8 essential To Do’s for designing a successful bot!

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Do you know Slackbot, Alexa or Cortana. Bots are a running trend and all people want to integrate a bot in their website, product or want to use conversational concepts for “Alexa” from Amazon or “Tmall Genie” from Alibaba. Would that be a must have for the future?

Gartner announced that by 2020 customers will manage
85% of their relationship without talking to a human.

Or As Donald Norman said in 1990,
“The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way. I don’t want to focus my energies on an interface. I want to focus on the job…I don’t want to think of myself as using a computer, I want to think of myself as doing my job.”


But a lot of Bots in our daily life fail. We spend a lot of time developing new services through this great trend.
1.) The problem is, that people don’t know how to design a bot.
2.) People will be motivated by early adopter and innovators but don#t think about the value for the consumer


3.) But the most important exercise is to make a bot as human as possible.



We like technology which behaves as a human. But it is too human it’s too freeky for us. The problem with bot’s is, that most of them doesn’t behave like human. So they are not successful, because people don’t like it.

It’s like a stupid technical bot.

On the other side, not every use case fits to create a bot. You really must decide where a bot have an advantage. Contextual bot design is another essential part of it.
• In which context are you talking with a bot
• Who is talking with the bot

So what’s the way to go?

How to design a successful bot?

1.) Define you target

2.) Define a bot personality

  • Wich persona do I create
  • Child
  • Business
  • Daily life
  • Slang language

What makes it a personality?

3.) Define the context

  • What data do I have?
  • What data can I access?
  • Which data can be combined?
  • What data does the user need?
  • In which context / device can I work

4.) Learn from the hook convas (gameification) and create a motivated conversation

5.) Use human behaviour

Immediately answer < 3 seconds

Instant feedback. This maintains a conversation.

Thinking > 6 seconds
Real behaviours are often lost in the digital world.

Pause > 1 hour
A conversation was interrupted because of other activities. But the context to continue.

Catching up > 3 days
Start a new conversation.

6.) Define Chatbot Scripts

For all following scrips you must define different conversations and scripts. You have to see them as modules or templates to create an motivating conversation.

a. Limitation of the topic
b. Clear goal formulation
c. Give users a FOCUS

a. Further information
b. Give transparency
c. Explanations

a. Jump back to your context
b. Skip topics

a. Efficient processing
b. Focused leadership

a. Make it human
b. Change topics
c. Do User Research

a. Be prepared for stupid quetsions
b. Bring back tot he topic

a. Come to an end
b. Say good bye

7.) Test
You can prototype your bot on paper or with easy tools. Focus on the human and try to find the best solutions.

8.) Optimize the whole time
After you launched a chatbot, you have to measure and observe the different conversations and learn from them. You can win with every user.


To summarize some tips
1.) Give the user only one task at a time.
2.) Limit the number of choices.
3.) Give the user only sensible choices.
4.) Make sure the user knows what to do.
5.) Use the most efficient way of user input.


written by Hannes Robier

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