When you’re starting out in the conversation design field, you might feel a little out of place. It is not all that easy to find the right people to speak to, the right resources to consult right away. Equally, it is always important to keep up with the latest trends and industry updates. This is why, in this article, we are putting together some of the resources that we consult regularly to learn more about conversation design and to keep up with what is going on in the space.
Conversation Design Books
As with many things, before putting conversation design to practice, you’ll need to have a solid theoretical basis. For this, there are some seminal books we suggest you have a look into:
- Designing Voice User Interfaces: Principles of Conversational Experiences by Cathy Pearl has been THE text of reference amongst conversation designers for years and is still considered a great starting point for those entering the field.
- Conversations with Things by Diana Deibel and Rebecca Evanhoe is an updated and modernized spin on the OG conversation design Bible. This is a better pick for those who are looking for a more interactive way of learning.
Conversation Design Blogs
As with all things, it is important to start out with a good and solid basis in conversation design and, then, slowly build up new concepts as you grow more confident. Blogs can be excellent starting points to get in your 101 conversation design facts.
Here are the best ones to start out with:
- The AWS Machine Learning Blog. As obvious as it may be, Amazon offers you great articles on things like How to approach conversation design.
- Equally, Google offers plenty of good material in its dedicated Conversation Design Library.
- Another place we recommend to keep monitored is the Voiceflow blog. Along with more news-focused articles, you can find great guides on topics like The best practices of conversation design.
- Of course, we could not not mention the Conversation Design Institute’s blog, which, needless to say, is pretty conversation design-centered.
- Last but not least, our own Voice Crumb. We mostly explain how voice can support industries as diverse as hospitality and banks, financial services and insurances, we interview experts who build voice assistants for industrial contexts and for home cookers, and so much more. Every now and then you’ll also find the occasional conversation design-focused post.
Conversation Design Podcasts
Other resources that help conversation designers keep track of innovations, trends and hot topics being discussed in the field are certainly podcasts. There are many options you can pick from here, based on your preferences, and we definitely invite you to dive in and explore what works best for you.
Our top pick for podcasts has to be The Conversation Design Podcast by Botsociety. Although the company is no longer active since beginning 2022, many of their episodes are still relevant and worth giving a listen.
Conversation Design Newsletters
Keeping up with conversation design can also be made easier by subscribing to some industry-specific newsletters. This is a great way to get updated on the latest news and recurring conversations happening amongst voice tech experts and conversation design professionals.
Here are our top suggestions:
- The Women In Voice newsletter, to get invited to their latest webinars and receive their latest reports.
- News, long-reads, Kane Simms’s unique point of view on the industry and a touch of conversation design: these are all things you can find in the weekly Vux World newsletter.
- Of course, you can’t miss Vocalime’s own monthly newsletter, Voice Bites, where we try to sum up the most important news and trends of that month and break them down for your reading pleasure. Check out our past issues here.
Looking for something more practical?
If you're looking to test your conversation design knowledge and see how ready you are to create your own voice interfaces, this one is a must.
Subscribing to Jesús Martín’s VUI challenge, you’ll get a daily conversation design challenge delivered straight to your inbox to train the conversational side of your brain. You can then share the solutions to every challenge on your socials and receive feedback from the community.
Still hungry for knowledge? Follow us on LinkedIn and check out The Bot Whisperer series, to understand the basic concepts of conversation design and learn some of our best pro tricks.