This was a quick little project that aimed to help people who may be working from home and feeling a bit isolated and need a bit of positive affirmation. On some of our other projects we were exploring the value of serendipity and variable dialogue in our conversation design and this project allowed us to push the idea of variation farther.
Welcome - first time user
We use a session counter to identify if someone is a first-time user, and we provide them with a slightly expanded introduction to the skill's main purpose.
Welcome to Pep Talk. I'm a professional pep talker and I'm here whenever you need a bit of encouragement. I have over 100,000 pep talks just for you. So listen up!
Welcome - return user
Return users are one of four variations of a welcome back prompt. This prevents our user from hearing overly repetitive dialogue and allows for a wider range of personality expression from our agent.
“Something getting you down? Let's see if my expert Pep talking will help. Get ready for it.”
“Hey pal, how's it going? Need some encouragement? I got some for you right here.”
“Feeling like you need a boost? I've got some pep for you right here. So listen up.”
“Welcome back! I've got some pep for you right here. So listen up.”
Pep talk generator
The core feature of this small voice application is the ability to generate ‘pep talks’, encouraging dialogue that is meant to give users a motivational boost. Each pep talk is broken into 4 parts of variable dialogue that are designed to fit together, even with each component containing multiple variations, randomly combined together. Each of the four parts has 20-30 variations, allowing for a total of over 100,000 unique combinations.
The conversation flow is fairly straightforward and designed to handle any user utterance with an open prompt that handles positive or negative feedback, yes or no answers, and a help intent. There is also a catch-all fallback in case the user says something unexpected, but generically handles this. Each pep talk is followed by a question if the user feels like they’ve had enough pep, and if they need more, they can continue generating more pep talks. When the user has had enough good cheer, or they say exit / stop then they’ll be given one final pep talk and a goodbye.
Because of how playful and unmistakably cheesy the Pep Talk Generator is I thought it would be fun to punctuate each pep talk with a sound effect. There are 11 options and they are chosen at random. I sourced these from Google’s Actions sound library which you can browse here.