Conversation designer Jasper Klimbie focuses a spotlight on the incredibly wide range of backgrounds writers can bring to conversation design!
Jasper trained as a lawyer, studied journalism, worked as a comedian, and performed as a musician. He studied screenwriting at UCLA Film School, wrote ads, and content copy.
“I was really learning the power of language, and it’s so interesting to see what well-written language can achieve, and that well-written means different things for different applications,” explains Jasper, who is the Chief Procurement Officer at the Conversation Design Institute.
Jasper and host Hans van Dam explore giving conversation design personality, infusing conversations with delight, avoiding repetition in chatbot conversations, and why excellent copywriting is an essential part of conversation design.
Jasper entered conversation design after taking on the role of creating the Dutch personality and content for Google Assistant.
The project presented some unique challenges, in part because in the Netherlands people don’t like hierarchy compared to some other countries, so the Google Assistant could not be perceived as a servant.
In addition, cultural differences became evident, because Google has such a strong American ethos. For example, the Netherlands centres its December festivity on Sinterklaas, but Google found this strange and so Sinterklass had to be explained to Google U.S. Ultimately, Google had to make a leap of faith, allowing local markets to be trusted to make these decisions.
This is where Jasper’s background in law became an asset. Many questions were routed to him so that he could make judgment calls about whether something may offend.
In addition to all the challenges, the Google Assistant required a persona, a personality that makes the content more engaging.
- 05:53 It’s so interesting to see what well-written language can achieve, and that well-written means different things for different applications.
- 14:25 One of my proudest achievements is that my jokes scored a high thumbs up rate from the users, which is something they really look up at Google . . . when your jokes are, on average, better than your fellow Europeans.
- 18:39: Google had to make a leap of faith, allowing local markets to be trusted to make (culturally sensitive) decisions
- 21:35: It's easier not to offend people than not to be boring because, if you just keep it real and business-like, and basically just only write informative prose then it’s hard to be offensive.
- 30:09: People love a product more when it has a bit of personality.
- 32:55: Personas can be used as a hook to start a new conversation, so there’s never a dead-end street after a service journey.
- Conversation design
- Conversation designer