Five Best Practices for Conversational UX Design

Dr. Carmen Martínez
6 min readSep 26, 2018

If you are creating a dialog for the VUI of an Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) or a chatbot, your main philosophy must be to implement a customer-centered voice solution. For a voice experience (or even for a multi-modal experience guided by voice), such goal maps into the following main design actions:

  1. Create a conversational interaction as natural as possible
  2. Think about the problem that needs to be solved
  3. Define a persona for the IPA/chatbot
  4. Provide the IPA/chatbot with conversational memory
  5. Contextualize universals in a natural way

1. Create a Conversational Interaction as Natural as Possible

Alexa, will you be able to speak like a human one day?

As a conversational UX designer, you must think about the entire conversation, from beginning to end, from the point of view of how the human will experience such interaction with the IPA/chatbot.

The materialization of such perspective translates into the application of conversational practices and structures used by humans into the design of the human-to-machine dialogs.

The design actions you can implement in your solution related to this point are:

  • Complete “one-offs” voice commands with more complex models of interaction/conversational elements extracted from human-to-human conversation.
  • Include welcome back intents, so the conversational competence of the IPA/chatbot would include the capacity of applying conversational opening practices.
  • Provide a variety of agreement tokens (ok, perfect, I think so, got that) in the machine’s answers. Their presence is needed for creating more multi-turn sequences with a higher level of internal cohesion between intents.
Your agreement tokens tight your intents together.
  • Use repair sequences for re-establishing the intersubjectivity/logical exchange between the human and the…