When the Content Talks

Chatbots can be much more than instant messaging channels or user browser at mobile. They can integrate static contents, make them talk, and boost enhanced experiences, changing the way that we interact with things.

Static contents — analogical like some physical object, or digital like a form in some website — give us a new level of awareness or familiarity whenever they say hello and start to talk to interact with us.

For instance, a piece of art in a museum can help those who are not an expert, when the art talks for visitors through gadgets and chatbots. In this case, an essential tool to assist visitors with several different experiences in the contact with art.

In the example above, the symbiotic relationship between the bot and the art piece makes it possible for adults, children, laymen, including experts, to have a very satisfying immersive experience that can surpass the analog atmosphere from the museum.

Similar as considered above, this can be made in online contents, such as blogs, websites, online services and commerces, and many others situations. For example, a blog can be a little more human when it gives us personalized information and the content talk with us.

When your website starts to chat with humans or bots, can strengthen the engaging, quickly collect data, and do basic research to propose a better relationship and new posts.

It`s an interesting approach, once, when your content talks through a chat app, you can:

  • Offer a new channel of interaction with users
  • Better understanding the user intents
  • Extract key and relevant information of yours users or visitors
  • Share the relevant info with the right people
  • Record the data and answers to inquiries on its own after learning from conversations
  • Transmit the information in another interface

So, mixing bots with static contents on websites, you can create a hybrid UI, sometimes called as Conversational User Interface (CUI), and sometimes as Conversational Interfaces (CI).

We will not argue here what the difference between CUI and CI, let’s simplify and work with CI, as described by Jiaqi Pan:

A CI is a hybrid UI that interacts with users combining chat, voice or any other natural language interface with graphical UI elements like buttons, images, menus, videos, etc.

Jiaqi Pan shows us in his post Conversational Interfaces: The Future of Chatbots, the highlights of this approach. We can see some super interesting examples, like a post that combines conventional text-based content with small chatbot interactions which provides extra information about certain topics.

If CI sounds good, it can do more than a post that interacts with people, it is able to change the way that designers drafts and produces UX. A fertile ground to new range of conventional forms can emerge when this technology becomes popular.

Not only static contents can chat with us, but systems can talk making themselves available through conversational interfaces. Like the example provided by TypeForm, we can create forms, making them conversational.

As Typeform team says, forms as CI do the process of collect information more human, building better conversations, that promises better engagement and better responses.

Here, we see just some examples of CI, but in The Era of the Conversational Office, wherein many times the modern office communication is text-based, rather than face-to-face interaction or phone calls, we need to take into considerations how CI can make our life easier and our work more productive, like the bot platform of Slack.

Moreover, it allows that the same information can be transmitted in another interface, so that people with some type of limitation, or even preference, have another channel to interact.

In the end, in face of many benefits, we have been seeing people suggesting that bots will replace mobile apps in very near future. However, it’s very likely, NLP based chat or voice bot will not cause the death of mobile apps, since, for many scenarios, apps offer a better user experience than a messaging bot could.

As we see in this post, we believe in a different scenario, where bots able to increase the extension of traditional interfaces, whether analogical or digital. This mix will provide us better services without requiring us to learn new complex user experiences.

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