Thanks to advanced technology, people can communicate with their devices in interactive ways. Today, consumers can have two-way conversations with software applications, such as chatbots and voice assistants, in an effective and useful manner.
That’s at the core of interactive communication. It’s the dynamic, two-way conversation between users and devices that enable the exchange of ideas.
Designing for interactive communication requires understanding why this form of communication is important and its best practices. Here are some key aspects to take into account:
Why Interactive Communication is Important
When you walk into the mall and look for a store you have never been to before, searching for that store on a static mall map doesn’t make the experience better. But what if you could touch the mall map screen like a computer and type the name of the store? Better yet, what if all you had to do was speak to the mall map and it would instantly find the store you need? This would not only save you time but it would create a feeling of relief that you wouldn’t have to get frustrated with finding the store you want. More importantly, you would feel happy to find the store quickly since the interactive mall map helped you. It would enhance your overall experience.
Interactive communication that’s effective and useful to your target audience enhances the user experience. That’s why interactive communication matters. When you design with the user in mind, you can improve the experiences they have with your voice assistant or chatbot.
Designing Interactive Communication for Success
Creating interaction communication that is effective delivers on the principles of interactive design, including usability, learnability, goal-driven design, affordance and significance and response time and feedback. Here are some best practices of interactive communication to design for success:
- Give your bot a personality. When you design your bot, it’s important to make give your bot a personality that your audience can relate to or recognize. This makes your bot more comfortable and easier to use since it mimics the natural flow of conversation.
- Make your bot easy to use. Your bot should make the user’s life more simple. You can achieve this by designing your bot so that it easy to navigate. Also, consider designing for flexibility by giving users multiple ways to interact with your bot, such as via text or voice for an interactive chatbot.
- Design for effective feedback. Make your feedback messages simple and immediate. A delayed or complicated response to a question can add stress to the user experience.
- Test with a prototype. Successful interactive communication calls for testing how your voice assistant or chatbot by taking advantage of prototypes. When you create a high-fidelity prototype, you can see how it works and determine if you need to make any changes up front. For instance, you can use Botsociety to create a voice assistant or chatbot prototype for devices that support Alexa and test out how well the interactive communication works between users and the voice assistant or bot. It only takes a few clicks to make your Botsociety prototype interactive, too.
There’s no doubt that as technology continues to advance that interactive communication’s importance will continue to grow. Thus, it’s crucial to embrace human-centric design to create effective voice assistants and chatbots that are interactive. When you’re able to create interactive communication that is effective between the user and your voice assistant or bot, you can enhance the user experience and design interactive communication for success.
Also published on Medium.