Designing for voice and conversational UX with Cortana

Cortana is a personal digital assistant, designed to empower people to be more productive. We believe that a true assistant should be available to users everywhere, so we made Cortana unbounded. She is available on a multitude of devices including every Windows PC, iOS and Android apps, Standalone Speakers, Xbox, Hololens, Skype, and more surfaces to come. In addition, creating a personal digital assistant means Cortana should know her users. Cortana can create personalized and tailored experiences for individual users. Lastly, Cortana was built to be extensible. We have created a tool kit which we call the “Cortana Skills Kit” that enables developers to extend Cortana’s capabilities to accomplish new tasks through building “skills”.

In this workshop, we will introduce attendees to some of the technologies available to build Cortana skills and perform thought-provoking exercises on designing for voice and conversational UX. One of these new technologies will be a concept called “skills chaining”, which enables multiple skills to be chained together to help users accomplish complex tasks. Another is personalized user data, which designers and developers can leverage to access information about a user such as cuisine preferences, location, emails, calendar events, and documents to create personalized experiences. We will challenge attendees through a set of activities to think about how they can leverage these tools to create a productive skill for Cortana.

In this session, attendees can expect to learn:

  • What Cortana is and how to leverage it
  • How to think about and approach designing for conversational interfaces
  • New ways to design experiences which help users accomplish complex tasks

Development View Full Agenda
Date: February 27, 2018 Time: 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm photo of Steven McMurray

Steven McMurray


Shane Landry