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Key Principles of Chatbot Design We Cannot Think UX Without

September 2, 2016


Chatbots are the quintessential element of conversational UX design. As an online user, we come across several chatbots in a day. Chatbots make conversations simple by offering solutions to common queries from the users as learned from keywords and the prompts. In designing a chatbot, creating the right persona is crucial to its functioning and efficiency. Before providing here some of the key principles of chatbot design lets us have an understanding of the basics.

An array of application

The role of chatbots is a lot bigger than so-called chatting tools on the web. A wide array of applications can be attributed to it with distinct advantages. Some of the key capabilities of chatbots include the following.

  • Through the use of chatbots, you can design conversational applications that function just in the way people have a conversation.
  • Through chatbots, you can schedule meetings or conversations among team members.
  • Chatbots help to track messages and conversations for deeper engagement with the help of analytics.
  • Helps connecting users to similar apps and websites.

Keep track of these aspects

How the chatbots should talk to the users? How will in add value to the overall web experience? Well, keep track of the following elements when designing your chatbots.

  • Create an easy to communicate chatbot that enhances the user experience.
  • Keep it the bot simple and stripped of complicated processes. Bots work fine for straightforward questions and in the case of elaborate or complex answers let them be answered by a human.
  • Keep the conversational spirit high easy answers and interactive questions.
  • Always offer other options of interaction besides the bots.
  • Do not overuse them and use bots where it is necessary.
  • Evaluate your chatbots and how it helps in enhancing user experience.

Key design principles behind chatbot

The design is crucial for the chatbots to enhance user experience. A fully functional chatbot with clearly defined roles, easy to communicate conversation design and simple interface, will add value to the overall user experience. Keeping the important role of chatbots in web UX in mind, let us offer below some of the most important design principles for chatbots.

1. Avoid pretending to be a human

Chatbots are pretty acceptable today and so, you do not need to pretend. Be straightforward with the user and do not let them feel confused about whether it really a human or bot they are speaking with. Often bad user experience begins by having the preconception that users cannot grab what is going on behind.

  • Don’t use typical typing indicators or pretended delays to give a more human feel in a conversation.
  • Chatbot messages should be made in a way that differs rather from human communication.
  • Even when it is conversing as a bot, remember that it can highly have a personality.

2. Make it simple

Chatbot conversations must be focused on specific topics and follow straightforward conversation routes. Make it easy to communicate and simple.

  • Always avoid branching out of the conversation into sub-topics.
  • It is better to come out straight about limitations rather than making it complex.
  • Simple bots with linear conversation will ensure the least failure and complexity.

3. Follow the convention of chat

Messaging apps are effective because you can easily strip it down from other apps and interface and ensure a high impact simple chat UI. So, this stripped of light UI is crucial to the success of the chatbots as well.

  • Keep the UI elements native for allowing easy conversation with call and response.
  • Remember, bots in no way can tweak with the conversations humans beings can.
  • But bots are great in making use of conventions with proper linking of pages to allow the conversation appearing in messaging apps.

4. Enhancing for user experience

Chatbots can be improved to add value to the user experience in many ways. Remember, more than just being a tool for customer support teams, chatbots can lift the UX value to several degrees.

  • Bots should only be used where human inputs are imperfect and slow.
  • For readily answerable questions bots come faster than humans and offer straightforward simple answers in an easy to communicate manner.

5. Do not overuse bots

Bot interactions should be short and precise. It should be impossible to get into a protracted back and forth conversation with a bot; anything above two inputs feels laborious.

6. Allow other options as well

There should always be a fallback option who cannot feel easy with chatbots. A user can always prefer to wait to be informed by the chatbots and have a better conversation on a particular topic or query. So, besides bots, you should allow emails, calls, messaging etc. as alternative options.

7. Allow easily graspable input options

The lengthy a conversation become, the bigger the chances of reaching the dead ends. So, always provide users options for specific inputs with exclusive buttons and easily graspable visual options. Keeping responses thoroughly in control and avoiding unpredictable text input are two aspects to consider when designing chatbots.

8. Keep the context in mind

In the majority of UX design elements, these days user context is a serious aspect to consider. Well, the predetermined kind of queries and answers with chatbots cannot completely take the context into consideration but still, there are certain elements that can be fine-tuned over time. The chatbot replies and questions can be designed to take the time, place and user into consideration. For repeated users, the bot can behave differently than new users.

To Conclude,

Finally, we must agree that though chatbots and conversational design are almost a new kid in the block of web technologies, new possibilities, and creative tweaking will never cease to evolve. As web interfaces are increasingly becoming focused on user engagement and interaction, chatbots and conversational design will be adopted by a number of apps and websites in the time to come.

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