UX Challenge: Chatbot
When a person starts using a chatbot, the onboarding flow introduces the capacities of the chatbot. This is the entry point to any other flow. Some preliminary research has been performed, and we discovered our users wouldn't know if they were talking to a real person, or to a bot. Design the onboarding flow that would clarify this, and highlight some key capabilities of the bot.
For whom: A fictional florist e-commerce, ‘Fleurist’, that will be using a chatbot via facebook messenger.
The value proposition describes our product, service, or experience that creates desired gains or relieves existing pains. I have described the desired gains and existing pains of the people that the chatbot service will serve. Through this process, and some general UX research on concepts surrounding chatbot technology, desired gains and existing pains of the people you aim to serve. I have also uncovered some unexpected gains.
Potential problem points I have identified include user frustration with artificial intelligence, users losing a sense of control and general apprehension of conversing with an impersonal, stoic robot.
Problem - Robotic Response
Opening interaction is critically important because it’s the hook that captures the user’s attention and motivates them to complete their goals through the chat interface, so it should be part of an ongoing process of continual testing a refinement. The key here for me, was using the user’s the first name in the initial greeting. This comes across as engaging,
I also paid plenty of attention to the tone of the bot. As people can be apprehensive towards using these features. I prototyped a build that features a friendly and helpful bot, efficient but far from the dreaded ‘robotic’ trait. I have to be sure to script unanticipated replies, dynamic responses that convey a feeling of empathy. Unpredictable and friendly conversation engage people emotionally in conversations. This leaves us with a personalised and empathetic experience, almost convincing our user that they are speaking to a human being.
Problem: Lack of Control
I am mindful that I want the user’s interactions with the chatbot to be as straightforward and seamless as possible. Artificial intelligence is still not an exact science and interactions do not always go to to plan. Additionally, users are motivated by control and mastery. If a task is confusing, and/or time consuming, there should be some acknowledgement of this or a method to allow users to do the task in their own way.
Response buttons provide an excellent opportunity to overcome AI shortcomings and to help guide users to their answer when needed. Add in the fact that it takes less time to click a button than to type out a response, especially on mobile devices, and response buttons are a no-brainer when building a chatbot.