Comments on Designing the Conversational UI

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  1. Fantastic article. For me, the first conversational interface experience was Creative Labs’ Dr. Sbaitso, the software that came with the Sound Blaster card to test its voice capabilities. In my opinion the trickiest (and most interesting) part of this type of interface is the gradual learning mechanism that needs to take place in the background – Does the user jump around from task to task all the time? Are they taking a long time to decide? Do they need more help? Do they seem to have habits/preferences that can be addressed automagically?

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  2. I imagine conversational UIs to be a more friendly way to convey user action however, I still see the need for UIs to be able to see your calendar summary, go back and edit things because often when you have a lot to accomplish, UI’s make it quicker. I don’t see large enterprises eradicating their systems for robots, however I do see it as complementary tool. Thoughts?

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  3. Web design is a very diverse and versatile subject, a lot similar to other aesthetic industries like fashion and architecture. Thus, web design trends change each year in accordance to the innovations in supply and demand in the aesthetics paradigm. It is the very essence of a good website design that it is visually appealing and tickles the visitors’ fancy.

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  4. Very interesting, thank you! Could you tell more about “Picking from a list - Remember: no drop-down menus, combo boxes, radio buttons.”? I thought it’s a good idea to mix free text input with traditional UI, like choice via buttons. Telegram bots use this approach. What’s wrong with it?

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  5. Hi Matty!
    I enjoyed your article and I retweeted:
    https://twitter.com/solyarisoftware/status/705653875999510529

    In facts your article point out finally some good suggestions for what I call #dialogFlow
    In general I feel we are in a early stage of design dialogs interaction guidelines (#noGUI).

    About the “time out”; the point is opinable; I maybe believe that bot must manage user session, going back to the conversation status, let say by example: filling a shopping cart. input data Not necessarly are to be canceled, if user come back to the bot one day after initial chat. minor point.

    A #dev curiosity: do you use/suggest any specific dialog script language ?
    I’m asking because I’m looking for a smart / modern script language to describe dialogs.
    My hope is to have a common open-standard script dialogs to share dialog templates for common knowledge bases; a possible interesting open-source project; isn’it ?

    BTW, I’m just discovered http://www.superscriptjs.com and I feel .ss text scripts esy to read (also for #nodev people); otherwise: what do you think about AIML or teh IBM Watson XML way ?

    thanks
    respect
    giorgio

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  6. Hi Matty, thanks for your reply!

    If I well read, superscriptjs (http://superscriptjs.com/) come after his creator, Rob Ellis, analysis on preexistent “similar” tools:
    - AIML
    - facade
    - ChatScript (https://twitter.com/solyarisoftware/status/706042612793384960)
    - Riverscript (https://www.rivescript.com/)

    BTW, Here an interesting article (2011) by ChatScript creator Bruce Wilcox:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/134675/beyond_façade_pattern_matching_.php

    In facts there is not a consolidated script language to describe natural language dialogs.

    Superscriptjs seems to me a modern/simple synthesis of previous work.
    Generally speaking I’m very interested finding a “common” language for “dialog scripting”.

    The parallelism is that these “scripts” for chatbots dialogs could be something equivalent to HTML code for nowaday front-end #webdev.

    In a future, #textUI/#dialogFlow #UX experts + application experts (!) could manage the dialog scripting, whereas back-end developers (with usual skills) could be continue to develop the back-end service (coding the script server engine, the database, usual stuff…).

    Isn’t it ?

    But, chosing a common language for dialogs (detached from “running code”), conatins a possible big adavantage: in general, dialogs do not contain just the front-end interface communication; scripts generally contain also a kind of knowlegde/expertise on a certain domain… so sharing scripts is also about sharing knowledge (see old fashioned expert systems). 

    That make sense, for you ?

    BTW, if I’m not too indiscreet, @meekanWorld app have been “hard-coded” on some standard dev language or do you used some dialog script language ?

    I’m asking because I feel your Mekaan (as x.ai) are almost complex and a potentially them could benefit od a “script-oriented” approach,
    On the other hand, more simple apps as ecommerce, booking (I call them #transactionalBots) could benefit for a very fast&simple; #UX, maybe “hard-coded” in usual programming languages…

    Glad to know your opinion about it :) 

    Regarding http://twinery.org/, interactive fictions, text adventures/text-based gaming,
    Yes I just discovered great “establihed” languages (but now pheraps a bit forgot) in realm of games; see:
    http://inform7.com/ and http://tads.org/
    I’m not an expert on these, and thenm seems to me excellent but just focused on gaming goals,
    instead, I’m looking for a generale purpose script language “solution” :)

    respect
    giorgio

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  7. My company Pana (https://pana.com) has found success in this space as well. Members love not having to learn a new UI and the convenience of simply sending a text.

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  8. Conversational interfaces know what you are asking and respond. On your smartphone, you may already have the Google app installed, but it’s amazing how you can perform a search and then engage in a conversation. You can ask about the Panthers this Sunday, and then ask “who is the quarterback” and you will hear about Cam Newton. This is amazing because the app understands context. (It’s been doing that for a few years, actually.) And, it’s only going to improve.
    Honestly I am considering it and discussing it with my team in my website design bangkok company. I bet that something interesting will come out soon.
    Thank you for the post

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  9. Given examples are too good which illustrate the challenges of designing a conversational interface. Thanks

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  11. Web design in really a hard area. Nice Article! congrats!

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  12. Great designer as the famour hourse as the Celine handbags

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  14. Sorry, commenting is closed on this article.