Video: Suggested Questions in Conversational UI

by December 14, 2023

If you've ever designed a conversional interface, you've probably found that people often don't know what they could or should ask. In this 2 minute video from my How AI Ate My Website talk, I discuss the importance of suggested questions in the Ask Luke conversational UI on this site and walk through some of the design iterations we tried before landing on our current solution.


So now we have an expandable conversational interface that collapses and extends to make finding relevant answers much easier. But there's something missing in this screenshot... and that's suggested questions.

For the purpose of this presentation, I simplified the UI a bit in the past few examples. But on the real site, each answer also includes a series of suggested questions. The first few of these are related to the question you just asked, and additional ones come from the rest of the corpus of content.

Suggested questions are pretty critical because they address the issue of, what should I ask? And it turns out, lots of people have that problem, because a very large percent of all the questions asked kick off with one of these suggestions.

We knew from the start these were important, but it took a bit to get to the design solution you see here. At first, we experimented with an explicit action to trigger suggested questions.

Need an idea for what to ask? Just hit the lightbulb icon.

We then iterated to a more clear, what can I ask, link and icon that works the same way. But in both cases, the burden was on the user to ask for suggested questions.

So we began exploring a series of designs that put suggested questions directly after each answer, automatically. With this approach, there was no work required on the part of the user to show suggested questions.

These iterations continued until we got to suggested questions directly in line in our expandable conversational interface.