The Conversational AI industry has grown dramatically over the past few years — and believe it or not, the pandemic has fostered this growth. With people increasingly spending their lives online, they rely on conversational agents like chatbots and virtual assistants for help.
A recent report predicted that the Conversational AI market is expected to generate revenue of $13,291 million by 2028, while more than 45% of Voicebot.ai respondents stated they would like to have voice assistant features in their favourite mobile apps. So those, considering a career shift, may want to look into Conversation Design. Here’s why.
What is Conversation Design?
A relatively young field, conversation design takes human conversation as a model for all interactions with digital systems. While it may seem challenging, choosing a career as a conversation designer brings lots of new opportunities.
Conversational AI isn’t going away, it’s becoming more and more advanced and adoption rates speak for themselves. Another huge benefit is that it allows for so much diversity: we see people with such diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences who transition into this industry, bringing a whole new array of ideas, innovation, and insights.
The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic fostered digitization and further adoption of conversational interfaces. People were reduced to staying at home, so businesses had to embrace new channels to communicate with customers.
Many industries, such as contact centres, were affected particularly hard by the pandemic. They faced a dramatic increase in customer calls and queries while dealing with depleting resources and staffing shortages. For a lot of contact centres out there, conversational AI technologies became a lifesaver, which also resulted in the growing demand for conversational demand professionals.
What makes a good conversation designer
Starting a new career in a relatively young industry is never easy. And it’s vital to believe in what you’re contributing to. As for the skills a conversation designer requires: every conversation is different, so here creativity is key. When working on chatbot scripts and conversation flows, it really helps if a designer can come up with as many phrases and answers as possible.
Training and education requirements vary for every particular case and company. There are companies that expect conversation designers to have technical skills, and there are those that don’t bother. Still, a degree in a language of some sort is required.
What’s important is industries like Conversation Design grow and change fast. There’s still so much to discover, even for people that have been in the field for years. As long as you’re willing to learn and embrace new things, you’re sure to succeed.
Building a viable portfolio
If you don’t have any examples of commercial work that you can show, don’t fret. Your personal projects can be a great way to show your future employers how you’ve applied your knowledge and talents and how you may benefit their organisation. Here are some tips to help you build a conversational design portfolio:
- Include as much information about your project as possible. Elaborate on how you developed an idea and turned it into a finished product. Remember that the devil is in the details.
- It always pays off to add small audio or video snippets to your portfolio if they are relevant. A link to your project on the Apple Store or Google Play is also great, but not all hiring managers will go to the trouble of downloading the skill and then testing it. So be sure to make it as frictionless as possible.
- A demo is worth a thousand words, so include a brief audio or video clip in your portfolio. This way you’ll help hiring managers make a decision: If they like what they see (or hear), they can choose to follow the link and learn more about it.
- Make sure to detail any problems you experienced when working on a project and explain how you fixed them. Such things are actually the most interesting part for hiring managers because this way they’ll see how you tackle problems.
- Review your portfolio from time to time and ask yourself, “Is it concise?” Does it show my talents and my abilities in the best light? Is it interesting? Have a relative or friend whose judgement you trust look it over and provide honest comments.
Finding a job in conversation design
It’s often challenging to land a job as a beginner in nearly any industry: and conversation design is no exception. There might be a few options you’ll need to choose from initially, but the industry is growing constantly and more opportunities will become available.
One of the best things about the conversation design and voice tech industry is the vibrant and extremely friendly community. Even if you’re not a strong believer in the six degrees of separation theory, networking is still a powerful tool. There are people willing to converse and exchange their fantastic insights and knowledge, so make yourself recognized, and get involved in the community.
Make the most of the online resources available for conversation designers: from Zoom conferences to podcasts to lists on Notion and so on. There are many great professionals to follow on Twitter and LinkedIn: they offer great insights, muse on trends and share even more useful resources. Grow your personal brand, showcase your work, and don’t shy away from networking and you’ll get discovered.