What I learned at SXSW Interactive

What I learned at SXSW Interactive

(Part 5 of 5)

What I learned at SXSW Interactive

This is part 5 of a 5-part series about my time at the SXSW Interactive Conference 2017. I’ve consolidated information around five trends and some of the most interesting things I learned about each of them. (Originally sent as a series of emails to a smaller group of associates, RPA thought this was so great that we decided to archive them on our website.)

I couldn’t do a wrap up of trends from SXSW without touching on chat bots.

When I first went through the list of sessions for SXSW on the app, the number of sessions on chat bots, conversational UI and artificial intelligence were staggering. You could have easily spent the entire week in sessions on those topics and nothing else.

If you’re speaking at a conference, it’s very good practice to predict a PARADIGM SHIFT. It really makes everyone sit up in their chairs. And if you’re right, and the world does change like you’ve predicted, you’re on the record about it and feel really good about yourself. And if you’re wrong, no one will remember. And the darling of the paradigm shifts discussed at SXSW this year was conversational UI. If you think about it, it’s kind of an easy one. Amazon’s Echo was the top selling product on Amazon during the 2016 holiday season. Seems like just about every new product can either talk to you, or be connected to something that can talk to you (“The Internet of Things” – another big topic at the conference). It seems entirely possible that in the very near future we could start using messaging and conversation to access what we need online versus traditional search engines and websites. As discussed in yesterday’s email, we are increasingly looking to social to discover, and then we can just ask Alexa to buy it. Who needs the web?

In anticipation of this shift in internet behavior, here’s what you need to know:

Chat bot best practices:

Some conversational UI principles to guide development of conversation interfaces:

If you’re still reading these emails, I’m impressed and thankful. Hopefully you’ve found them interesting. Again, there’s plenty more where this came from, so please let me know if you have any questions or want to grab a coffee and geek out on any of this.