The present and future of conversational interfaces: phases of creation

Torresburriel Estudio
5 min readMay 8, 2024


Throughout history, the impact of the future and technologies has been explored numerous times through cinema and literature. In these narratives, artificial intelligences converse with humans and assist or perform their daily tasks through conversational interfaces.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

This utopian future (and sometimes, almost dystopian) that might have seemed artificial, difficult, or even nonsensical to propose, is today’s reality.

Waking up and asking Alexa, Siri, or Google (via our mobile devices) about the day’s news, the weather, or for directions to a location has become one of the most normal actions for users.

The active communication of the user within an interface for performing or managing tasks is what is currently known as conversational interfaces, and these occur continuously in users’ lives: at home, for those who have a smart speaker device like Alexa, in the car when we set up our phone to guide us, at work…

The way in which user experience designers or conversational experience designers shape artificial intelligence tools obviously depends on the objectives set in the early stages of their creation.

Three initial stages could be considered when creating an intelligent interface, which in turn correspond with the six stages of the Design Thinking method:


In this stage, both designers and Research teams are involved to focus on the most important aspect of UX: the user. This corresponds to the empathy and definition stages within the Design Thinking methodology.

Without considering these aspects, we cannot properly develop a conversational interface, since the purpose of the interface revolves around the user, their cultural and socioeconomic characteristics, tastes, and goals, and obviously, their pain points or needs.

Another extremely important consideration that will be key to later decisions is how the user relates to technology. It’s crucial to understand what the user considers or expects from that interface and how they believe they will interact with it to accomplish their task. Additionally, it’s advisable to consider many other factors that affect the interface’s form, such as the tone and personality of the brand.

After this, we must consider a small intermediate process, once all questions have been asked and analysis of the collected data has been completed, which corresponds to the ideation part.

We must bear in mind that depending on the requirements, there are different solutions or types of interfaces available. Here is where we can decide what type of conversational interface we require, taking into account the needs and available resources:


Chatbots allow conversation with the user through a finite flow of automatic questions and answers that help the latter to perform or develop an action successfully.

It contains a frequently asked questions database, to which there is a reaction, but within its limits, it invites the user to start a conversation with a real assistant. It is focused on specific tools, rather than daily use.

Read also: Designing the personality of a bot.

Conversational assistants

A conversational assistant interacts with the user through a dialogue where the latter has the freedom to develop higher levels of complexity at their choice since the interface is capable of understanding and responding to the user, giving itself a greater range of action than the previous one. Its use can be more regular and casual.

Intelligent assistants

These are based on the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence, which understands and establishes with its database and daily use responses of all kinds, such as real-time historical data of the user’s context. This is where assistants like Siri, Alexa… belong.


After defining the type of interface we want to integrate, design teams will begin to design the entire thread of possible conversations and dialogues through decision trees and flow diagrams where all possible situations that may arise from the user must be considered, depending on contexts, ways of asking, and more.

The collection of keywords to thread what the user is proposing is crucial, so here all the ways a question can be sensibly asked will also be gathered in list format.

Following this, automatic responses must be generated, not in just one way — considering that humans have the capability to express the same idea or question in multiple ways, within the tasks of conversational design, we must keep this in mind to foster a greater humanization of the interface.

Subsequent to this, taking into consideration the tone and brand personality, it’s time to develop the interface’s own personality, tone, and pace.

The definitive point that will define and differentiate the conversational interface from others is known as conversational flow. It should also take into account specific considerations of the targeted user, such as their gender or personal interests.

Testing and Iteration

Testing as the final part will be vital to ensure the creation of a unique, effective, and natural conversational interface. Testing all possible conversation scenarios, ensuring it develops within the desired tone and personality, and that the responses (or calls to repeat the users’ questions to ensure they are correctly understood by the interface) meet the user’s, client’s, or the testers’ expectations is crucial to closing the creation cycle of a conversational interface, at least as an MVP.

We must remember that iteration, the incorporation, or modification of the functional features of an interface is the process that will complete and enhance the user experience and mark a quality difference, a key objective in the world of conversational interfaces and the increasingly competitive technological world of today.

Thus, we find ourselves at the threshold of a new era in human-computer interaction, where conversational interfaces have become the bridge between technology and the everyday fabric of our lives. This advancement reflects the fulfillment of futuristic visions presented in cinema and literature and marks a milestone in our ability to design technologies that integrate so naturally into our daily routine that they become almost invisible.



Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance