addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

Designing Conversations: VUIs, Chatbots and More!

  • Grand Circus

    1570 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI (map)

    42.336040 -83.050217

  • Price: $5.00 /per person

    Refund policy

  • Join us for an exciting evening of presentations and discussion about conversational interfaces (aka voice user interfaces), sponsored by VitaminT and Grand Circus! We've all experienced conversational interfaces at some level (think Interactive Voice Response systems), so what's all the hype about now? And what do chatbots have to do with it? Get the answers to questions like this and more as you hear three UX professionals discuss what they've learned through their own research and experience. While some of you may not be designing conversations yet, it's very likely you will at some point! This is a chance to get familiar with this expanding frontier.

    6:00 pm - Networking, Announcements & Refreshments
    6:30 pm - Cathy Pearl (virtual)
    7:00 pm - Gustavo Atar
    7:30 pm - Alex Khanukov
    8 pm - Q & A (all presenters)


    Cathy Pearl, Director of UX, Sensely

    Amazon Echo, Google Home, Facebook Messenger--everyone's getting into the VUI (voice user interface) and chatbot world.  Beyond the hype, where are we really at right now with these technologies?  Are VUIs the answer to everything, or are there times when voice really isn't the right way to go?  What does it mean to be "conversational"?  I'll give a brief overview of the pros and cons of voice and some real-world examples.

    About Cathy
    Cathy Pearl is the author of the O’Reilly book “Designing Voice User Interfaces”.  She is Director of UX at Sensely, making healthcare more effective and accessible with a virtual nurse avatar. During her time at Nuance and Microsoft, she designed Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) for banks, airlines, healthcare companies, and Ford SYNC, and at Volio she built a conversational iPad app that has Esquire Magazine’s style columnist advise users on what they should wear on a first date.  She has a BS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego, and an MS in Computer Science from Indiana University.

    Gustavo Atar, Associate Director, UX, MRM-McCann

    The next UI isn't what you expected but what you've always wanted. Every generation had its vision, with Knight Rider and KITT to Dick Tracey and his 2-Way wrist radio – and today we have many forms of it, SIRI, Alexa, Google Assistant, but how is it that we as UX'ers can get involved to become the masters of design in this new form of UI and UX. In this talk we'll cover this new frontier and what is going on in the space, as well as tools to help you get started, and furthermore we will cover a demo of a prototype that is built with the Alexa Skills API.

    About Gustavo
    In his thirteen-year career, Gustavo Atar has worked on a myriad of digital experiences, which includes leading projects with clients like Red Robin, KitchenAid, Bud Light, Ford Motor Company and Smart Car of America. He has also been an instructor for User Experience and Graphic Design courses at Detroit’s renowned College for Creative Studies and Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. In his work, Gustavo brings a passion for creating results-driven and user-centric digital experiences.  At MRM//McCann, he is responsible for leading experience design projects that are centered on the user.

    Alex Khanukov, Manager, Applied User Experience, MRM-McCann

    In less than a year, nearly every messaging platform adopted chatbots. Multiple companies and products were launched and funded, which inspired thousands of developers who in turn put out a plethora of frameworks, platforms, publications, tutorials, directories, groups, events and associations servicing a nascent industry. Most importantly, they launched thousands of chatbots across a dozen or so communication platforms and/or channels. There were a few hits, but even more misses. Now that the dust has settled, we will take a look at what works and what doesn’t in terms of functionality, usability, and most importantly, experience. We will also cover the ecosystem of bot builders, libraries, add-ons, design and programming tools, etc, for techies and non-techies alike.

    About Alex
    Alexander Khanukov is CEO/Founder of AviKaiDo, a new startup whose mission it is to develop tools for developers, businesses, organizations and individuals to take advantage of the resurgence and adoption of bots, or messaging platform chatbots, virtual assistants, AI, etc. The team just recently launched their first product, EveryBot CMS (Beta), a flexible CMS (Conversation Management System) that lets anyone configure and build Chat Bots to do whatever they, their business or organization need them to do. Alex is also a Manager, Applied User Experience at MRM//McCann Detroit, an award winning global advertising agency, where he helps clients such as General Motors, Microsoft, Coca Cola, OnStar and other Fortune 500 companies implement world class Customer Experience strategies and the architectures and systems to support them.​


    Parking is available at Grand Circus Parking, across the street from Grand Circus, or at the Detroit Opera House parking garage, located on Broadway. Parking is $10 (unless there's a special event). 

    The Detroit Opera House parking garage is a short walk up Broadway and around the corner from the Grand Circus space. Here's parking information from the Broderick Tower website (PDF).

    Grand Circus is located inside the Broderick Tower; the entrance is at 1570 Woodward Avenue.

    Our Sponsors

    Vitamin T, a division of Aquent, is a global staffing firm that focuses specifically on Digital, Creative and Marketing positions, including Design, UX, Content and Front-end Development.

    Grand Circus is an inspired learning institute in the heart of downtown Detroit, and we’re passionate about bridging the skills gap between Detroiters and the businesses here who want to hire great talent.

    We provide development opportunities for entrepreneurs and enterprises and we offer intensive coding courses in development languages that are in demand by local startups and international businesses.

    Selected as one of seven Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in North America, Grand Circus serves as a platform for start-ups and established organizations to connect. In addition, we have also partnered with Microsoft Ventures and Amazon Web Services to provide entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they'll need to be successful and build world-class companies.

Join or login to comment.

Want to go?

Join us!

45 going

5 spots available

4 not going

(See all)
  • Katherine D. H.

    Content Strategist, Writer, Blogger, Social butterfly, Tech enthusiast, and Foodie. #GirlPower

  • Sam G.

    I'm a Graphic Design student at the College for Creative Studies, interested in learning more... more

Your organizer's refund policy for Designing Conversations: VUIs, Chatbots and More!

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 3 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: Very sorry...we can't offer refunds for no shows.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

Regardless of the refund policy set by the organizer, Meetup may issue refunds on an organizer's behalf if we determine that Meetup's Payment Policies have been violated.

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy