Conversational components Suggestions

Suggestions

Your persona can provide suggestions to help the user answer a question. Suggestions can also be used as hints to help the user discover new features.

Usage Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Once you’ve decided to offer a suggestion, you have to decide where to put it: the spoken prompts or the chips.

Suggestions in the spoken prompts:

This is appropriate for conversations on smart speakers, on headphones, on smart displays, or in the car. Even though some of these devices have screens, there’s no guarantee the user is looking at it or is close enough to interact with chips, so the suggestions must go in the spoken prompts.

Provide examples of conversational phrases the user could say

Persona: Geek num (fake game) User input: What can you do? Spoken prompt: Here are a few suggestions. You can say something like “tell me about the number 42” or “how many in a googol. Do you want a couple more ideas?”

Do.

Offer a few randomized examples.

Persona: Geek num (fake game) User input: What can you do? Spoken prompt: I can tell you anything you want to know about numbers. To find out more, go to my website at Geek num.fakeurl.com

Don’t.

Don’t assume a screen is required.

Examples are better than instructions

Persona: Miso flowers (fake flower shop) Spoken prompt: When do you want the flowers to be delivered? User input: Uh, after work. Spoken prompt: Sorry. You can say something like “between 2 and 5” or “in the afternoon.” So, when do you want the flowers delivered?

Do.

Offer examples like “between 2 and 5”.

Persona: Miso flowers (fake flower shop) Spoken prompt: When do you want the flowers to be delivered? User input: Uh, after work. Spoken prompt: Sorry. You can choose a time window by telling me the start and end time, or you can say a time of day. So, when do you want the flowers delivered?

Don’t.

Don’t provide instructions like “say a time of day”.

Suggestions in the chips:

This is appropriate for all conversations on devices with screens.

Use chips to suggest answers.

This is most helpful for wide-focus questions, though all questions can benefit from the quick-tap response they enable.

Persona: Ibento (fake ticket-seller) Spoken prompt: Sure. Do you have any preferences around ticket price, seat location, or VIP perks? Display prompt: Do you have any preference around ticket price, seat location, or VIP perks?</p><p>Chips: Picture of 3 visual chips that say “Under $150,” “Balcony,” and “VIP package.”

Do.

Provide popular answers in the chips. If there are multiple categories, try to provide one example of each.

Persona: Ibento (fake ticket-seller) Spoken prompt: Sure. Do you have any preferences around ticket price, seat location, or VIP perks? For example, you might want to ask for tickets under $250, or ones that qualify for VIP privileges. Display prompt: Do you have any preference around ticket price, seat location, or VIP perks?</p><p>Chips: Picture of 3 visual chips that say “Under $150,” “Balcony,” and “VIP package.”

Don’t.

Don’t put suggestions in both the spoken prompt and the chips. It makes the spoken prompt unnecessarily time consuming.

Hints and discoverability Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Hints can be used to help users discover new features.

Consider adding a discoverability hint to the end of a related query. Users should only hear the hint once, so be sure to use a counter.

Persona: Miso flowers (fake flower shop) Spoken prompt: You’re all set. Those roses will be on their way soon. By the way, to get to your order faster nect time, I can sign you up as a Miso flowers member. Want to do that? Display prompt: You’re all set. To get to your order faster next time, do you want to sign up as a Miso flowers member? Visual: Picture of a card confirming the purchase with date, cost, and description of the flowers that were ordered. Chips: Picture of 2 visual chips that read “Yes” and “No.”

Do.

Provide clear motivation for any action you want the user to take. Tell the user why they might want to do something before telling them how to do it.