Any interface that behaves like a conversation is in the domain of the CUI. CUI is not new, its first example dates back to 1963 with a software called ELIZA. But now with increasing popularity of virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri or chatbot services of instant messaging applications; CUI is more important than it has ever been.
Since every human already knows how to converse with one another, its learning curve is minimal. You get higher engagement and more focus than GUI. And since it has so many users already, you have a broad audience.
How to Design a Flow?
- Start with a wellcome — Since the whole idea of a CUI is to act more like humans do, you need a greeting. You can start with letting users know they are talking with a bot, and not a human.
- Guide the conversation — Understanding everything a user says is not possible, so rather than having the user ask anything, guide the conversation with possible questions and/or options.
- Use a natural language — Even though the user knows they are talking with a bot, it is best to mimic the human elements in sentences.
- Avoid unnecessary steps — Instead of awaiting confirmation for every input, you can design your flows around it. For example when you ask a user their name instead of saying “Your name is Eliz, is this correct?” for confirmation, you can say “Your name is Eliz, you can change your name anytime by saying ‘my name is not correct’.” instead.
- Design the conversation beforehand — Via the role-playing by playing the bot and the user, you can come up with different flows. After these sessions, creating the dialog flow with flow charts will provide a map for development.