One of the biggest buzzwords in web design at the moment is ‘conversational UX’. It refers to an experience in which interaction is automated based on prior behavior.
Contrary to the implication of the title, a conversational UX doesn’t require a literal conversation, the term simply refers to the back and forth interactions that help both parties understand one another.
Most of these experiences are based around small snippets of micro-copy. With a conversational UX, you won’t need to navigate, or even understand a hamburger menu, because there won’t actually be one – the page or app will adapt to your query.
If operating systems follow suit, you may not even need to download an app in the future, as your OS will determine which apps and services you should be using, based on your prior usage.
In theory, this approach is more responsive than any existing app or web page could ever be.
The UX is capable of interacting with countless users, doesn’t require onboarding and most importantly, won’t suffer from hefty drop-off rates.
But if there’s one flaw with a conversational UX, it’s trust, or rather a lack of.
The ultimate goal of almost every design is to connect on an emotional level with the user. One of the key reasons the term ‘UX’ has surpassed ‘UI’ is that the former implies empathy, whereas the latter implies utility.
We might be willing to let a conversational UX influence our decisions, but would we give it free rein?
We’re talking about this now, because the bots that power the new approach are reaching the point of viability.
The time is ripe for conversational UX because we can still identify it for what it is; we don’t feel deceived.
The key to success may well be a transparent personality. Ironically, the most successful conversational UX may be the one that learns to act dumb.