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Transformation in progress?

Where are the masses of population heading? … I take a 50 minute train ride daily and see hundreds of people from all stripes, nicely dressed up, some standing, some sitting, busily commuting. Most are heads down on smartphones for 95% of their journey. I know, what I just stated is not earth shattering for you. 

But what we're beginning to see is that in the next few years, majority of the workforce would not be very inclined to logging into an application on a personal computer, open up a static dashboard, click through cumbersome pull down menus to get what they’re looking for. The info has to be within a “thumb's reach”. Sign on, swipe, type (or speak), retrieve and be done in seconds.

The world is awash with chatbots. Most new or refreshed websites have some sort of a 1960’s looking picture of a bot icon wanting to grab your attention.

‍1960’s Japanese Robot (Smoking Spaceman)

We are entering a phase in our personal and work lives where frictionless user experience is paramount. It used to be paramount for business to consumer (B2C) companies. Not anymore!

An enterprise / business to business (B2B) organization has to cater to the above phenomenon to stay relevant

All large corporations like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Slack, Facebook and the like offer some sort of a collaboration and messaging platform. Some offer it natively in their application suite and others as a developer tool. Some are purely text driven, some voice only and some of course, offer both. In the transformation journey, the big focus is still on B2C. 

Its easy to say you offer a chatbot, but conversation design is based on deeply understanding human conversation

In the enterprise space, since we are dealing with industry specific terms and office jargon, the more a messaging interface leverages natural human conversation, the less users have to be taught how to use it. It’s a synthesis of several design disciplines, including what the user is trying to achieve, what is the context, what keywords have already been used, leveraging good voice user interface design, keenly fine tuning the visual design and audio outputs. 

Human conversation is inherently multi-modal. Think more concentric circles of subject matter, instead of a structured tree. Conversation is fluid and unstructured and generally not constrained to one topic. When designing your conversational agents, the ability for your agent to jump between contexts of topics without being too fragile with spelling, and handing off to a live person at the right time will determine its effectiveness.

Looks like whoever built the robot back in the sixties may not have realized where this journey will eventually take us. Transformation is on!

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