Leveraging Conversational Analysis in Conversation Design: From Personas to Recipient Design
Who are we designing conversations for? While the notion of ‘persona’ is ubiquitous in the CxD field, conversation analysts take a different starting point when it comes to describing how people design their talk for one another: ‘recipient design.’ ‘Recipient design’ captures the findings over decades of research that, in human-human interaction, people design, word by word, gesture by gesture, and even breath by breath, every turn they take for the person(s) they are interacting with.
In this keynote, Elizabeth Stokoe will take us through the ways in which notions of both ‘user’ and ‘system’ personas limit how we think about conversation design, including how LLMs chat. She'll share a series of examples of how human interlocutors are able to pivot the design of each turn as they learn more about their recipient, as well as how making assumptions can create interactional damage. Towards the end, Elizabeth will show why it is worth leveraging the principles of ‘recipient design’ and provide some practical ways to do this.