How we design conversation starters

Learn how Joyous makes everyone feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback that sparks action.


Watch the video lesson here: What people talk about in Joyous


Joyous has a conversation library that contains a number of different conversation sets. Each set covers a broad area which is further broken down into categories and topics. Each topic will have one or more conversation pairs. Conversation pairs usually consist of one rated statement, followed by an open conversation starter.


How we design our rated statements and conversation starters is so important. We consider it a major part of our product. We have developed a methodology for asking questions that ensure people feel as comfortable as possible engaging in a conversation about it.


This includes ensuring they are non-ego bruising towards leaders and are written in a way that even people with English as a second language will find clear to understand. We design simple and easy to understand questions so that everyone can respond and most importantly we are trying to drive immediate action.


An example of how other feedback solutions shape their conversations and how people feel as a result

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Here is the equivalent conversation in Joyous, and how our approach makes people feel better.

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There are many more things we do, but most importantly we try to encourage you to self reflect upon your personal experiences and offer suggestions or advice on how things can be improved.


We have organisational psychologists, product specialists, and linguists on our team, who all contribute to our conversation design. Below is our conversation design framework. This consists of a set of criteria against which we check each conversation pair we design.

Conversation Design Framework

Non-ego bruising

We ask questions in a way that ensures your answers won't hurt anyone's feelings.


We aim for a reading age of Grade 6. If English is your second language, then you will have a better chance of understanding the question.

Keep it simple

We keep it simple & easy to understand. We don't want you to feel confused about a question.

Drive immediate action

We often ask what can you and your leader do about this right now?


We don’t focus on leader behaviours, but instead on outcomes of leader behaviours. This makes it more comfortable for your leader to hear and action your response.

Specific, non-ambiguous

We try to ensure that you won't interpret our question in more than one way. For example, we won't load a question with multiple parts.


We try to frame our questions in a way that your immediate leader or the organisation would ask if they were talking to you directly.


We want our questions to enable you to draw upon your personal experiences.


If we have asked multiple questions, we try to ensure that they flow on from one another in a logical way.