Designing a Conversation for Your Chat Bot

Designers have this natural tendency of getting into the shoes of their user’s before jumping onto the project they are about to work. There is a set pattern of conversation between him and the user that sets the tone of what is about to appear in the form of design which is also considered mandatory to give the designer of what the user actually requires. Then there starts a real conversation between the designer and the user and exchange of ideas takes place for finalizing the design and features. You can ask any designer, they feel this part helps them a lot in coming up with quality designs and more importantly satisfying designs.

Now the time has arrived when conversation would also be transformed into user interface as computers are gaining the human touch of conversing and becoming more and more engaging. Now designs have become more of a dialogue and messages have started flowing back and forth. The designers seem to be stuck in the dilemma of what to give priority to when designing conversations for the Chat Bots. The creation of a perfect Chat Bot experience and designing conversation has now become an uphill task.

What your customer needs from you?

You are designing this whole lot of thing for your customer and what they want from you is the most important thing so identify and understand what your customers’ goals are. Moreover, you also need to understand the fact that what kind of tasks your customer want his chat bot to perform and the sole purpose of his to create that chat bot. Once answered, you eventually will be able to craft something very much aligned to your customer needs.

Let us take an example that your customer wants you to create a Travel bot. When the scripting is being done, the designer has the following conversation type in front of him.

  • User gets on the travel chat bot.
    - User wants the best airline, best guide, best hotel and best chauffeur. 
    - Chat Bot answers all of the above with the best results they have to offer.
    - Now the user makes a booking from the available options. 
    - Bot asks the user for the travelling dates. 
    - User answers with the dates
    - Chat Bot makes the booking

This is how the conversation scenario built upon helps the Chat Bot designer to create something of real value as he is in a better place once the goal of building the Chat Bot is made known to him.

Simulated Conversation are inspiring enough

The trend setters in the industry are the ones who have used simulated conversations with the systems or the computers to give all of us an idea of how to build upon these conversations. Companies that deal in products have their training department that works just to train their salesman to communicate with the clients. These salesmen get training of handling different situations arising when dealing with the customers. For example, a gadget salesmen takes part into a simulate dialogue with the client and so on.

There exist so many other scenarios fed in the system that involves communication with the customer and what they require. These kind of simulated dialogues help the salesmen grow in confidence and develop their ability to handle all kinds of situations easily. There is a cool takeaway for designers from simulated conversations prepared for systems that are alike normal conversations.

Their Interactions are vital

The most vital aspect that must be taken into account for is the nature of interaction between user and chat bot. The industry the chat bot will be used in and how much interactive the chat bot will be with their user. The interactions are divided into two sub categories, structured and unstructured. As indicated by its name the structured interaction enables the logical flow of information such as menu selection, flavors, color combos etc. whereas the unstructured is more concerned with the conversations and unprofessional sort of a things such as conversations with family, colleagues, and the flow is in freestyle plain text.

Another important thing designers need to understand is the fact that the messaging platform used while designing conversations and its capabilities is also something that needs to be kept an eye on. Plain text supporting platforms such as SMS is different from a platform supporting images and custom keyboards. Now, the designer needs to choose form the single field or multiple field response and needs to leverage the right kind entirely depending upon the case at hand. He also has to make sure that the Chat Bot supports the least amount of vocabulary specifically for unstructured conversations while the user is completing their tasks. Designers can also create structured conversations using interview method. In this method, a URL can be embedded in the message section redirecting users out of the already in use platform to another place for richer messages.

Now the Script!

After the entire process about simulated conversations and interactions, now is the time for some scripting to be done? It is immensely important for designers to keep the topic of the conversations as close to the goal of the Chat Bot while developing scripts. Designer need to understand the fact that why the bot was created and what kind of circumstances will he be facing when dealing with the users and keep the script revolving around it entirely.

Let’s say the Chat Bot is used for Car dealer the users will ask for all of its colors, model, engine specs, feature and lastly a test drive so the script for the chat bot must be developed accordingly. The designer can also have the transcription services team at his disposal since they are the ones that are considered masters of conversations of all kinds as they deal with variety of people and industries.

It is highly important for designers to be able to interpret what potentially be the answers of their users to make Chat bots absorb that conversational user interface. The easier to handle conversations that have answers in simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ could also be very much helpful.

If you want to keep the conversation very much natural open ended questions would seal the deal as the user would naturally be saying and typing whatever he feels and likes and so does the designer needs to be diligent enough in crafting questions and their responses for the Chat bot. It will be difficult when the chat Bot aren’t accompanied with AI brains and the creation of relevant responses will become a difficult thing to achieve.

Now it all depends on how curious the designer is in order to learn from the observations, hearing and experience. A designer can take a leaf out of the book of simulated conversations when he is short of ideas but they just can’t stop because conversation would undoubtedly be the future of design.

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