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Personality is the New UX

Personality is the New UX

Have you heard of “conversationalist interfaces” yet? They are interfaces that use a text message like window so users can actually ask for what they want.  Think Siri.  When your interface is actually connecting with users, you want to provide a user experience to accompany that.  Users aren’t looking to talk to a robot.  When you’re showing a very few short lines of text at a time, you have to find a way to incorporate a positive user experience for the user.

The solution? Using personality as a great user experience. You need to rethink the notion of the designer.

From FastCodeDesign:

When pushing pixels no longer matters, the basic skill requirements for designing a bot become radically different. It’s no coincidence that both Howdy and X.ai—a startup whose bot intelligently schedules meetings via email—each hired writers with performing-arts backgrounds to help define the UX of their products. Howdy, whose bot affects a casual and lightly irreverent tone (much like that of Slack itself), has novelist/satirist/former-improv-comedian Neal Pollack on the product-design payroll. Anna Kelsey, who was hired right out of Harvard as X.ai’s first "AI interaction designer," studied folklore mythology and directed theater. "The whole idea of creating a character, and thinking very technically about the way specific words or groupings of words can make people react and respond, is something I thought about all the time in college," Kelsey says.

These new conversationalist interfaces open a whole new door for designers.  The interaction with a user is completely different.  Consider this –is your experience texting a friend for an answer to a question different than navigating the web on your own to look for that same answer? These situations are apples and oranges.  Adding personality in as the new UX adds a whole new dimension to design.

People are developing appreciations for the personalities behind the interfaces.  Think of how many times you’ve felt the need to thank Siri.  In our heads we know that it is a robot, but during that interaction we’ve established a relationship with the interface.  That is positive user experience.

There are extra complications that come into play with this new type of interface.  Sometimes personalities clash.  It’s important that, no matter what personality your software has, it’s one that can interact with users.  People like to mess around with the bots, but at the end of the day they have to be able to do the job without confusing users, leaving them feeling misunderstood, or offended.  It’s a different host of considerations than you might normally encounter.

So, what do you think? Is personality the new UX? Should designers be working with characters to develop personalities?  Or do you think we should just make the apps better so the need for “conversationalist interfaces” will be obsolete?  Comment below!

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  • 14 January 2016
  • Author: James Nagy
  • Number of views: 1567
James Nagy

James NagyJames Nagy

Need a consultant today? How can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs I have nearly three decades of experience and expertise to share with you to help your business, product, or idea thrive. If you like this article, please sign up in the “stay informed” section!

Other posts by James Nagy

Full biography

Full biography

James Nagy is managing partner and co-founder of J&S Tech Designs - a business consulting organization that specializes in providing software and website design, development, and management expertise to organizations. He is also Managing Director and one of four co-founders of Sprocket Websites, Inc. and Chief Executive Office and one of four co-founding members of Clinical Collaboration Software, LLC.

James has over twenty-five years of experience in the information technology field, spending twenty years in software development, sixteen years in executive management and the last six years as a serial entrepreneur launching and running several successful technology organizations.

Throughout his career he has led companies, divisions, departments and teams to successful outcomes. He has executed process reengineering within organizations that were struggling to produce. He has provided strategic vision and organization planning in situations that needed direction. He has built complex systems in several unique marketplaces that required thorough knowledge and expertise to be successful. It is his passion for excellence and desire for success that has enabled him to meet the challenges presented and continue to exceed expectations.

James’ passion for delivering innovative solutions and creative strategies enabled him to develop strong business foundations for long-term success. He is an active member of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the North of the River Chamber of Commerce and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce where he served on several teams, advisory committees, and legislative groups. He is a founding member of the Chicago Area DotNetNuke Users Group that has held several large, successful Website design and development events. James has donated time, money and expertise to many volunteer, fundraising and charitable organizations like KidsMatter of Naperville, The Naperville Film Festival, Summer Place Theatre, TEDxNaperville, Neuqua Valley High School Senior Spectacular and many others.

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