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One of the growing trends in UX design is the emergence of conversational UI (there's probably too many articles to provide a comprehensive list here, but please feel free to provide as a comment your favourite), and there is no question about the importance of UX design when it comes to crafting the right experience (not just about the technical implementation details like the AI).

Given that there is so much emphasis on different personality types (e.g. Myers Brigg Test, introvert vs. extrovert, etc.) in general conversation and how we communicate with each other, I am interested to know whether there are research on how to incorporate insights from personality research to chat bot interfaces and conversational UI design in general.

UPDATE: Since this question was last asked, a lot more chat bots have surfaced online. I would be interested in examples of documented chat bot interface designs by the companies included in design systems or style guides.

  • This is very interesting. based on the personality type chat bots behave in could have big affect on the experience of a user, just like how we talk with someone affects how they respond to us. It would be useful to 1st identify the personality of the user during the session before deciding the best personality of the chat bot to use. – Ameen Akbar Aug 15 '16 at 4:45
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    @Michael, interesting topic, but your question seems broad/wordy to me. Could you make your question more clear? – Chic Aug 15 '16 at 15:52
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There are multiple elements that come into play with conversational interfaces that people tend to forget. People often expect the bots to be live chat, and base their experience on that. When they discover it is not they can get frustrated and often demand to speak to a real person (requiring livechat).

The tone of voice also triggers different kinds of questions, from short keywords to long full sentences, which in turn affect recognition rates and thus the quality of the answer the user receives.

  • If the user knows it's a bot they're more likely to resort to short keywords, expecting less from the bot, and more satisfied by the result.

  • If the user thinks it's an intelligent AI or an actual human, they expect far more, and are less satisfied by the (same)result.

A main thing to consider with these bots, in regard to the user experience:

Do you want to make clear it crystal clear that it's a robot, reducing expectations, or do you want to mimic human behavior, which could confuse users into THINKING it's a human, when it's not.

(Source: experience with self-service / chatbot application UX for +-2 years.)

  • Given your experience with self-service / chatbot applications, what are the biggest pitfalls in chatbot design? How to best avoid issues that even the big companies stumbled into? Do people actually design the chatbot in line with the branding guidelines? – Michael Lai Oct 13 '16 at 22:04
  • Corporate Branding often receives priority over actual UX or conversational behavior, which is a shame. Testing reveals the importance of a proper conversational UX though, and makes them understand the value of tone of voice and structured interactions. As is often the case: Start with the User Experience, the goal you wish to achieve, and design the UI based on that, not the other way around. – Tom.K Oct 14 '16 at 12:20
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The personality of a voice or bot interface should be based on brand's persona and its userbase.

Here are some things I have compiled to think about..Some checklist / guidelines for Personas for voice:

The Role
What’s the role of the application to the user? In other words, is it an assistant that the user is familiar with that gives advice on stock options? Or should the persona be more impersonal or neutral – such as a bank clerk?

Company Brand / Image
The persona that you pick for the system or application should be at least compatible with the brand or company’s image.

End User
A good persona should display as familiar to your target users. Therefore we need to consider who will be really using it.

Target Audience:
For a compelling persona, we need to consider demographics, attitudes, lifestyle of the user. A persona that works well in one culture might not work in other.

(Source: I'm a VUI designer/consultant to major brands)

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