26Mar 2018

UX Rules For Conversational UI Design

Providing a better user experience to the users is the first and foremost focus for the website developers. Users nowadays have several questions about your products and your website. In such cases, they need to have an instant answer to their question. Providing instant answers to the users is a complex task and requires a large amount of human resource based on the size of your institute. In the recent days, chatting has become quite popular as it is natural for the users to interact with each other through conversation. It can be known from the fact that there are many well-known apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other such apps and are quite popular.

However, it is very time consuming and requires huge sums of money. To tackle this problem and provide a better user experience, conversational interfaces has become quite in demand nowadays. These are the latest trends in digital product design. Various industrial leaders like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, etc. has been focussed on building smart and helpful conversational interfaces. To build a new generation of conversational interfaces, there are many latest technologies like artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies. These technologies too are growing by leaps and bounds and help in providing a better user experience to the users.

To automate the process of answering the questions, chatbots have been in trend nowadays. It is developed by many well-known organizations. Various business to automate their processes make use of various chatbots and voice-controlled assistants which help them in interacting with their customers. These conversational interface mimics chatting with a real human. There is an exponential growth of applications and websites where the conversational UI is implemented.

 

There are two major types of Conversational Interfaces. These are:

  • Chatbots
  • Virtual Assistants

While building a better conversational interface, it is necessary that you have a proper idea of both of these types to make proper use of the same. This can help build a helpful and attractive conversational system. In these, the developers need to have a different approach than the conversational design pattern for standard patterns and flows that is implemented for graphical user interfaces. Conversational interface design requires a fundamental shift in approach to the designless focus of visual design being focus on words.

To help you with the designing better chatbots and virtual voice-controlled assistants, here are some of the best practices that need to be followed on a regular basis. These can help you to make sure that you can design the conversational design with a better User experience.

Clear Flow:

clear flow

It is necessary that you design the conversational interface in such a way that the conversation flows naturally and efficiently. It can help you to minimize the user’s effort and make sure that you can communicate freely with the system and not act as an obstacle. This can be done by:

Define the purpose of the system:

A single system may not be able do to all the task of the users. Hence it becomes necessary that you create a chatbot that is specialized and purpose-driven. In order to provide the best solution to your users it becomes necessary that you get an idea of what the users want of your system, what are their needs, what problems need to be solved, how it will benefit your audience, how will it turn out to be beneficial for you, and other such questions.

Provide hints to your users:

The conversational interfaces provide the users with an unlimited number of the path that the users can take which is not the case in a graphical interface. Hence, in such a case it becomes necessary that you provide the users with a quick guide to the users of what they can expect from the same, how can they use it, what it can’t do, and other such questions. These can help the users to know about certain functionalities and use them properly.

Do not ask questions that are open-ended and rhetorical:

Open-ended and rhetorical questions work well in human conversations. However, in the case of conversational interface, it is advised that you avoid asking such questions as these create more confusion and enhances the complexity of the system. These are harder to process as these may result in different answers that may not be processed as the system may not be smart enough to understand what the answer means.

Keep the users informed about their status:

keep the users informed about their status

It is necessary that you keep your users informed about what is going on by providing them with appropriate responses within a reasonable time. This can be done by using structured messages that can guide the users in their interaction. It must also be designed in such a way that the users do not need to remember information from one part of the dialogue to the other. These can be done by minimizing the user’s memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible.

Speak in the voice of users:

It is necessary that you speak make use of the language, words, phrases, and concepts that are familiar to your user base rather than system-oriented terms. In such cases, it is necessary that you use real-world conventions. This helps them to make the conversations that follow a natural and logical order. It must also be kept in mind that your user feels like they are talking to the humans and not to a robot. It is also necessary that the vocabulary and tone that you use must resonate with your users. This can be done by designing the system with vocabulary that your target customers are familiar with.

To make sure that you use the voice that your users understand, it is necessary that you do thorough research on your user base and how they interact. These can be in the form of:

  • What words and phrases the users use?
  • Do they converse in formal or informal language?
  • What is the tone of their conversation?
  • How often do they use emoticons in their online conversation?

By properly answering these questions and implementing these in your website and apps, it can ensure that you can provide the users with better experience to the users.

User control:

User control and freedom is the first and foremost principle of user-interface design. It is necessary that you remain in control, rather than being controlled by your product. It is necessary that you provide freedom to your users and better controls to the users. Here you need to provide the users with the emergency exit, and also the undo, redo, and cancel features to provide them with the freedom of how they want to converse with the users. Here you can also provide the option to reset the conversation at any instant during the interaction. It helps the users to revert and start a new search from scratch.

Error Prevention:

It is necessary that you prevent the error that takes place. This can be done by eliminating the error-prone conditions and also make effects to fix the same. This can be done by repeating and getting a confirmation from users after being provided the input for critical inputs like payment information and other such information. This provides the users to correct their input. It can help you to present users with better conversational UI to the users. In this case, it is necessary that you ensure that the answer is valid by repeating the same and then move to the next step in case it is correct. In case of invalid data, you need to explain the type of answer that you expect. This can provide the users with a smooth experience.

Flexibility and efficiency:

It is necessary that you must be flexible and efficient in your interactions. It must be equally easier and better to use by both the expert users and also the inexperienced users. In some cases, some accelerators can be added that can make the interaction for the experts faster and better. Here you can also provide different users to tailor their frequent actions as per their liking.

Be concise:

Another important thing that you need to focus upon is that you should be concise in your presentation. The businesses need to understand that people use single short sentences instead of paragraphs. In spite of asking multiple questions at once, request information from the user one by one.

Consistency and standards:

It is necessary that you remain consistent with your conversation and meet the standards that are outlined by various well known and successful organizations. In such a case, it is necessary that the different words, situations, or actions do not mean the same thing and must not leave the users wondering about the question. It must have a voice that is consistent with the users and answer the question that the users are looking for.

Aesthetic and minimalist design:

aesthetic and minimalist design

It is mandatory that the conversational UI must be aesthetically beautiful and must have a minimalist design. This can be achieved if it contains only the relevant information and ignores the irrelevant information. It is because any extra information in the same diminishes the relative visibility.

alsoRead

On the relationship between AI and UI

Test and modify:

After having implemented the necessary elements in your conversational UI, it is necessary that you constantly monitor the performance. You need to verify if the bot designed is human enough or not. This can be done by testing with a large number of users and get suggestions from them and implement them in your system.

Summary:

To comply with the latest trends, it is necessary that you remain consistent with the latest trends. The conversational interface can be properly implemented if you follow the guidelines mentioned above. This can help you to provide better results and also enhance better user experience.

Acodez one of the best web development company in India that helps the users to develop good websites that are user-friendly and provide a better user experience to the users. Apart from these, it also helps you in user experience friendly design. Here you are also provided with various branding option to help create a better brand.

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Rajeesh PK

Rajeesh PK

Rajeesh P.K. is the Director and Creative Head at Acodez . With an experience of 10+ years in UX Design & User Interface Design, when coupled with his expert coding skills in HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, makes him one of the top UX Architects in India, with more than 15 international awards to his credit.

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