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How to get conversational UI right

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James Talbot
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p With the rise of AI, voice and more generally language-driven technologies like chatbots, Siri, and Amazon Echo, conversational user interfaces (CUI) have a chance to become the next major technology platform after mobile.

/p p The field of conversational UI holds a lot of promise in how humans interact with technology, thanks to trends like: /p p Think about an experience you’ve had with an interactive voice response (IVR) service on a customer service line.

“Press 1 to file a claim, press 2 for the main menu, etc.” Who hasn’t spent too much time with a voice interface that is hierarchical, impersonal, and robotic?

/p p That can be a common conversational UI trap as well, because reducing input choices can be an “easier” way to implement conversational UI into an existing infrastructure — thereby almost re-creating the disliked IVR user experience.

/p p Another misconception is that a conversational voice user interface is a chatbot with a speech-recognizer and synthesizer attached.

Chatbots offer a simplified, one-dimensional user experience that are sequential and resistant to context switching.

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