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Conversational Design

(A Book Apart #25)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  18 reviews
How do we make digital systems feel less robotic and more real? Whether you work with interface or visual design, front-end technology, or content design, learn why conversation is the best model for creating device-independent, human-centered systems. Research and information design expert Erika Hall explains what makes an interaction truly conversational and how to get m ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by A Book Apart
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4.14  · 
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 ·  135 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first text I've read which lays out a framework (and principles) for thinking about conversational interfaces. Super helpful, and will be pondering the Minimum Meaningful Conversation.
Mike Hales
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short, snappy and packed with great points and take always. Totally worth the $ and time.
Ani King
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a design lay person, I often find much of the discussion and reading to be difficult to enter, but Erika Hall has presented an accessible dialogue-worthy case for examining conversation design as a philosophy, and a practical approach. Beginning with some grounding history around oral and written language, the concepts build on each other through out, and the information is translatable to many mediums, be they interactive interfaces, or even flat paper.

I highly recommend this for anyone who
Julia Kulgavchuk
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
The main idea of this text is that conversation is the original interface, that "Conversation offers a powerful way to take a truly human-centered approach to designing." There's a set of general qualities of a good conversation: right quantity, truthfulness, relevance, brevity, order, unambiguity, politeness. These qualities are then translated into the properties of designed conversational interactions with systems. These interactions should be cooperative, goal-oriented, context-aware, quick ...more
Lucy Chen
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-written and thorough introduction into the basics of conversational design. Erika Hall plainly explains the principles behind the use of language in design and why content is just as important as color, font, or any array of visual features. A must-read for any designer or copywriter today!
Sarah Lashinsky
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Erika Hall is, plain and simple, the 🐐. She makes me laugh while I’m learning, challenges my assumptions about my role as a designer, and reminds me that the things that make a good contributor are really just the things you need to know to be a good human.

Some nuggets I highlighted in my copy:
(which, removed from context are only a fraction as valuable, so please please please pick up a copy of your own)
* “Interactive truth demands a strong correlation between what the user expects and what th
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was not what I expected to be but way better than I imagined. I thought this would be more geared towards bots and other AI. Nope. It's about the language you use across different sites and platforms to interact with users. It's about having a conversation with another human vs your user trying to talk to a computer or robot. It's about being mindful of the words you use to create a better experience for the user and know when to properly use things like humor. It also has some great t ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
If you've got design training, no concepts in here will be new, but its look at UX and trends in web design today will get you thinking.
Claire Hansford
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book addresses every academic and professional thought and feeling I have had for almost 20 years. I want to print out hundreds of copies and role around in it.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Erika Hall offers an accessible introduction to the principles that inform human-to-human interactions and the way these principles can be applied to the most critical moments in which people and technological systems meet. I appreciated her emphasis on the role of content (and strategy) in conveying the humanity behind a product, and the importance of a safe and collaborative workplace in setting a positive tone for the products a team creates.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally, I started reading this book to learn about how to write for digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This book is much more than that. Erika Hall talks about how important conversation is to our interactions regardless of modality. She offers principles of conversational design, practical examples, talks about the importance of selecting and presenting personality, and finally tips on how to implement these tools in organizations.
Micah Grossman
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short and succinct, with clear insights and examples. I'd recommend this widely.
Emily Swelgin
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Helpful perspective on the importance of language in design. Even laughed out loud a time or two.
Aleksey Polukeyev
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed it! The book flows nicely and gets at the heart of what the discipline is about.
Quick read, lots of good takeaways and excellent examples. Want to further explore incorporating the concept of Minimum Meaningful Conversations into my everyday work.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Contains both theory and practical examples, and some helpful-looking forms and examples.
Vuk Trifkovic
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Found it hard to get into - lot of stuff was kind of generic and vague. It comes highly recommended, so it was perhaps just me...
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't actually work in design (I work more on the writing/content side of things), but I found this book useful. It's short and full of great tidbits. It's not like everything she talks about is revolutionary or even unexpected, but she explains things in a way that makes sense.
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Mar 27, 2019
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