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    Personality is the New UX
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Design

    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—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’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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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.



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