For the last few hundred years, all communication has been verbal, written, or visual. We spoke with our mouths, hands, and using other mediums like braille or a computer. These enabled us to participate in conversations. We learned more about ourselves and the world around us. Conversations, in particular, required two different things. Multiple people and a way to communicate. Things have since taken a major change for the better. We have now unlocked new ways to communicate directly with our technology in a conversational setting using a conversational chatbot. In this article, I’ll be unpacking conversational design. Learn the meaning behind conversational UX, conversational UI, conversational AI and more.
Artificial intelligence is a term we’ve begun to become very familiar with. Once buried within your favorite sci-fi movie, AI is now a real, living, powerhouse of its own. Conversational AI is responsible for the logic behind the bots you build. It’s the brain and soul of the chatbot. It’s what helps the bot bring your users to a specific goal. Without conversational AI, your bot is just a bunch of questions and answers.
Conversational AI is powered by natural language processing (NLP). NLP focuses on interpreting human language, while developers come up with the basic framework for how a conversation may play out. To put it simply, Conversational AI and humans work together to create a virtual conversational experience. Learn more about NLP here.
Creating a conversational bot that engages with users for Google Home or Amazon Alexa can be challenging. A lot of time, experiment, and research goes into coming up with a conversational bot. That being said, throwing a few pieces of a conversation together and hoping for the best results won’t be enough to get you to your goal.
The user experience (UX) of your bot is important. You don’t want your audience to have to jump through hoops to communicate with your bot. A conversation should be natural and seem as if it’s occurring between two human beings. Conversational UX involves UX designers mapping the route a conversation may or may not take. It involves the use of helpful cues to let the user know what stage they’re at in a conversation.
The user experience of your conversational chatbot is very important. Put some effort here and you will see amazing results.
Conversational UI is very similar to conversational UX. Many times developers and designers use the two interchangeably when they have very different functions and meanings.
Conversational UI refers to a conversational user interface. These are the things you can physically see or hear to make decisions and engage with a conversational chatbot. The use of helpful buttons, inviting colors, and different visual assets make up the bulk of conversational UI. You want your chatbot to be inviting and useful. Combining conversational UX and UI will make for the most wholesome and complete chatbot experience.
Okay, if you’ve made it this far you’re doing great. Now that we know what conversational AI, UX, and UI are, we can begin to bring them all together into a final product. The conversational chatbot.
The conversational chatbot can take many different forms. You can build a bot specifically for Facebook Messenger, design your very own Alexa skill, design for Google assistant and even automate your customer service efforts with these types of bots. A conversational chatbot is powered by conversational AI and uses both conversational UX and UI to make the experience efficient. Check out some of the best conversational bots here.
Once you have your final bot, many people will rush to deploy it. They’ll analyze the performance of the bot and many people will be disappointed. This is because they did not consider conversational design.
Conversational design is very important. It’s what gives human logic to an artificial interaction. You want to map your conversations and build a prototype that will show you the exact path a conversation may or may not take. Designing from the very start will be helpful and assist in avoiding unnecessary development time and effort.
Do yourself a favor and design a conversational bot prototype using Botsociety. Take into account the opinions of others by user testing. Invite your colleagues to experience the bot themselves before you build it, that way you’re both confident and fully prepared to launch your final product.
That’s all for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the ever-changing world of conversational design. Want more? Sign up for our white paper below!