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5 Human Things UX Designers Can Learn From Conversational Design

It seems like magic: you talk to the phone, and it talks back. And if you're lucky, it says something useful. You type into the chat box, and if the bot is good, you find out what you need to know. [Cue: shocked-looking stock photo models.] The current marketing term for it is "conversational design", and it's gaining more and more traction beyond big companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon. Conversational design is actually old, in technological terms. IBM did a lot of the groundwork for voice-activated tech as far back as the '60s. One of the first big chatbots, Jabberwacky, was conceived in 1981 and launched in 1997, and later evolved into Cleverbot. Chatbots and their voice-activated cousins were initially little more than proofs of concept. There was even a bot or two where you could talk to "God". Then came Apple, with Siri. Siri was probably the first commercially viable conversational interface. At least, it was the first massively successful UI of its kind. Since then, the

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