The Dialog Method

A design method to prioritize functionalities through the constraints of a conversational user interface

Nikolas Klein
Mar 14, 2016 · 3 min read

In Short

Write down the dialog that the user is trying to have with your product. Staying text-only and creating the feeling of a natural and pleasant conversation are the constraints. They will force you and your team to prioritize on the key information and interaction possibilities. It will make you put content first.

Conversational interfaces are here to stay

The era of chat-based interfaces has come, with Facebook M, Magic, Operator, Meekan, Luka and many more. By definition, they can only expose a conversation-based interface. And the experience is promising; Human-like interaction and the complexity reduced to the minimum. It can feel purely magical.

The Dialog Method

The limitations and challenges of a conversational interface are quite similar to the high level constraints of a “classic” graphical interface.

  • The user needs to get to know what they can do and how they can do it.

Keep in Mind

This is not a general design rule. It probably works better for simple, rather than complex concepts. It will not generate the perfect solution. It will help you evaluate and prioritize functionalities and information architectures.

Nikolas Klein

Written by

Product Designer at Figma - Using products should feel like slicing tomatoes with a really sharp knife.