In Conversational AI projects there are two important, central design topics to consider
Voice user persona design
Voice user persona design essentially means creating a profile of user target groups to identify their needs and interests for our conversational design.
We take voice user personas as a basis and then define – linguistically – how they speak. These profiles help in conversation design develop reasonable hypotheses, with features and conversational flows that make a good voice user experience.
They also inform VUI’s linguists how to prepare voice recognition with the right NLU training—because ultimately, it’s the users’ natural language that machines need to understand.
Voice user persona design comes from our voice user research, user testing, and rapid voice prototyping.
Assistant persona design
Assistant persona design takes care of the personality and character behind the digital assistant or the conversational interface.
Currently, assistant persona design is still an undervalued and neglected subject in the market. We are often faced with conversational applications that were made without spending enough attention on the design of the assistant persona.
For a sustainable Conversational AI strategy, voice user personas and an assistant persona should be designed for the long-term, whilst keeping in mind that their design can always be adjusted over time.
What’s a good conversational partner
A conversational interface enables the most direct and intuitive way of interacting with your customers. Imagine your assistant persona as being an employee or visionary of your company or organization.
You'd want them to be knowledgeable, empathetic, and polite in any conversation. You would also maybe imagine them showing presence, aware of the context, and knowing when to be silent and listen in any conversational situation.
And finally, you would want them to be perceived as a charismatic conversational partner.
Charisma is subjective and judged from an infinite number of individual human experiences.
Of course, these characteristics are fundamental skills for a human conversational partner – like an employee. However, we need to teach the machine how to be charismatic. This makes it possible to define your assistant persona's characteristics, curves, edges, and language and behavior.
At VUI, clients are always part of our design process for charismatic conversational AI. So why not have a conversation and find out what's an excellent conversational partner to you?
Why design charismatic assistant personas
A charismatic conversational partner is not inherently charismatic. It is the users who perceive the conversational interface as such. If you neglect the assistant persona design, you leave the perception of the assistant’s character to every user in every interaction. Would you want to risk that it is individual users who determine your conversational branding? This can ultimately lead to a muddled perception of your brand and company values, or worst of all, misrepresentation of your company.
How does your conversational partner evaluate the conversational context, help users across different channels, and what about the level of politeness and proactivity in conversations?
In our experience, assistant persona design is a must. We dedicate the same attention to charismatic assistant persona design, whether we’re building new Skills for Alexa, Actions for Google Assistant, or entire custom-built systems (including chat IVR and voice). Part of our vision is that charismatic AI can honor a responsibility to create Conversational AI that is both human-centered and useful.
But we’re curious: what is charismatic AI to you?
Conversational AI has changed attitudes and perspectives to branding
While there are many branding specialties, Conversational AI has brought a significant paradigm shift: the need to transform branding from a monologue to a dialogue.
Conversational interfaces enable your customers (or users) to have direct interaction with your brand – you're no longer just talking to your customers. You're in a conversation with them.
That's why a good Conversational AI strategy equals strong conversational branding. At VUI.agency, our design approach follows the idea that a charismatic conversational partner should be what users experience, not the technology.
Successful Conversational branding
Conversational branding is successful when the assistant persona is the most critical and direct representative of a brand and the services and values it stands for.
Whenever users interact with a conversational interface, they should experience a charismatic conversational partner – they will talk to it again. Keeping a consistent assistant charisma across all channels, devices, and languages is the best user experience – the same way a human conversational partner would never lose their personality when switching the conversation context.
The established, well-known conversational AIs have paved the way for assistant personas who are brand representatives and help articulate a vision behind any voice application.
At VUI.agency, we designed our own internal 'VUI persona' to align our vision and keep true to our values. We believe UX design and linguistics are vital disciplines in shaping charismatic AI: persona design and assistant persona design are highly strategic tasks and need an interdisciplinary approach. Conversational AI and human-machine interaction are abstract topics.
How does your brand speak and behave?
How we design charismatic assistant personas
Assistant persona design needs collaboration between interdisciplinary teams.
No designer can design a charismatic assistant persona without the contribution of some core stakeholders: users who judge the degree of charisma and branding experts who deliver the brand values that become the assistant’s spoken and behavioral characteristics.
It’s linguists who translate the assistant persona character into written and spoken language and define charismatic verbal interaction. VUI designers assess the use case and provide the flows to keep the conversation alive, handling potential issues in human-machine interaction along the way.
Sound UX experts form the non-verbal communication of the system. And interaction designers contribute to a holistic, charismatic experience for all senses.
Multimodality (combining different modes of input and output in conversational interaction) tries to mimic gestures and the physical context of human conversations. A charismatic conversational partner covers other communication methods and understands different conversation channels.
Good assistant persona design relies on a decision process that is a team process. And we’re happy to join you any time.