SXSWi 2016 — Our best finds

Common Ground
Mar 21, 2016 · 9 min read

Conversational UI

We had the luck of listening to a great panel talk (they are usually quite terrible!) called “Get the Message! The Rise of Conversational UI”. There has been some buzz around conversational UIs with for example Facebook’s experiment with the virtual assistant M, the shopping assistant Operator and virtual health coach Lark. On the panel was amongst others Julia Hu, CEO & Co-founder of Lark, sharing some good insights about their work. At the core, they see this as a new way of interacting with a service where AI has the power of bringing some emotional connection where a relation is built over time.

  • Non judgemental reinforcement — Using best practices from the field on how to give the user positive reinforcement without being judged when not doing the “right” thing.
  • Too much freedom means stupid — If you give too much freedom in the interactions the service automatically becomes stupid since it can’t really help you. Constraints are key.
  • Real / Not real — Users are aware that they are interacting with a machine still they create an emotional connection. For example, most users think that Lark is female.
  • Enough is enough — One thing we really appreciated when trying out Lark is that there is a clear ending to each interaction instead of a non-stop feed of options and information.

Designing for no UI experiences

Building a better self driving car than Tesla

Stop trying to trick the users

In “Checkbox that ruined my life: Manipulative design”, Dennis Ellis and Kate Swindler discussed the science of behavioral change and where to draw the line between manipulation and persuasion. Really interesting stuff, and something we at Common Ground debate quite often. Not only the methods we use, but how to spot the pitfalls when they occur. In the talk it was also stressed that there exist a lot of evidence that avoiding the dark patterns of design will, in the long run, be beneficial to the business since users don’t like being tricked.

A new look at A/B testing

Dan Chuparkoff called his talk “Everything you think about A/B testing is wrong”. Well, what he really meant was that the usual “click-races” are flawed because there is never just one answer. The best answer may only please your biggest group, and it may actually hurt others. In trying to reinvent A/B testing using extensive data science, Chuparkoff discussed how we can incorporate the premise that all people are not the same, and that segmenting is needed to take A/B testing forward.

Last but not least

All the good fun and weirdness that makes you want to come back to Austin again….

Who can say no to cowboy hats, sunshine and tequila?
Being in the same room as this guy
Best name of a wifi so far
The club Swan Dive- What a fun, crazy place…
The Inner Sun Omelette at the Bouldin Creek Café.
Drinking cold Shiners on the sunny porch
Even the walls are more colorful in Austin!
The whitest boys in Austin lost in our screens

Common Ground

Common Ground is a digital design studio based in Stockholm.

Common Ground

Written by

Swedish UX Design Studio.

Common Ground

Common Ground is a digital design studio based in Stockholm.