Conversation design is a relatively new field that’s expanded tremendously in the last couple of years. This guide aims to organize different resources I’ve found helpful in my journey in becoming a skilled conversation designer. It is by no means comprehensive and I will probably add to it in the coming months.
Google’s Conversation Design Resources
My favorite place to start and one I refer back to constantly is Google’s Conversation Design Library. Their articles do a great job teaching how to incorporate well known UX practices into conversation design (see: The Rule of Three).
Going hand in hand with Google’s Conversation Design Library are their docs which is a more actionable guide to best practices in the CxD space. Their docs outline their design process, conversational components and my personal favorite, a comprehensive style guide.
Google’s style guide provides clear examples of how to write for conversational systems with a “Do and “Don’t”.
Their conversational components section addresses how to write commands, errors, apologies and more for conversational systems. My favorite (below and linked here) talks about the 3 types of confirmation and when to use which in your design.
Conversation Design Principles
The principles of conversation design are critical in ensuring your content is natural and human sounding. These were first introduced in Erica Hall’s book Conversational Design (also linked here), but the following are great summaries.
I recommend the following books to get started in the space. In addition the authors are all wonderful thought leaders to follow on LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Medium.
- Designing Voice User Interfaces: Principles of Conversational Experiences
- Conversational Design
- Voice Content and Usability
- Designing Bots: Creating Conversational Experiences
Here are some basic articles I read when I first started in this space. Most include links to additional resources like podcasts and Youtube videos.
- What is Conversation Design and How to Design Your Chatbot
- Behind every great chatbot there’s a great Conversation Designer
- How To Become a Conversation Designer
- How to become a Conversation Designer and make chatbots and voice assistants more helpful, natural and persuasive
Conferences are a great place to meet other people in the space, keep up with emerging trends and learn new skills. Here are some of my favorite conferences in the CxD world.
- Chatbot Conference. This year it’s taking place in the Metaverse on April 12th-14th.
- Voice Summit October 10th-13th in Arlington, VA
- Women in Voice Summit. Running virtually on April 4th-7th
Ready to start designing your first conversation? While Excel and Figma are great they’re not tools built for conversation design. Here are some tools that are:
- Voiceflow can be used to design, prototype and launch voice & chat assistants. They have reusable components, advanced prototyping capabilities and an infinite canvas.
- Botsociety allows you to design for any type of conversational interfaces, on any number of devices.
- Fabble is a voice and conversation design tool that allows you to design and prototype Alexa Skills, Google Actions, chatbots, IVRs and more.