Who is a conversation designer?

5 minutes read

Conversation design is becoming more and more influential in the industry of chatbot development and conversational AI. But what makes this field unique is not its novelty and how it is rapidly advancing, but how it is becoming a melting pot for so many other essential professions. Moreover, conversation design relies on a stacked skillset that makes it a very promising field.

Making the transition into conversation design can be a fairly easy one if you are a person with a profession of writing copies. If you are a writer that pays attention to the conversational side of your piece, which means that you make sure that you are well aware of your readers and their needs, then you are on a close track to conversation design.

Conversation design is actually about using the right linguistic elements and the most creative conversational paths to talk to the customer and make his experience a lot better. This requires being well-rounded around areas such as psycholinguistics, behavioral sciences, user experience writing and copywriting as well.

So, a conversation designer wears many hats during this journey of creating the best conversational copy.

First, you have to understand the purpose of UX writing and writing copies for the digital users interfaces because this helps the conversation designer in becoming more aware of the needs of users and more empathetic with their journey towards fulfilling those needs. UX copies aim to guide those users towards making the best out of their visit to the digital interface and this coincides with what chatbots are doing as well, as they try to guide your users through conversation to take the right actions on your platform. So, UX is good for to grow a better sense of directions!

Backgrounds and professional areas such as copywriting, content creation, translation and linguistics also work best in enhancing the conversational designer’s sense of the words he writes. If you happened to work in one of these roles (especially in agencies and translation firms), you will understand how the choice of wordings within the different contexts is crucial because synonyms are everywhere, but it takes a knowledgable judgement to know which one to choose to fit a certain context. It is also important to note that these professions already help with stretching the boundaries of your linguistic knowledge and even enhances the richness of your vocabulary.

Mastering the linguistic side is not quite everything about conversation design, as well-acquaintance with the the behavioral side of the conversations is very important. Turn taking, creating a conversational style and creating personalized communication through conversational AI, certainly requires a little bit of studying here and there especially scholarly papers such as the ones we recommended here.

Besides science and professional skills, there is a set of interpersonal skills a conversation designer must have or at least work on acquiring and growing:

  • Empathy — which means more SHARING!
  • Diligence — following details with great meticulousness and passion
  • Problem solving — which also requires creativity and a decent deal of innovation
  • Storytelling — to be able to create story lines that are well-interwoven and well-connected
  • Finally, Adaptability & Flexibility should be always there to be able to keep up with the changing needs of customers and users!