How we work out timings in the dialogue component

Here’s our method for getting the best timings for the majority of users when using the dialogue component.

Take the average reading speed for the education level. A quick Google search returns articles quoting 200 words per minute (WPM) through to 300 WPM for adults.

We use 250 WPM as our start. Divide the WPM you choose by 60 to get words per second (WPS). 250 / 60 = 4.16666666… we round that up to 4.2.

Take each line of the dialogue and word count it. Divide the word count of each line of dialogue by 4.2 (WPS) and multiply the answer by 1000 to get milliseconds - this is the number to enter in Evolve.

Let’s say character 1 has 21 words, followed by character 2 with 17 words.

  • 21/4.2=5, 5x1000=5000, Enter 5000 into Evolve for that line of dialogue.
  • 17/4.2=4.05 (rounded up) 4.05x1000=4050. Enter 4050 in Evolve.

When someone challenges you that the dialogue component seems slow it’s because they are a fast reader and outside the majority, being able to explain how the timings were achieved helps answer that challenge.

Two caveats, if the dialogue uses technical language or unfamiliar terms reading speeds could drop as low as 75 WPM. If that’s the case we wouldn’t use dialogue, but maybe swap to Narrative where the user controls the rate of presentation. If the dialogue is really short - say 3 or 4 words, we still set it to above 1000 to allow time for the slide animation followed by reading.


This is a nice functionality. Are we able to do a branching scenario kind of conversation? Example:
A person would ask a question? And a button will display showing the answer options. The other person can choose either of the buttons and will show different conversational thread depending on the choice made?

Hi @genn genn!

For that you could use the Branching component as a simple and accessible method. Give it a go and see what you think!

You could always use the infographic too - have a character with speech bubble asking the question and 2 buttons with the opttions, then display the next speech bubble based on the choice.

Have fun and let us know if you need further help!

I agree with the reply from Helen @hbailey. I’d look at the Branching Component.

If you want to get real fancy you may be able to build it out with logic and triggers. I’d try presenting the conversation using the Dialog component, when that hits complete I’d reveal an MCQ with feedback per response and navigation per feedback turned on. That could then route the user to a new Dialog component. Bit of health warning though, I’ve not built out that exact experience before, so it could be dead end suggestion.

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