Scaling Conversational Interfaces

by May 3, 2023

With the explosive popularity of Large Language Models, many companies are implementing conversational (chat) user interfaces for a wide range of use cases leading to more UI design explorations like... conversation scaling.

Scaling conversational interfaces adjust the visual weight (through size, color, font, etc.) of previous messages so the current active message gets proper focus. Previous messages are more quickly and easily scanned since they are reduced in size and visual prominence. Here's two recent examples of this pattern.

The Pi (personal AI) user interface resizes messages when someone scrolls through their conversation. This emphasizes the current message/interaction (since it’s bigger) and provides quick access to the rest of the conversation (since it’s smaller).

The Ask LukeW user interface reduces the size of previous messages (using the question and first two lines of each answer) to provide quick access to the rest of the conversation. If someone wants to read a previous message, they can simply click/tap to bring it into focus.

Since the Ask LukeW feature is for product design professionals vs. casual users, it's possible people want to return to information in prior messages more than on Pi. This is also why there's a pin message feature on Ask LukeW to save useful answers.