AI Assistant of Korea: Naver Clova
Voice search tools are evolved into personal AI assistants and this led me to redesign one of the Korea’s biggest company’s AI assistant.
Naver is the one of the leading Korean software companies in South Korea. For non-Koreans we can explain Naver as a Korean Google. They have office apps, mailing service, virtual paying systems, video streaming solutions, cloud-based drives and also, an AI assistant called Clova.
Clova is(desires) to be a Naver alternative to Alexa, Bixby and Google Assistant. Even though it’s still in beta version (I still want to criticizes it because Beta isn’t far from final version.), it’s pretty useless in contrast of Google Assistant( A better rival). When I want to see some results it redirects me to the website instead of giving a brief information. There is almost no visual feedback and the biggest problem is that it’s not acting like an assistant, it’s more of a voice search app. I don’t feel like I’m talking to my personal assistant that can handle what I need, and sometimes I feel like I should assist it.
Screenshots of Older Version
How Clova is trying to communicate with the user?
Clova, is an AI that uses voice recognition mainly, but it also uses keyboard to type down the request of user.
It doesn’t matter if you use voice or text input, results are always the same; when it’s a basic request the results are %50 voice and %50 visual feedback and it works fine at that point. But when you want to learn about something that is a little complex for Clova it either redirects you to a website or it gives a result card that requires you to click on it and then it’ll redirect you to an external website. This is not an assistant like attitude and it seems like the interface is designed as a voice search tool in mind.
Comprehending our Goal
First of all let’s take a look at Google’s assistant. It’s not perfect but how it shows results is the most efficient way to present a clear and understandable result. It’s using an UI that feels like a messenger app as if we are talking to someone that is human. That’s because it’s a chatbot, not a robot. The intention to create chatbots is to make a communication that feels humanly.
AI Assistants are NOT search engines.
If you expect them to work like search engines, then the AI assistant that you are creating will eventually be something like a search engine with slower results presented in pretty visuals. It’s pretty obvious that Naver Clova is in that line between being a search app and being an AI assistant.
Let’s make it useful
Naver Clova should be what it should have been, an AI assistant. So I wanted to give Clova a personality and a bit of human soul.
I know that original layout is pretty useful for hands to reach and eyes to see. But it doesn’t fit in with this environment that can deliver requests in a human-like manner.
The first thing I did was to change the voice search layout to a messenger type of layout. With this little adjustment I made a huge difference because Clova wasn’t a robot anymore. We can send messages to Clova like how we communicate with all of our ‘human’ friends on virtual space. Therefore the muscle that we already built for human-to-human communications on virtual space is also being demonstrated with Clova as well.
The content provided to user is so limited in the app but when you search manually on Naver search the same search result is given with a more detailed brief information. So It's pretty obvious that they have data to share.
Don’t redirect users to external search app, give them a brief information first and if they want to know more just give them automated action buttons so they can quickly access to the extra information needed. If the answer isn’t there people will eventually click on ‘See more’ to see full Naver search results.
3- All-in-One Naver Experience:
Naver has so many great products that they can implement them into Clova. So by doing this the users will get extra familiar with the other Naver products. This is a better use of product than just redirecting them to another service. It’s just doesn’t make any sense for a user to effort a click on Clova‘s icon on the app drawer just to get redirected to another application.
That is why I propose Clova to implement lite versions of other Naver products. This way the other products will gain awareness as well.
4-Yet another Naver Product: Naver Pay
With the growing market of virtual payment systems in the World, Korea started to use virtual payment systems too. Competitors like Kakao started to implement their virtual payment system into their messenger app, KakaoTalk.(The most used messenger app in Korea)Naver can benefit from Clova by implementing Naver Pay into it. Just tell Clova how much do you want to pay or transfer, and to whom. Voilà!Transaction has been completed.
Clova has the potential to become an essential application for Korean users. In my opinion All-in-one function will be the most attracting function for the users. It also has the potential to replace Naver Search app, with additional search box with the trademarked green square in Clova will be fine for people who wants to search manually.