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Conversation Design
Ido Green
Developer Advocate
@greenido +greenido
GUI :: VUI
What’s the
difference?
Top 3 Design Tips
Create a persona.1
Persona is
conveyed
through:
● Tone
● Word and phrase choices
● Functional design
● Style
● Technique
● Voice
And based on...
Think outside the box.
Literally.
2
Confidential and proprietary
code code code code code
code code code code
code code “ dialog string” code
code code code
c...
Confidential and proprietary
code code code code code
code code code code
code code “ dialog string” code
code code code
c...
Confidential and proprietary
DIALOG + STRUCTURE
In conversations, there
are no “errors”.
3
real life
user
conditions {
“I don’t understand you”
When a so-called “error” occurs in a
conversation, it should be treated simply as
a new turn in the dialog, only with diff...
Users have intent
Sample dialogs
What to include:
1. Canonical “Happy path”
2. First time experience
3. Tapered experience (Return user)
4. ...
Sample dialogs
What to include:
1. Canonical “Happy path”
2. First time experience
3. Tapered experience (Return user)
4. ...
Give users credit
They know how to talk
Avoid force feeding commands.
(such as “to reply to a message,
say ‘reply’” or “to...
Confidential + Proprietary
● Error “events” ≠ users misbehaving
● Different types of error events deserve different strate...
Use the context
Environmental
Where is the user?
What are they doing?
What type of device
are they using?
Situational
What...
Example strategies to have ready
Rapid reprompt ● “What was that?”
● “Say that again?”
Reframe the
question
● “What time i...
A VUI is inextricably linked with time
● When a user is navigating a GUI they can
skip ahead visually to the part they are...
1. Avoid written language and use spoken one
2. Kick off the conversation: introduce your own brand,
provide a list of hig...
4. Guide user through the conversation
a. if you expect users to ask make sure to ask a clear
question.
b. Don’t leave mic...
1. Avoid data points unrelated to user query.
2. Follow natural turn taking in the conversation
a. If you ask a question l...
Recovering conversation
Step 1 Error cannot be eliminated
Step 2 Use broader explanation when re-prompting
Step 3 Don’t bl...
Resources
Actions: developers.google.com/actions/design
Post: how-to-improve-your-conversation-design
Videos: bit.ly/aog-t...
Google Confidential and Proprietary
Generate TTS
Using Terminal
curl
"http://www.google.com/speech-api/v1
/synthesize?lang...
VUI Design
VUI Design
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VUI Design

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We are all experts at human-to-human conversation. But conversing only seems easy because it’s familiar, you’ve been doing it since you were born.

The key to building a good voice interface is to not fall into the trap of simply converting a GUI into a VUI.

In these slides we will cover the best practices to design our Action on Google (and any other Voice UI).

Published in: Internet
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VUI Design

