How to make your brand talk

Conversational UI

How to make your brand talk

October 22, 2020

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In a personalised society the world wide web can be well wide of the mark when it comes to one-way customer user interfaces. And when a brand is looking to strengthen its identity, it should be defining its personality. This is something that can be done, in part, through visual design but a solely aesthetic online solution won’t be enough for a brand to truly stand out from the crowd. This is why developing new ways for people to engage with their screens is essential and ENNO believes that adopting Conversational User Interfaces is one of the ways to do it.

CUIs are really smart – so smart they have subtle, nuanced levels of interpretation that allow it to make proactive recommendations and accurate assumptions. By using a more intuitive ‘Conversational’ UI, brands encourage more positive interactions based around real dialogue to provide customised brand experiences, genuine engagement which all help boost customer loyalty. CUIs are still in their infancy but have huge potential and they are just waiting to be unleashed.

To improve the design and functionality of language assistants we need to look at the challenges and barriers they sometimes create. Listening and learning is the only way to create first-class user experience. From our previous analysis we defined the following four problem areas:

1. Trustworthiness

To stay trusted in the digital age, brands have to be proactive when it comes to data security. A so-called “Lack of Trust” often occurs when voice assistants are handling users’ personal data and customers are asked to perform a leap of faith when they use voice assistants. It’s down to brands to ensure that all data is secure and that users feel it’s secure; backed up by simple, clear communication to let users know they’re in safe hands. However, there have been far too many negative examples of data leaks in the past, even with well-known voice assistants such as Alexa and Co.

And even if security is tight and the communication is clear, distrust can still arise when language assistants execute speech recognition commands poorly. Which leads us to problem no.2:

2. Functionality

As a CUI designer, it is essential to explore the possibilities and limitations of the functionality of language assistants. These voice assistants try to imitate people, emulating genuine conversation to make for the best possible experience. This means not talking over the over participant but not making the pauses between utterances too long either. After all, in conversation with a person, it’s not great if you keep on being interrupted, or if you have to endure awkward silences or if you still haven’t been understood after rephrasing your point several times.

Likewise, you also have to deal with “triggers”. For example, these are the triggers that activate the speech assistants and how specific data they collect can then be converted into actions.

3. Design

When thinking about the design of a language assistant, it is important to pay attention to tonality and wording. Both of these contribute to how the brand is ultimately perceived by the consumer. But socio-demographic factors (such as gender) must also be taken into account. All of this ultimately reflects the character of the language assistant. And, if done well, will represent the brand and its characteristics as accurately as possible. So it’s worthwhile to examine the effect the language assistant has on the user in detail.

4. Fields of application

Where the language assistant appears also contributes to the effect it has on users. It’s the designer’s job to know which areas of a customer journey are voice assistants suitable and where they’re not so popular. Many companies have not yet recognised the enormous potential of CUI’s, which is why it can be an advantage to include them in your strategy as soon as possible. Especially in industries or areas where voice assistants aren’t so commonly used.

5. Coherence

Another crucial point is the coherence between traditional and conversational interfaces. The current UIs will continue to exist and shouldn’t be considered separately from the more innovative, more conversational evolutions. Consistency in the overall journey must always be acknowledged. And the whole experience must be seen more as a kind of interaction rather than a traditional transaction.

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It’s really important to deal with these problems as chatbots and language assistants are there to enhance experiences, not to resolve specific pain points. But if all these potential issues are considered, we believe every successful future-proof customer journey and UX strategy should call upon the power of CUIs to make a truly unique, differentiated and above all user-centric brand experience. 

We will be happy to advise you whether your organisation would benefit from the use of CUIs and where they would be most effective. We also can implement CUIs into your current customer journeys to create an overall tailor-made experience adapted to your brand and your target group.

It’s really important to deal with these problems as chatbots and language assistants are there to enhance experiences, not to resolve specific pain points. But if all these potential issues are considered, we believe every successful future-proof customer journey and UX strategy should call upon the power of CUIs to make a truly unique, differentiated and above all user-centric brand experience. 

