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Conversational UX Design: Types and Examples For Designers

Conversational UX design is a great way to improve the overall user experience. Learn about the concept, its significance, and examples from the real world.

8 min read

The technological world is advancing at a rapid pace. When it comes to the digital environment, there are a number of new solutions being introduced to improve user experience and to reduce the time and resources spent on a task. With interactive websites, mobile applications, and voice assistants, the opportunities are endless. UI/UX designers are creating wonders with this technological revolution.

It is not uncommon for a user to use the live chat feature on a website or talk to a chatbot to accomplish a task. This practice not only helps in finding quick solutions but also improves the accuracy of information. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing are improving the quality of these solutions. In the field of design, these practices are referred to as conversational UX. For leading organizations with thousands of customers, it is important to have a conversational platform using which the audience can seek help in a hassle-free manner. This is one area to which UX design consulting firm is paying great attention.

Conversational UX by UX Collective

In this article, you’ll learn about the concept of conversational UX design. The article also talks about the significance and best practices of conversational UI/UX, along with examples from the real world.

Read along to find more about this highly effective solution in the design.

Conversational UX definition

So, what is conversational UX? As the name indicates, this practice deals with initiating or maintaining a conversation making sure that the users get a quality experience. This conversation, however, is held with the help of technology instead of human interaction. In other words, conversational UX involves direct communication between the user and technological solutions. This can be in the form of chatbots, voice assistants, or any other method where the users can accomplish their tasks based on the conversational nature of the AI.

Although conversational UI design appears to be a specialized technique, it is essential for aspiring designers to understand the meaning, principles, and significance of this technique. With AI becoming a part of every digital solution, UI/UX professionals must utilize this tool in the best possible ways.

Principles of conversational UX

The basic principles of familiarity and ease of use hold true for conversational UX design. However, the particular nature of this type of design requires that special attention be paid to some other factors. These principles, or conversational UX best practices, can add great value to the design of a digital service. Some of the most important ones are as follows.

Responsiveness

One of the most significant features of conversational UX design is its responsiveness. When you reach out to customer support, whether you’re interacting with a human or a bot, you expect a response in little time. If a chatbot takes forever to respond, it is going to frustrate the users, leaving a bad impact on their experience.

Availability

To make UX design conversational, it must be available at all times and should be accessible with ease. The availability of a design means that there are no technical issues and that the service is available at all times. It also means that the design can be interacted with using different devices and platforms without any trouble.

A Chatbot at Work (Phani Marupaka on Medium)
Simplicity

The simplicity of a design is extremely important for conversational UX. If, for example, the users find it hard to interact with a chatbot or they’re unable to accomplish their tasks with simple voice commands when interacting with a digital voice assistant, they’re not going to have a good experience.

A way out

AI has its limitations. A chatbot, when assisting a customer, can only do so much. It is important to hand the control over to the users by giving them a way out. If the conversational UX is not solving their problems, they should have the option to talk to a human, end the conversation, or go back and restart by taking a different route.

Significance of conversational UX

In the modern age of the internet and AI, conversational UX design is getting more and more popular. This tool does not only help in improving the overall user experience but also helps organizations by reducing the burden on their resources. Some of the benefits of conversational UX for online platforms are as follows.

  • With conversational UX services like chatbots, the users can get issues resolved at any time of the day.
  • Conversational UX can help multiple individuals at a given time, thus saving time and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Organizations can save the money they spend on the support staff by using chatbots and voice assistants.
  • With the advent of conversational UX, humans can be saved from mundane tasks, and their skills can be used in a more productive way.

Major types of conversational UX

There is no clear distinction between different types of conversational UX. One of the reasons for this lack of clarity is that the concept is still fairly new. However, the pace at which conversational UX is advancing and the room it has for innovation will soon require some sort of classification.

If we look at the solutions being implemented today, we can say that conversational UX can be broadly divided into three types.

Major Types of Conversational UX

Chatbots

A number of websites, delivery services, and financial systems use chatbots to assist their customers. It is not unusual to interact with a customer service representative before describing your problem to a chatbot first. Chatbots are an excellent way to direct the users to specific departments and also to resolve their problems in most cases. A chatbot has the capability to provide accurate answers to multiple users at a given time. With the response time being extremely low, the customers don’t have to wait, and this leaves a good impact on their experience.

Interactive applications

Interactive applications, particularly for mobile devices, are also becoming very popular. Learning platforms such as Duolingo and healthcare apps fall into this category. The use of interactive applications, such as ZOE, also increased during the pandemic, where people used interactive apps to check for symptoms and hotspots of COVID.

Digital voice assistants

Digital voice assistants or AI assistants are extremely popular these days. Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant keep us company almost all the time. These technologies present the most advanced implementation of conversational UX. The applications of these assistants know no bounds. Virtual assistants are also capable of holding natural conversations with humans, such as telling jokes and stories, informing about the weather, and a lot more.

Сonversational UX design examples

In the online world, you’ll find various conversational UX examples. From ecommerce platforms to news websites, modern technological solutions are being adopted by all leading organizations, particularly when it comes to customer service and improving the user experience.

Here are some of the best conversational design examples, following the principles of UI/UX design and adding value to the overall experience.

Bank of America’s Erica

Erica is one of the most remarkable solutions in the banking industry. Bank of America launched this chatbot cum virtual assistant to help its customers with their basic banking needs. The total number of people interacting with Erica has now surpassed 19.5 million. This shows that the users are finding it easy to interact with Erica and are also getting help with their tasks.

Bank of America’s Erica (Miranda Mo on Medium)

The adoption of Erica has also helped Bank of America in improving its customer service. The customers can now check their account balance, send money to others, and get useful information about their accounts in no time.

Duolingo

Duolingo is an excellent language learning platform. The users can simply download the app and start learning a language of their choice in a highly interactive way. Duolingo helps users learn a language with small conversational exercises. The users can practice their learning by recording their sound, listening to pre-recorded conversations, and inputting text to assess their knowledge.

Learning Languages with Duolingo (Duolingo)

The number of downloads for Duolingo has surpassed 500 million, which speaks for its good conversational UX and ease of use. This is an excellent example of conversational UX design being used for educational purposes.

Domino’s

Domino’s uses Facebook Messenger for its conversational UX platform. There’s a rising trend of using Messenger’s chatbot to provide customer support. Wells Fargo is another big organization using this resource.

Domino’s Facebook Chatbot (Facebook Messenger)

With Domino’s conversational UI design, you can place an order in simple steps, customize it as you please, and track it with ease. This not only reduces the time to place an order but also makes the process smooth and hassle-free.

Conclusion

Conversational UX design has immense potential. This technological solution can not only make it easier for customers to accomplish their tasks using websites and mobile applications but can also enable organizations to improve the quality of their service. Customer support, marketing, and online information design can all be made more valuable with the implementation of conversational UI/UX design.

It is, however, important to make sure that the basic principles of design are not violated. Whether the users are interacting with a webpage or a mobile application, they want things to be simple and easy to use. This is where the secret to the success of conversational UX lies.