This book adapts formal knowledge from the field of Conversation Analysis (CA)
to the design of natural language interfaces. It outlines the Natural Conversation
Framework (NCF), developed at IBM Research, a systematic framework for designing
interfaces that work like natural conversation. The NCF consists of four main
components: 1) an interaction model of “expandable sequences,” 2) a corresponding
content format, 3) a pattern language with 100 generic UX patterns and 4) a
navigation method of six basic user actions. The authors introduce UX designers to
a new way of thinking about user experience design in the context of conversational
interfaces, including a new vocabulary, new principles and new interaction patterns.
User experience designers and graduate students in the HCI field as well as
developers and conversation analysis students should find this book of interest.
With recent advances in natural language understanding techniques and far-field
microphone arrays, natural language interfaces, such as voice assistants and
chatbots, are emerging as a popular new way to interact with computers. Today’s
platforms provide sophisticated tools for analyzing
language and retrieving knowledge, but they
fail to provide adequate support for modeling
interaction. The user experience (UX) designer or
software developer must figure out how a human
conversation is organized, usually relying on
commonsense rather than on formal knowledge.
Fortunately, practitioners can rely on conversation