Building conversation design teams within an organization
The Future is Spoken presents Obaid Ahmed as this week's guest. Obaid is founder and CEO of Botmock, the leading chatbot design collaboration platform. Before Botmock, Obaid co-founded a design consultancy firm OAK where he led the technology and design teams to deliver over 400 projects. Today, Obaid focuses on building on the success of Botmock to make it a real driver in building the next generation of conversational apps.
Starting with their own experiences, they discuss how the startups can have their Voice User Interface (VUI) team and share some powerful tips for aspiring Conversational Designers.
Tune in now!
[00:16] What is Botmock?
● Obaid is a software developer by training and had spent some time working at Blackberry and IBM. And then he ran a consulting agency where they built all sorts of software for mobile and web for many different companies.
● Botmock is a design and prototyping tool. Essentially, they enable teams who build conversational experiences to go from an idea from planning to developer handover. Understand what experience will be made, how the experience will unfold eventually, and test it before going into the development phase.
● Obaid unfolds whether Botmock is designers centric tool or a developer-centric tool?
[05:31] Conversation designing is a team sport.
● Obaid explains how startups(Conversation Design company) should go about building a conversation design team?
● He elaborates on the importance of research. Many teams that they work within enterprise settings do have particular people who are doing training data research.
● He also explains how they identify different utterances. The best thing is to look at what the user's already saying in terms of data sets.
● Successful bots can bring the users slowly into their world and teach them how to interact further.
[14:36] What about the startups?
● Obaid speaks about how the startups can have their voice automation despite the lack of data.
● He recommends creating some prototypes. Don't worry about the depth of those prototypes, but make some samples. Come up with some use cases that you think are your customers are looking to tackle.
● He also sheds light on the need to build early and then test as soon as possible, and explains how they can have an in-depth analysis?
[26:15] Tackling the problems
● Obaid touches on how the conversation designer goes to the data to synthesize it?
● One of the critical things that are different and hard to build from a design perspective, especially Conversational design is usually in production after they roll chatbot out. So there's very little in-depth analysis they can do at a design level.
● What kind of skill sets should the writer have?
[31:56] The importance of Linguistics and Psychologists in Conversational designing
● Obaid elaborates that Language plays a significant role in making something easy. He also explains how they are very crucial to have in Conversational designing, especially the linguistics.
● Emoji in voice conversations? (Text + Pitch = Satisfied Conversation)
[37:46] It's all about Text to Speech tuning!
● Obaid speaks that they are working on some of the advance sorts of customization features as well. But it depends on the engine to engine, and there's a lot of variations on it, and soon they would probably be able to give more control to designers.
● He also touches on what' Engine to Engine' actually mean?
[40:07] Who is responsible for tuning the prompts?
● Obaid also explains if the designers and writers should know about the technology to drive successful communications and collaboration.
[43:49] Must Listen
● Obaid's piece of advice for aspiring Conversational Designers or startups.
● He finds Twitter as the best way to learn new things about Conversational designing as a lot of information is shared there.
Learn more about Obaid at
● Botmock Website
● Check out the books by Cathy Pearl.
● Designing Voice User Interfaces by Cathy Pearl
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Follow Shyamala Prayaga at @sprayaga