We also act according to this principle within our own ENNO studio brand. On our website, you will find an example of how we make our services easily understood. Our chatbot helps you to get a quick overview of what we offer and how we can help you with your problems.

We will be happy to advise you whether your organisation would benefit from the use of CUIs and where they would be most effective. We also can implement CUIs into your current customer journeys to create an overall tailor-made experience adapted to your brand and your target group.

The process of creating animated explainer videos

Insights

Meet Captain Jake, the star of our Insights video series

Jun 18, 2020

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After working alongside Horváth & Partners and Finnoconsult for a few years, we wanted to take what we had learned from them and share them in a set of motion design videos.

So have fun with our animated video series “INSIGHTS” and some “Behind-the-Scenes” where you can learn about its creation process beyond the final results.

Animating Characters

As well as breaking down the facts on for example how to optimise goal setting, we had a blast producing the animation – and we managed to do it in a really short space of time, too. From ideation and storyboarding onto production it took us less than 10 days to finish. Go us!

Design Sketching Book

“Ideation to design” isn’t just something we preach in our design-thinking workshops – we also apply it to our everyday projects. These are early scribbles of the storyboard.

When coming up with the character concept of Captain Jake, we were looking for friendly, emphatic facial expressions and body language. During the series, the characters are likely to evolve but we had to decide quickly on Captain Jake’s look and feel; ensuring they were in line with the branding of both Horváth & Partners and Finnoconsult.

This was a new record for us. First we designed the assets on Illustrator and created the vectorial graphics. Then, to get a sense of depth, we played around with different layers and tried to craft isometric assets to get a feeling of “fake 3D”. Everything was made more dynamic by animating the clouds, water and the rest of the environment.

We took inspiration from the traditional French-Belgian “Bande Dessinée” codes, which can be seen in the facial and body expressions that look great without too much effort.
The whole story was animated with After Effects and despite the video being less than 30 seconds long, every render ended up taking more than an hour to complete. However, this meant any mistakes could be captured and corrected, and all iterations were refined for the finished product.

How to get the most out of your team and your projects.

In the first of our video series “INSIGHTS”, we’re focussing on how to set strategic goals in project management. This is something both Horváth & Partners and Finnoconsult practise themselves and encourage their clients to do during projects.

At ENNO, we can’t stress enough how much a clear goal helps kick start any project. All too often we see a massive change of direction at the last minute because a goal wasn’t clearly defined at the start.

Horváth & Partners and Finnoconsult are huge fans of the SMART grid model to help clients setting out their strategic goals. You can learn more about this (and more) by taking a look at the blog article by David Baum (Senior Project Manager).

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Why companies really have to understand their customers’ problems.

This is a video we created about how to “Solve Your Customers’ Problems”.

Horváth & Partners and FINNOconsult have often experienced during their work as strategic consultants that companies often focus on dealing with the symptoms instead of looking at the heart of a problem. As Albert Einstein once said: ‘If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about a solution.’

In this video with Captain Jake and his crew, discover how to focus more on your customers’ problems and pick up some tips and tricks on how to find and solve them.

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How you can implement new ideas and business models both quickly and cost-effectively.

Do you know what an MVP is? These three letters stand for the “Minimum Viable Product”, which describes a first functional version of a product that could survive on the market.

It is all about quickly generating value for the customer, getting a first, slimmed-down version of the product that only includes the most important core functions and can be produced quickly. On that basis it can be improved and developed continuously with the help of customer feedback.

The problem of how to solve challenges with the help of MVPs is illustrated in our new Insight series by Captain Jake.

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Stay tuned for more videos coming soon, where we’ll present further INSIGHTS to you!

Our Partners

Finnoconsult Innovation consultancy for enterprises in the finance and insurance sector.

Horváth & Partners International management consultancy for corporate management and performance optimization.

Coming Soon!

We are still working on the website, if you want to have more information regarding this project, drop us an email.