How to improve your mobile app with conversational UI
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Conversational UI is one of the hottest technology trends today. That might sound unfamiliar, but if you’ve ever conversed with a chatbot or used a virtual assistant, you were actually on the receiving end of conversational UI. Conversational UI is nothing new, but thanks to advanced technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP), we’re now at the point where they spread and become ubiquitous.
When built with proper care and expertise, chatbots and virtual assistants can offer real business value. That’s why they’re one of the critical technologies of the future.
Read this article to find out what a conversational UI is, how it works, and when to use it for driving maximum ROI.
What is a conversational UI?
In the past, users were used to switching to inhuman terms like commands to communicate with computers. Today, technology leaders are doing everything they can to develop more humanized interfaces where users can enter syntax-specific commands and use the natural language. This new requirement gave rise to chatbots and virtual assistants designed to mimic conversations with a real human to help consumers achieve specific goals.
The most widespread type of conversational UI is a chatbot. It’s basically a program that uses conversational UI as its way of connecting users to the service. The most common types of chatbots are messenger bots, web chatbots, and virtual assistants which are implemented for customer support, but also other areas in sales and marketing. Brands are creating conversational websites that interact with customers similar to how friendly sales assistants interact with customers at physical stores.
Key benefits of a conversational UI
Businesses are using conversational UI implementations because they offer a host of advantages:
- Conversational UI is natural and efficient – communicating with the help of the human language is the most efficient way of getting things done with technology. This is the primary advantage of conversational UI that attracts so many companies to this technology – it provides a smooth, personalized, and targeted customer experience.
- Intuitiveness – this is one of these technologies than seamlessly blend into our everyday lives. Since people are used to communicating through language, conversational UI is intuitive and doesn’t require any effort from users.
- Accessibility – by equipping an application or website with a conversational UI, businesses can improve the accessibility of their products to people with disabilities. For example, users who are visually impaired can easily use virtual assistants to complete tasks like ordering a taxi using the voice interface.
- Contextualization – when humans communicate using natural language, they get to infer a lot of information from the context of the conversation. Such contextual clues help us identify the meaning of phrases which are vague or can have multiple meanings. Conversational UI-based devices can understand that context. For example, a user might say ‘Turn the TV on’ and then immediately follow it with ‘Turn it off.’ That phrase could refer to any device in the house, but a well-designed virtual assistant will know that the user means ‘Turn the TV off.’ Conversational UIs are designed in a way that frees users from stating every detail explicitly.
- Personalization – a conversation with a bot can take many different directions depending on the user’s preferences and input. Usually, conversations start with general questions or statements, but as they progress, they become unique experiences. Also, conversational UIs can present information in entirely different ways depending on the user and context. Companies can take advantage of user responses, preferences, and CRM data to deliver a more segmented and fully personalized experience.
Here’s how companies are using Actions on Google
Actions on Google allows extending the functionality of the Google Assistant with Actions. Actions help users complete different tasks through a conversational interface that ranges from a quick command like ‘Turn on the kitchen light’ to a longer conversation – for example, playing a trivia game.
Companies use conversation UI design to create new Actions for the Google Assistant. That usually requires design expertise in areas such as voice user interface design, interaction design, motion design, and UX. Google defined a discipline that combines all of that: conversation design.
Businesses can use Actions on Google to build conversations that feel natural and intuitive, and scale them across different devices to help users benefit from the access wherever they are.
Examples of apps with a conversational UI
This handy app helps users learn a new language. With over 200 million users worldwide, it’s one of the most popular apps in this field. Duolingo offers small lessons that become harder as learners advance. Apart from the multiple choice test, the app also includes a section where users can practice having a real conversation with bots. By chatting with these bots, learners get exposed to how the language works in a real conversation since the Duolingo bots react differently to hundreds of possible answers.
The Starbucks iPhone app allows users to do many things: find stores, send gifts, earn rewards, and place an order by interacting with a bot. The virtual assistant’s name is “My Starbucks barista.” The bot takes orders but also answers questions about menu items and prices. Once an order is placed, the bot confirms the pick-up location and payment method before sending the order to the designated store. This smart bot implementation helps Starbucks to streamline the ordering and customer service process.
Uber in Facebook Messenger
Uber revolutionized the transportation sector and recently made it even easier for people to request rides. Customers can now do that directly inside Facebook Messenger. They no longer need to download the Uber app or leave their conversation on the messenger app. Once the user orders a ride, the Uber bot sends you messages that confirm the request and informs about the ride’s status.
Transform your business with conversational UI
Conversational assistants and bots are on the rise. That type of UI is projected as the future technology for optimizing customer service, but also emerging IoT and smart home devices.
Read more: IoT Design: These are the principles you have to remember
The future looks bright for intuitive conversational platforms that understand the context of the conversation and are able to deliver much more value to the end users. Companies are already leveraging this trend by placing bots inside messaging services to provide their customers with services and information within one interface.
Are you looking for a team of experts to build a conversational UI for your company? Reach out to our consultants; we help businesses harness the power of innovative technologies like chatbots and virtual assistants.
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