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Virtually Speaking

Conversation Is the Last Frontier of Interface Design

Posted by Brady Cobb on Mar 15, 2016 12:04:28 PM


Next IT has been creating and deploying AI-powered intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) across the enterprise for over a decade. Our IVAs learn over time, growing with the businesses they are designed to serve. We learn alongside them, ceaselessly evaluating and improving upon the performance of our IVAs, particularly in terms of the end-user experience.

Despite the many intricacies of user-experience design in all of our deployments, we’ve come to believe that great user experiences are typically achieved when

1 -- Your IVA understands the user’s intent and

2 -- Your IVA responds with information the user needs to take the action they intended.

Creating satisfying user experiences has traditionally been a matter of effectively integrating UI (User-Interface design) and UX (User-Experience Design), usually in the form of an intuitive and attractive Graphic User Interface (GUI); however, AI is rapidly changing the way we access and interact with information, and it may not be long before the tap/text/type paradigm yields entirely to conversational interfaces.

Conversation is the fundamental interface of human communication; it stands at the core of everything we do at Next IT, including the way we define, create, and evaluate the IVA user experience. As the world shifts from text-based interfaces to voice-based interfaces, a good user experience is being redefined as a good conversation. “Conversation” is our north star: it’s our guiding theme, metaphor, and principle, and it’s, quite literally, the product of our efforts.

Don’t get hung up on colors, buttons, and avatars. You can easily iterate on those over time. And don’t get held back by costly web and mobile redesigns because you are updating an overwhelming amount of data living on your site. Your website should be a portal customers access to rapidly initiate effective dialogue, not a repository for textual information.

Does your interface understand your user’s needs? Does it reliably respond to the user in an appropriate manner?

If it does these two things, you’re well on your way to success with any solution.

Topics: Technology