3 min read

Chatbot Design: A UX UI Guide for Creating Human Bots

Conversations are innate to human life. There’s an irreplaceable sense of fulfillment in this one-to-one form of communication.

In this age of automation, where most things feel mechanized, thoughtful chatbot design is capable of retaining that sense of connection. 

UX designers, you play a vital role in shaping the way conversations happen on the internet. Your work is the decider between a drab and an engaging chat experience. You are practically re-shaping the modality of conversations. 

The UX revolution is upon us.

UX revolution: it is real!

Even though technological innovation has always needed the help of its artistic counterpart, it hasn’t always been recognized. Not seriously, until 1995.

In 1995 Apple hired a cognitive scientist, Donald Norman, as its 1st official UX designer. This job title was the first of its kind for anyone to serve and work in this role. The man devoted all his talent to developing a never-before-seen model of human-machine interaction.

Since then, the world has understood the importance of user experience, and now everyone takes it seriously.

UX design is crucial for everything because –

  • It eases the user’s way into using a new appliance.
  • Imparts a sense of human touch to machines.
  • Generates a psychological harmony between a machine and its user.

Naturally, UX is taking over everything. It can be said that the AI revolution is almost being handheld by UX artists. 

Gone are the days when users would get upset when asked to book a complaint through chatbots. Nowadays, people don’t really mind seeking resolutions through AI.

How did that happen? Through the application of UX in Chatbot design.

Chatbots are so advanced now that you’ll easily mistake it for some human agent when exchanging with one. That’s true for at least some companies.

Chatbot UI designs can make or break customer retention. Deploying a buggy chatbot is a sure-fire way to displease a customer. On the other hand, install a cleverly designed chatbot that supports a speedy resolution of tickets, and you’ll retain a lot of visitors.

Are you convinced now; that it’s rewarding to get serious about chatbots that act humanely?

Then let’s dig into the principles of organic and engaging chatbot design.

Chatbot Design: all you need to know

1. Define your chatbot’s scope of action

You must ask the right questions in order to begin in the right direction. By chalking out a loose set of guidelines, you’ll be able to follow the correct course.

Few questions to ask before a chatbot UI design –

  1. Who will the chatbot serve? Will it converse with customers of prospects?
  2. What’ll be its personality? Will it be quirky, serious, peppy, or demure?
  3. The topics it’ll address – will it be support, refunds, recommendations, delivery?
  4. The questions users are likely to ask.

2. Get clear about what the chatbot will do.

Chatbots need a lot of training through machine learning to be able to do things seamlessly. The challenge here is to align your bot toward a selected few functions. It requires a lot of high-quality data to train an AI. So, you are more likely to create a natural user experience by setting a focused role for your chatbot design.

For instance, a small real estate company won’t need a bot for customer support. Instead, a lead-generating chatbot will prove to be more valuable for them. As UX designers, y’all have to build the analytical habit of making the right choices in these situations.

3. Design with empathy

Of course, text is the base of a conversational interface, but empathy is the key.

Along with what a chatbot says, the way it’s said is highly valuable. You must not miss out on the personality aspect during a chatbot design session.

Research the target audience for the product you are designing. Find out the phrases they use. A familiar tone opens a user up to a conversation. Create your chatbot’s persona according to that information.

Will it have a gender? How will it greet the user? Determine these aspects.

4. Incorporate buttons

Quick responses have become common to the point where everyone now just expects it. For a chic chatbot design, you can incorporate this feature through buttons.

These suggested responses are a great way to ease them into a conversation. It takes away the confusion of typing a response and effectively directs the conversation in a direction.

5. Admit to failure

There will be instances when your bot gets zapped! Some users may send a body of text that confuses your bot.

Mitigate these by training your AI to send an error message. There’s no harm in letting users know that they’re conversing with an AI. When confusion arises, gently guide them toward a direct helpline.Empathetic and human-like chatbot design is just an indicator of the massive potential of AI. It shows that days aren’t far when artificial intelligence will emulate human behavior in every digital scene.

Published by Ankur Sarkar

Sr. UX Designer

Ankur Sarkar Sr. UX Designer