Turns: An app that summarizes conversational turns

Why count turns?

To the extent that conversations are exchanges, how well do they facilitate the exchange of information? Was your conversation successful in how talk time was shared, as judged by its attendees?

How does the Turns app work?

The Turns app makes a note of the time when each speaker begins and ends speaking. That is all. Using only that information, it can summarize the total time and total number of turns from each speaker. It uses anonymous IDs for each speaker.

Benefits of measuring turns

By measuring these conversational turns, the Turns app offers a metric, in real time, about how talk time is shared among participants. Retrospectively, it offers the results of a survey from participating attendees about their opinion of how speaking time was shared, given the purpose of the meeting.

When would I use the Turns app?

Consider adding the Turns app to a regularly-scheduled meeting at a regular interval, and tracking how survey data progresses.

What is the Privacy Policy surrounding the data that the app gathers?

Privacy is important. Only anonymized data (conversation timestamps) is collected by the Turns app. See the Privacy Policy for details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I identify speakers (to deanonymize)?

Meeting attendees can easily identify who spoke for the most, usually. The Turns app could provide real names, but what would that benefit?

There are several advantages of anonymizing the record of turn taking, particularly in motivating change. If you wish to improve the balance of turns in a conversation, then gently seeking agreement on the ideal distribution of talk time is a winning strategy. When there is agreement about the goal, attendees are likely to pay more attention to their talk time and make space for others. That is almost the whole point: to raise awareness of eager speakers about the participation of others. Finally, you can point to the satisfaction survey. If all participants agree that the meeting had excellent turn-taking, given its purpose, please congratulate yourself and the whole team! If not, what small steps can lead to improvement?

Can Turns be used for research?

Turns is a platform explicitly designed to support research. Please contact the developers to discuss possible collaborations.