Designing Conversational UI

Oct 17, 2019 · San Francisco, United States of America


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The shift happened far more gradually than we expected, but we're here now: we're all talking to computers regularly. It started with voice transcription, moved to call center chatbots, and is now part of pretty much any new phone. So how do you design for these conversational interfaces? How do you make them feel natural and useful, all while gracefully handling the infinitely varied ways in which we speak?

This session of Designers + Geeks will look at designing conversational UIs. We have some of the best speakers in the industry lined up for it, and we'll share their insights and best practices. Join us for an evening of great talks, food & drinks.

CATHY PEARL | Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google

Cathy Pearl is Head of Conversation Design Outreach at Google, and the author of the O'Reilly book, "Designing Voice User Interfaces". She's been designing and creating Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) for nearly 20 years and is passionate about helping everyone make the best conversational experiences possible. Past speaking engagements include Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity, O’Reilly Bot Day, SXSW, and TechCrunch Disrupt. Previously, Cathy was VP of User Experience at Sensely, whose virtual nurse avatar helps people stay healthy. She has worked on everything from programming NASA helicopter pilot simulators to designing a conversational iPad app in which Esquire magazine's style columnist tells users what they should wear on a first date. She has an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University and a BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego.

BRENDON STEAD | Senior Vice President of Product Development and Engineering at Sound United

Brendon Stead is the Senior Vice President of Product Development & Engineering for Sound United, home to a wide portfolio of audio brands that lead the home entertainment industry in new technology and partnerships. He oversees the product development and design across all of the Sound United brands, including Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, and is the brains behind the only AVR brands to support all three major voice assistants (Amazon, Google, Apple). Prior to joining Sound United, Brendon spent more than a decade at Harman, most recently as VP of Product engineering. Five years ago, Brendon and his team introduced HEOS, Sound United’s custom-built cloud platform, which hosts the technology being used today to bridge disparate voice technologies. This platform is revolutionizing the home entertainment industry, and leading the evolution of how we interact with our home entertainment products via voice.

JEN LONG | Design + Research Director at Code for America

Jen Long is the Director of Design at Code for America. She leads the organization’s effort to make government services simple, effective, and easy to use, by design. Her team uses empathy and creativity to tackle enormous social challenges. Previously, she led design teams at Slack, Google, and eBay. She was the founder and CEO of Mapcat, a search and mapping startup. Jen is best known for designing the search, voice, and maps experience on Google Glass.She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz.



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