35 minutes | Sep 24, 2020

Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo: Conversation Design Teamwork at Flixbus – Episode 83

Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo combine her linguistics and ethnography skills with his computing and product skills to create computer interactions that feel almost human. Carmen Martinez Paulo Azevedo Carmen and Paulo collaborate to design conversation experiences for FlixBus, a company that helps millions of travelers around the world book bus travel. It's hard to create natural-feeling conversations between humans and computers, but they get better at it with every product launch. We talked about: Carmen's background as a conversational UX expert and Paulo's as a product owner, data scientist, informaticist, and developer their collaborative process in designing conversational experiences Paulo's moment of insight when he realized that his developer team would benefit from having a human-centered researcher and designer on the team how they align human and computer approaches to conversation design how complicated a seemingly simple task like providing a bus stop location is in a conversational interaction design the eye-opening challenges of helping digital conversationalists interact appropriately with humans the wide range of technologies that underlie conversation design how they use ethnographic and other research methods in their conversation design process, and how data from real human users feeds into their ongoing research the huge differences between graphical user interfaces and voice user interfaces the challenges of figuring out what you don't know when their are conversational misunderstandings the importance of having a language person on your conversational design team how conversation design is still a work in progress Carmen's Bio Dr. Carmen Martinez is a Conversation Analyst and Ethnographer of Communication working in Conversational Artificial Intelligence at FlixBus. As an expert in human-to-human conversation, she contributes to a cross-disciplinary team by automating customer service interactions, modelling both text- and voice-based human-to-machine conversations, and developing visual solutions for graphical and multimodal conversational agents. She is the author of “Conversar en español: un enfoque desde el Análisis de la Conversación” published by Peter Lang Berlin. Connect with Carmen on LinkedIn. Paulo's Bio Paulo Azevedo is an IT professional based in Germany, where he's spent the last few years working on AI and machine learning projects at different capacities. He's done data analysis, software development, developed machine learning models, and lately has been focusing on agile project management. Since March 2017 he's been working at FlixMobility, a German mobility startup with operations in 30 countries, where he was responsible for the strategy and implementation of voice platforms. Connect with Paulo on LinkedIn. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/71phD4niFkk Podcast Intro Transcript When you talk to Siri or Alexa or interact with a support chatbot, you probably don't give a lot of thought to the work that went into creating those conversational experiences. Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo do think about that work - because they do it all day. They design conversational experiences for FlixBus, a company that helps millions of people book bus travel in countries around the world. Carmen and Paulo combine their linquistic and computing skills to get closer every day to conversational experiences that feel human. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 83 of The Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo. They work at a company called FlixBus in, I guess you're all over Europe, but you're both based in Germany, I believe. Well, welcome to the show, Carmen and Paulo. Carmen, you're a Conversational UX expert there. Tell us a little bit more about what that entails and how y...
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