Although conversational user interfaces (CUIs) aren’t completely new, just remember Microsoft Office assistant Clippy, the often unsolicited, annoying paper clip 📎 we can observe that lately they’re becoming sharp-witted, useful and also building their own personality.
Where the nice CSS, layouts and design elements aren’t used and necessary, the right words, expressions and the proper tone with the user become crucial. Crafting and compressing all the UX in a few lines of text is among the latest challenges in the design field.
“Crafting and compressing all the UX in a few lines of text is among the latest challenges in the design field.”
Modified Designer Job Description
After a bot is all set up and running the next step remains to figure out how it should behave in real-time conversations.
When Photoshop and Sketch skills no longer matter and the content becomes a way of expressing the style, designers find themselves in the hard situation of reconsidering the whole meaning of design.
Instead of picking pantone colors and the right layout, the product designer has to think of a way to form and build experiences around the context.
Tips for building great UX
- Introduction: your bot must make a good first impression, start with a bang and ease the user in with simple examples. Lead with a couple of easy wins.
- Onboarding: by providing recommendations and suggestions regarding the further steps, your bot can gradually make a tour on how he can be helpful
- Speak the language: the bot can establish a relationship with the user based on the way specific words or groupings of words can make the user react and respond (previously used actions/terms/words/questions history)
- Educate: if your bot is capable besides the general setting up a reminder or scheduling a meeting tasks of ordering food or making online appointments, let the user know about it. Think in terms of:
You asked me to remind you to “pay the invoice”. Would you like me to set this as a recurring payment? or You asked me to remind you the “meeting today at 4:15”. Would you like me to order food for the meeting?
“The bot’s ability to communicate in a way that humans do is indispensable for a great UX.”
We don’t really want use bots, we rather have a dialogue with them.
The presence of the bot’s personality is an important element of the UX in the case of conversational user interfaces.
And by personality I mean how the bot actually behaves while communicating in real-time.
Although your bot is fast in suggesting a nearby location, or setting up a reminder for an upcoming meeting, the ability to communicate in a way that humans do makes a difference.
The basic elements in the creation of a rich personality are
- Keyphrases: you can predefine set of words that your bot can recognize and locate
- Ranking: in case there are more keyphrases used you should rank them to determine the one that is more important
- Responses: a set of possible responses for each keyphrase used randomly to prevent repetition
- API’s: a way to include external information
What adds to a bot’s personality
- instead of replying instantly try delaying the answer by pretending the bot is “typing”, this way the user will feel more like having a conversation with a person and not a machine
- link fitting emoticons to certain words, this will help the bot to express feelings related to the actual content
- anticipate the user’s behavior based on previous actions, analyze factors like date, time, weather conditions etc. and send pings or reminders based on them
- using witty jokes and responding funny to certain user questions will contribute to set your bot’s friendly tone
Remember that people want to make progress in their lives and get things done. By designing a conversational UI, your main goal is help them get there faster through a different medium. By adding personality and character to your bot, you can improve the overall user experience.