Product Release

Introducing our new canvas design experience

Mark Ammendolia
|
April 14, 2020

Context matters

Picture jumping into a group conversation after it's been underway for several minutes. You're left feeling confused, anxious, and even slightly frustrated. You don't have enough information to contribute, so you do what any reasonable person would — ask for more context.

"What are you all talking about?!"

Context lies at the crux of conversation. Without context, it's incredibly difficult to extract meaning. Context is the lens that enables us to understand everything around us. It helps us communicate situations so others can easily understand them. This in turn strengthens relationships and trust.

When it comes to conversation design, the right amount of context makes it easier for creators to interpret the direction and flow of their conversational experiences. It's imperative that users are equipped with contextual cues, systematic content organization and a visually intuitive UX to keep their finger on the pulse of every branching storyline in their project.

Introducing a new canvas design experience from Voiceflow

We want to empower our users to understand the context and direction of their work as best they can. With this goal in mind, we implemented an improved design process and meaningful block visuals that showcase the contents of your conversations directly on the canvas.

This makes it easier to see and manage different branches of conversation from a bird's eye view. With our latest release, spend less time searching for content and more time scaling your projects.

You can also expect plenty of UX improvements, a revamped toolbar and better modal accessibility. All of these changes represent a big step towards a faster, more comprehensive design process in our tool.

With our newest release, you can now see snippets of content within each step in a block


Why we redesigned our blocks

Voiceflow users spend a lot of time building their voice apps. A significant portion of that time is spent designing conversation flows and writing content.

Although our canvas is great for visualizing the flow of your voice experience, it lacked an easy way to view context for each individual block. Previously, a block's information was housed in its accompanying editor, meaning a user had to click open each modal in order to access that information. Although this provided an organized way to edit information for simple projects, it quickly grew harder to manage as projects grew in complexity.


This also limited the use of Voiceflow as a tool for stakeholder feedback. With the absence of contextual cues on the canvas, it was difficult for stakeholders to understand and evaluate projects at a high-level - especially when viewing them for the first time.

We knew that we could do better – introducing our new and improved canvas design experience.


What to expect with this release

Our newest update reimagines our canvas so you can design and review your next voice experience with ease.
Here are a few reasons to get excited: 

1. Easily navigate and understand your conversation designs at a glance

  • Snippets of content are now displayed directly on the blocks so you can evaluate your work from the canvas. This allows users to visualize the inner workings of their app - including intent triggering, system response, choice options and more -  all without clicking inside each editor.

2. Introduce reusability and improved organization

  • We have rebuilt our combine block to visually showcase the contents of your conversations into organized steps. Canvas organization is also a big priority for our team, and so it's never been easier to reuse blocks, color code conversations, and categorize your work. It's all about keeping your projects neat and flexible.

3.  Stakeholder feedback made easy

  • We want to empower stakeholders to dive into your projects with confidence. Our new canvas design experience delivers an intuitive visual interface that makes it easy for others to review your work. We want to help collaborators and stakeholders provide better feedback through a better understanding of your conversation designs.


4. Bake conversational best practices into Voiceflow

  • Our blocks redesign adheres to conversation design best practice to help you better curate conversations, define flows, and implement logic. It's important we work together to encourage "human-like" conversation, which results in a more natural experience for end-users.

5. Additional UX and UI improvements

  • Need more canvas real estate? You can now hide or lock the left sidebar, giving you the flexibility to see more. Want quicker access to the interaction model? Just click the new modal icon on the canvas to quickly view your intents, slots and variables - all in one place. We've implemented these changes and more to speed up your workflow.
Want to check out everything that's changed?
Please visit our comprehensive changlog for more information on this release.

Now that you're up to speed with our new canvas design experience, why not give it a try? 
Just visit our Voiceflow Creator App to get started.
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