Conversation design process How do I get started?

How do I get started?

Here’s an overview of the conversation design process.

For clarity, we’ve shown this as a linear process. However, in practice, these are not discrete steps that are fully completed before the next is begun. To borrow software development terms, the conversation design process should be more “agile” and less “waterfall”, with considerable testing and iteration done throughout.

First, determine whether conversation design is the right fit for the Action you want to build.

Next, you’ll focus on your users. Who are they? What are their goals? What’s their context? Considering technical limitations, level of effort, and timeline, what use cases can you support? This is all part of gathering requirements.

At this point, you should consider using a template. Check out the available templates on our developer site to see if we have one that fits your needs.

If you don’t use a template, you’ll then focus on the other half of the conversation. Who’s going to be the voice of your Actions? This is when you get to create a persona that represents your brand and mission.

Now it’s time to start working on high-level designs. If you’re new to conversation design then start by learning about conversation before moving on to writing sample dialogs and diagramming high-level flows. Focus on the spoken conversation first, because if you start designing with a screen in mind, it’s easy to lose the thread of the conversation and end up with a graphical interface that’s not suitable for conversation.

As soon as you have some sample dialogs, start testing and iterating on your designs.

In the last phase of the process, you’ll specify the detailed design. This involves making sure your feature adequately covers the long tail of ways a conversation can deviate from the most common paths. To account for this, you’ll add handling for errors and other unlikely or uncommon scenarios.

Finally, you’ll scale your design to help users wherever they are. Since the Google Assistant helps users across devices (like Google Home, phones, smart displays and more), your Actions should, too. So in this final step, you’ll re-design your spoken conversation as a fully multimodal conversation.

This is a flowchart that shows the conversation design process. First, decide whether conversation design is right for your feature. If it is, then move onto gathering requirements. Start by identifying your users, then your key use cases. Then, create a persona. If you’re familiar with conversation design, you can skip straight to Sample dialogs and high-level flows. If you’re new to conversation design, first read the section called Learn about conversation, then move on to Sample dialogs and high-level flows. After you’ve done your high-level design, you can start on detailed design by performing quick testing and iteration, then designing for the long tail, then scaling your design.

Flowchart of the conversation design process