  1. 1. Conversation Design Ido Green Developer Advocate @greenido +greenido
  2. 2. GUI :: VUI What’s the difference?
  3. 3. Top 3 Design Tips
  4. 4. Create a persona.1
  5. 5. Persona is conveyed through: ● Tone ● Word and phrase choices ● Functional design ● Style ● Technique ● Voice And based on: ● Your user population ● Their needs ● The imagery & qualities associated with your brand
  6. 6. Think outside the box. Literally. 2
  7. 7. Confidential and proprietary code code code code code code code code code code code “ dialog string” code code code code code code code code code code “dialog string” code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code “dialog string” code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code STRUCTURE + CODE
  8. 8. Confidential and proprietary code code code code code code code code code code code “ dialog string” code code code code code code code code code code “dialog string” code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code “dialog string” code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code code STRUCTURE + CODE
  9. 9. Confidential and proprietary DIALOG + STRUCTURE
  10. 10. In conversations, there are no “errors”. 3
  11. 11. real life user conditions {
  12. 12. “I don’t understand you”
  13. 13. When a so-called “error” occurs in a conversation, it should be treated simply as a new turn in the dialog, only with different conditions.
  14. 14. Users have intent
  15. 15. Sample dialogs What to include: 1. Canonical “Happy path” 2. First time experience 3. Tapered experience (Return user) 4. Repair Journey 5: Conversation repair for timeouts USER Ok Google, let me talk to Number Genie. GOOGLE ASSISTANT Sure, Here's Number Genie. NUMBER GENIE Welcome to Number Genie! I'm thinking of a number from 0 to 100. What's your first guess? USER (says nothing) NUMBER GENIE I didn't hear a number. USER (silent or muffled) NUMBER GENIE If you're still there, what's your guess? USER (silent) NUMBER GENIE We can stop here. Let's play again soon.
  16. 16. Sample dialogs What to include: 1. Canonical “Happy path” 2. First time experience 3. Tapered experience (Return user) 4. Repair Journey 7: Quit game. User gives up and ends the game USER Hey Google, let me talk to Number Genie. GOOGLE ASSISTANT Sure, Here's Number Genie. NUMBER GENIE Welcome to Number Genie! I'm thinking of a number from 0 to 100. What's your first guess? USER 21 NUMBER GENIE It’s higher than 21. What’s your next guess? USER I give up. [LOGIC: catch ending intent] NUMBER GENIE Sure, I’ll tell you the number anyway. It was 90.
  17. 17. Give users credit They know how to talk Avoid force feeding commands. (such as “to reply to a message, say ‘reply’” or “to hear that again, say ‘repeat’”.) People hardly ever say nonsense. They just weren’t parsed correctly. There was a misalignment in meaning. They know what they want There’s no such thing as a query with no intent. The user wanted to do something, even if they didn’t say so. They want to help Don’t create dead ends when something doesn’t work. If you ask for them to say something again, they will, but rarely exactly the same way. Honor that they’re invested in outcome of a repair attempt.
  18. 18. Confidential + Proprietary ● Error “events” ≠ users misbehaving ● Different types of error events deserve different strategies ● Users are cooperative; they initiate repair on their own ● Users have intent, whether spoken aloud or not ● It’s our job to figure out their intent, not just point out something went wrong Things to remember
  19. 19. Use the context Environmental Where is the user? What are they doing? What type of device are they using? Situational What’s their intent? Where is the user’s frame of mind? Temporal What happened right before? What’s happening next? How is the experience influenced over time? Behavioral What do users know going in? What data can you use to enrich the experience predictively or to cut out unnecessary steps?
  20. 20. Example strategies to have ready Rapid reprompt ● “What was that?” ● “Say that again?” Reframe the question ● “What time is this for?” → “Sorry, what time?” ● “For when?” → “What time would you like to book this for?” Ask another way ● “If it helps, we can do this one piece a time.” Be ready for questions about the question ● “I have your name and email from your account, so now all I need is your phone number.” ● “You can give me the day, the time, or both.” Be proactive ● “I could put you down for 6 for now, does that work?” ● “Do you want to finish this later?”
  21. 21. A VUI is inextricably linked with time ● When a user is navigating a GUI they can skip ahead visually to the part they are interested in, or dismiss as they go. ● With a VUI, the user can feel like a “prisoner” of the VUI design. They must listen with (or without) patience to each word before they can hear the one that follows it.
  22. 22. 1. Avoid written language and use spoken one 2. Kick off the conversation: introduce your own brand, provide a list of high level actions available by Action. 3. Kick off the conversation: if given the context - example: Talk to <agent_name> about <subject_one> avoid menu listening. VUI best practises Source: www.google.com
  23. 23. 4. Guide user through the conversation a. if you expect users to ask make sure to ask a clear question. b. Don’t leave mic open without a prompt 5. Keep our TTS short and clear a. Analyse if your TTS can be split up in a logical way. b. Ask first before giving long TTS descriptions VUI best practises Source: www.google.com
  24. 24. 1. Avoid data points unrelated to user query. 2. Follow natural turn taking in the conversation a. If you ask a question leave the space for the user to answer it. b. Avoid asking a question with a follow up sentence like: “Would you like to hear that again? You can say ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘repeat’. 3. Use conversational makers Adding the “glue” to the conversation and making it more engaging, examples: a. Timelines - “first”, “halfway there”, “finally” b. Acknowledgements - “thanks”, “got it”, “alright”, “sorry, about that” c. Positive feedback - “good job”, “nice to hear that” VUI best practises Source: www.google.com
  25. 25. Recovering conversation Step 1 Error cannot be eliminated Step 2 Use broader explanation when re-prompting Step 3 Don’t blame the user Step 4 Don’t repeat prompts in error cases
  26. 26. Resources Actions: developers.google.com/actions/design Post: how-to-improve-your-conversation-design Videos: bit.ly/aog-tips Developer community: g.co/actionsdev Tools: developers.google.com/actions/tools/ +GreenIdo @GreenIdo
  27. 27. Google Confidential and Proprietary Generate TTS Using Terminal curl "http://www.google.com/speech-api/v1 /synthesize?lang=en-us&text=actions+ on+google+rock" -o aog-rock-hack.mp3

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