Rethinking the Smart Assistant

UX Designer, UI Designer, Interaction Designer

Naver is a prominent South Korean software company. It is the equivalent of Google. They have office apps, mailing service, virtual paying systems, video streaming solutions, cloud-based drives and also, an AI assistant called Clova.

Clova aspires to compete with other virtual assistants. However, Naver must understand that "it is a virtual assistant, not a voice search tool."

When I wish to see some results, it sends me to the website rather than providing a summary. There is almost no visual input, and the main issue is that it is not operating as an assistant, but rather as a voice search tool

Clova works great for simple requests but when you ask a more complex question, it either directs you to a website or provides you with a result card and asks you to tap on it, which then takes you to an external page.

The second point I want to make is that “ AI Assistants are NOT search engines. 

If you expect them to function like search engines, your AI assistant will eventually resemble a search engine with slower results presented in nice visuals. It's very clear that Naver Clova is somewhere between a search app and an AI assistant.

So, in order to make Clova a helpful companion, I worked on improving the experience in three areas: 1- Layout, 2- Content, and 3- All-in-One Naver Experience.

1-Layout: I'm aware that the original layout is rather handy for reaching and to see. However, it does not fit in with this framework capable of providing requests in a human-like manner.

The first thing I did was change the voice search layout to a messaging layout. With this one alteration, this made a significant difference because we can now text Clova in the same way that we text our friends.

2-Content: Instead of redirecting people to an external search app, provide them with brief information initially, and if they want to know more, provide them with automated action buttons (green CTA pills) that allow them to rapidly get the further information required. If the solution isn't there, users will finally click 'See more' to view the entire Naver search results.

I also changed the home page so that users can receive brief recommendations and use automated action buttons to save time.

3- All-in-One Naver Experience: Naver has so many great products that they can incorporate them into Clova. Users will become more familiar with other Naver products as a result. This is a better use of resources than simply referring them to another service.

As a result, I recommend that Clova to show lite/preview versions of other Naver products, if the inquiry is related to one of the products. Other products will benefit from this as well.

An abstract, angular face graphic in red

©Murathan Biliktü, 2022