRIS 35: Proceedings of the 35th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia: Designing the Interactive Society, (IRIS'35), Sigtuna, Sweden, August 17–20, 2012. Uppsala: Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University.
  • Wärnestål, P. & Lindqvist, M. (2012). Designerly Ways of Teaching and Learning: A Course Structure for Interaction Design. In: Joint International Conferences 2012 Academic Business World International Conference & International Conference on Learning and Administration in Higher Education: Proceedings. Paper presented at International Conference on Learning and Administration in Higher Education, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, May 23-25th, 2012 (pp. 79-91).
  • Lahti, A., Naraha, S., Svensson, J. & Wärnestål, P. (2012). Ethical Heuristics – A Tool for Applying Ethics in User-Involved IS Projects. In: Christina Keller, Mikael Wiberg, Pär J. Ågerfalk, Jenny S. Z. Eriksson Lundström (Ed.), Nordic Contributions in IS Research: Third Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems, SCIS 2012, Sigtuna, Sweden, August 17-20, 2012, Proceedings. Paper presented at The Third Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems - SCIS 2012 & The 35th IRIS seminar - Designing the Interactive Society. New York: Springer-Verlag New York.


  • Wärnestål, P., Degerstedt, L. & Jönsson, A. (2007). Emergent Conversational Recommendations: A Dialogue Behavior Approach. In: Simon Keizer, Harry Bunt, Tim Paek (Ed.), Proceedings of the 8th SIGdial Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue, Antwerp, Belgium, 1-2 September, 2007 (pp. 63-66). East Stroudsburg, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics.
  • Wärnestål, P., Degerstedt, L. & Jönsson, A. (2007). Interview and delivery: Dialogue strategies for conversational recommender systems. In: Joakim Nivre, Heiki-Jaan Kaalep, Kadri Muischnek, Mare Koit (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th Nordic Conference of Computational Linguistics NODALIDA 2007, University of Tartu, Estonia, 24-26 May, 2007 (pp. 199-205). Tartu, Estonia: University of Tartu.
  • Wärnestål, P., Degerstedt, L. & Jönsson, A. (2007). PCQL: A Formalism for Human-Like Preference Dialogues. In: IJCAI 07: 5th IJCAI Workshop on Knowledge and Reasoning in Practical Dialogue Systems, Hyderabad, India, January 8th, 2007 (pp. 46-54).
  • Wärnestål, P. (2007). Dialogue Behavior Management in Conversational Recommender Systems. (Doctoral dissertation). Linköping: Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University.
  • Wärnestål, P. (2005). Modularized User Modeling in Conversational Recommender Systems. In: Liliana Ardissono, Paul Brna & Antonija Mitrovic (Ed.), User Modeling 2005: 10th International Conference, UM 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, July 24-29, 2005, (pp. 527-529). Berlin: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg.
  • Wärnestål, P. (2005). User Evaluation of a Conversational Recommender System. In: Ingrid Zukerman, Jan Alexandersson & Arne Jönsson (Ed.), 4th IJCAI Workshop on Knowledge and Reasoning in Practical Dialogue Systems, Edinburgh, Scotland: August 1, 2005, (pp. 32-39).
  • Wärnestål, P. (2005). Modeling a Dialogue Strategy for Personalized Movie Recommendations. In: Mark van Setten, Sean McNee & Joseph Konstan (Ed.), Beyond Personalization 2005: A Workshop on the Next Stage of Recommender Systems Research, San Diego, January 9, 2005, (pp. 77-82).
  • Johansson, P. (2004). Design and Development of Recommender Dialogue Systems. (Licentiate dissertation). Linköping: Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University.
  • Berglund, A. & Johansson, P. (2004). Using speech and dialogue for interactive TV navigation. Interactive Access in the Information Society (UAIS), 3(3-4), 224-238.
  • Ibrahim, A. & Johansson, P. (2003). Multimodal Dialogue Systems: A Case Study for Interactive TV. In: Noëlle Carbonell & Constantine Stephanidis (Ed.), Universal Access Theoretical Perspectives, Practice, and Experience: 7th ERCIM International Workshop on User Interfaces for All, Paris, France, October 24–25, 2002, (pp. 209-218). Berlin: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg.
  • Degerstedt, L. & Wärnestål, P. (2003). Evolutionary Development of Phase-Based Dialogue Systems. In: Bjørnar Tessem, Pekka Ala-Siuru, Patrick Doherty & Brian Mayoh (Ed.), Eighth Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence: SCAI'03, Bergen, Norway, November 2-4, 2003 (pp. 59-67). Amsterdam: IOS Press.
  • Johansson, P. (2003). MADFILM – a Multimodal Approach to Handle Search and Organization in a Movie Recommendation System. In: Patrizia Paggio, Kristiina Jokinen & Arne Jönsson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1st Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication: Copenhagen, Denmark, 25-26 September, 2003 (pp. 53-65). København: CST, Center for Sprogteknologi.
  • Ibrahim, A. & Johansson, P. (2002). Multimodal Dialogue Systems for Interactive TV Applications. In: Danielle C. Martin (Ed.), Proceedings: Fourth IEEE International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces: 14-16 October 2002: Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania, USA (pp. 117-122). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Computer Society.

Speaker Engagements (Selection)

Some slide decks are temporarily available for download.


  • Halland Tech Week. Halmstad, Sweden
  • Health Innovation Day. Moderator, Virtual Conference, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Learning AI through Podcasting. AI Innovation of Sweden, Virtual Meeting, Sweden
  • Human-Centered AI Meetup, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Hur hanterar vi Datarevolutionen? Varberg, Sweden


  • Invited Keynote Speaker, Location Innovation, Leoben, Austria
  • Service Design Meetup, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Innovation Conference 2019, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Digga Halland invited talk, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Tech Day, Stockholm, Sweden
  • HISS Summer School Invited Lecture, Halmstad, Sweden
  • AI Seminars and Panel Talk, Almedalen Visby, Sweden
  • Service Design Invited Lecture, Malmö University, Sweden
  • Service Design and Value, HiQ Breakfast Talk, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Interaction19, Seattle, USA


  • Unionen Spanar, Malmö, Sweden
  • AI.m, HighFive Innovation Seminar, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Health Innovation Day, Halmstad, Sweden
  • AdWise Consultancy Network, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • From Business To Buttons 2018, Stockholm, Sweden
  • JCI International Conference 2018, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Digitalization Day, Halmstad Kommun, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Health Innovation Summer School, Halmstad, Sweden
  • HighFive Startup Incubator, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Webb Helt Enkelt, Halmstad, Sweden



  • Digital Crunch, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Unionen Spanar, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Digital Laborative Center, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Innovation Lunch, Gothenburg, Sweden


  • Game Master Arena, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Fachhochschule Salzburg, Austria
  • TEK, Halmstad, Sweden
  • Interaction15 Educational Summit, San Francisco, USA
  • Webb Helt Enkelt, Halmstad, Sweden


  • Excellent Teacher degree, Halmstad University (2019)
  • Reach for Change Finalist (2015)
  • Svenska Designpriset Nomination (2015)
  • Innovation Prize Winner in Livestrong Foundation's The Big C Competition (2014)
  • Best of CHI Honorable Mention Award (2014)
  • Accomplished Teacher Pedagogical Merit degree, Halmstad University (2014)
  • Best Paper Award – Conference of Learning in Higher Education (2012)
  • Presentation Excellence Award – Conference of Learning in Higher Education (2012)
  • EPICA Gold (2010)
  • Best Master's Thesis Award, Linköping University (2001)