Agony Agent Roundtable #1

Agony Agent Roundtable #1 1920 1080 Rebecca Christie

Rebecca Evanhoe and Wally Brill joined us for the first episode of Agony agent roundtable!

A few months ago we reached out to conversation designers to ask what challenges they struggle with. The idea had come from a conversation with Ilana Meir at Unparsed, who thought an ‘agony aunt’ for Conversation Designers could be useful and fun, just like Dear Abby helps people with personal problems.

Why would we want that? Well, this role isn’t well defined. We have some trailblazers in the industry to inspire us, and we have some great books and courses, but still there’s a lot of questions that a conversation designer might not be able to answer. Someone may be a team of 1 at a large company for example, where they can’t ask a mentor for advice.

So, we’ve got two leading lights of the industry to answer crowdsourced questions from the conversation design community! We have Rebecca Evanhoe, who is an experienced conversation designer and co-author of Conversations With Things (which is hands-down one of the best CxD books), and we have Wally Brill, who has been at the coalface of conversation design at companies like Nuance and Google.

So, consider this to be the mentoring session you always wanted but could never arrange. When else are you going to get advice from Rebecca Evanhoe and Wally Brill, answering the specific questions that many conversation designers are struggling with, right now?

Get yourself a warm beverage and tune in.


In this episode

00:00:00 Introduction
00:02:48 Great conversation design books
00:05:38 How can I get started in conversational AI?
00:10:05 I don’t have enough training data – what should I do ?
00:14:31 Should you have a bot per channel?
00:19:26 Who usually owns responsibility for conversational AI in large organisations?
00:24:40 Have you any strategies for dealing with stakeholders?
00:31:55 How can I make the best use of LLMs without compromising good design practices?
00:39:07 Why we need opt-in because software can feed into conversations!
00:41:43 How can I promote conversation design’s impact when working with LLMs?
00:44:44 Side-chat, on LLMs and data ownership
00:48:32 What are your top tips to optimise a bot?
00:53:46 How can we reduce the escalation rate?
00:57:27 Who’s training on persona design?
01:05:55 How can I get more concrete insights from user research?
01:10:53 Outro

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