Glia Voices: 3Qs with a Conversational Designer

Tiziana joined Glia in March of 2023 as our Senior Conversational Product Designer for our Glia Virtual Assistant (GVA) team. Joining us from [24]7, Tiziana has both a PhD in Linguistics as well as several years of experience in designing AI-powered chatbots for customer service. Tiziana is helping to bring a new perspective on conversational design to all of Glia’s offerings, including the GVA and other automation solutions. We caught up with Tiziana to ask her a few questions about her experience at Glia so far, and what she’s looking forward to working on in the future. 

What attracted you to join Glia?

The last couple of years brought new personal challenges, so 2023 seemed like the right year to start looking into a career move: with a pinch of caution, a little adventure, and a lot of curiosity. That’s when Glia came along.

I did my homework, and the more I learnt about the company and its product, the more I felt like Glia was the ideal move for me. I loved the company’s emphasis on growth and development, and how these principles matched the product offered, its clear vision, and the people taking part in the journey. The combination of an innovative product vision, a stellar reputation and a solid team of experts in the field is what sealed the deal for me, and here I am.

What’s unique about your role as a conversational designer?

Most Conversational Designers (CDs) would probably admit they did not know their role existed until they became one — or, at least, until the field became so popular that positions such as “Conversation Design Advocate” started making their appearance in the job market.

No matter what your background is, as a CD you tend to like researching human communication and you are fascinated by how interactions are shaped by technology.

CDs get to work in that special “space” in between technology and humans: you create unique journeys and personas thousands of users will interact with on a screen or over the phone. In a way, we humanize tech.

While doing so, a CD becomes a subject matter expert, the “voice” of a business (or, at least, that of their virtual assistant), the designer of a memorable customer experience that positively impacts the image of a brand, and makes someone’s day. But I digress, and this is what we call “The Happy Path,” and things don’t always go that way (at least, not yet). So, in the meantime, a CD goes back to the drawing board and designs for all possible scenarios.

What new feature or functionality are you most excited to work on?

I joined Glia right about the time the Voice GVA was announced. I got the chance to work on some of its features starting from my first few weeks in the product team, which I consider a lucky coincidence, given that designing for voice is one of my favorite things (but don’t tell the GVA, or it’ll get offended).

I love that there is so much potential and so much room for innovative features to be explored here, so many ways to help businesses help their customers: human-centric systems that are more intuitive, have better usability, more accessibility, and better efficacy and efficiency. Over the phone, when time is money, every second of every interaction counts, and we work towards making interactions meaningful, yet brief, reducing wait time, and ensuring every customer leaves the engagement a happy customer.

We are contributing to the demise of old-school IVRs where users would navigate a maze of obscure menus only to find themselves in limbo waiting all day to talk to a human or, worse, hanging up frustrated. We now have the opportunity to empower callers and let them drive the conversation with a Natural Language-powered virtual assistant on their own terms. We are no longer asking users to learn how to interact with technology, we are designing technology that learns how to interact with us.

Isn’t that exciting?