Hola Bot! Best Practices to follow while designing a chatbot

chat bot design, ui ux design

After decades of buttons on screens, chat bots are offering us a different way of interacting with computers. Powered with Artificial Intelligence (AI), bots are revolutionizing how companies interact with existing and potential customers. 

Some may call chatbots just a trend, but this technology have already positively transformed several sectors, making them a powerful tool in the business world, promising massive revenue. Recent report by Gartner states chat bots will power 85 percent of all customer service interactions by the year 2020. Undoubtedly, they are one of the most popular technology trends for 2018, and today we have compiled a set of best practices to follow while designing a chatbot. 

Human first. Technology second

We are kickstarting this blog with the most obvious point, understanding the end user- they are all that matters, technology can wait. It goes without saying, that all the bells and whistles don’t matter at all if the bot doesn’t serve the needs of the user. Hence, start with real users and real conversations. Pay close attention to the reasons a user might initiate a chat. Play the scenarios that can lead them to initiate a chat and the many ways the bot can respond naturally to specific questions. Build a conversation flow, which will allow to build a full conversation with any type of deviations that occurs and taken into consideration.

Welcome message

As the saying goes, first impression is always the last impression, the saying holds true for chatbots too. Although a welcome message is quite simple, but a user’s first interaction with a chat bot can make or break the success of their chat session and determine whether or not they will be a repeat user. It will be wise not to underestimate the potential of a well-crafted welcome message as it is an opportunity for the chatbot to nicely greet the user. It also helps in setting expectations for what’s to come, it’s usability, and provide essential tips and instructions for optimal use. 

Have a personality

Yes most users are aware that they are chatting with a bot, but that shouldn’t be any reason not to infuse some persona into your bot. Avatars help to create a more friendly feel for the conversation and depending on the context of a chat bot’s use, this concept can even be taken a step further by enhancing the persona by mixing in a little humour with a chatbot, which can yield a subtle boost to the UX without requiring one to roll up their sleeves. 

Be Bot-Obvious

Irrespective of all the technological advances, no bot will ever be 100% human. Rather than confusing and frustrating the users, we suggest being upfront with them. Tell them directly that they’re interacting with a bot. This builds a certain amount of trust at the very beginning and makes them more understanding if things don’t go right. The best way to inform the user is to introduce the bot in the welcome message or put the word ‘bot’ in your Chabot’s name. 

Mind your Language

The kind of language the bot uses while interacting with the user is also critical as it determines how the bot is perceived. Avoid using slangs, technical jargons, generation-specific terminology (known in some parts as “Millennial-speak”), poor grammar and typos which can negatively impact the user experience. We recommend that the chat bot “speak” in a neutral, grammatically correct format using standard punctuation which will be understood by all. 

Hold on…there are few additional rules! 

  • Talk to your target users, instead of your colleagues while designing your chat bot. They might have adequate product knowledge, and chances are you might miss out on most basic elements needed for a conversation that provides value for your users.
  • Avoid importing the FAQ’s as the only means of information. Get creative, get thinking – think of all the strange questions that a user can potentially ask. 
  • If you are designing a chatbot for dashboards, try to personalize them to user specific. 
  • Do not miss out on user testing before setting your bot free.

 To create an enjoyable, immersive and interactive experience for your users talk to our specialized user experience design team to get more insights on our unique process. 

4 reasons why your business needs a Progressive Web App

Business needs a PWA

The web world is an ever-changing platform, and just when you think you’re hopping onto one trend, another comes whizzing by. Not too long ago, responsive web design was the buzzword and the changes brought on by them have almost fully saturated. And now, Progressive Web Apps- which offer the same functionality and feel, like a native mobile app but are accessed through the internet like other sites and are changing what we do and how we do it.

Without a doubt, Progressive Web Apps (PWA) has taken over the development community by a storm, and by the looks of it, this storm will take a while to quiet down. According to a report done by Gartner, PWA will replace half of the consumer-facing apps by 2020. Hence, without further ado, here are four reasons why progressive web apps are just the thing your company might need.

Progressive Web Apps, Responsive Web Design

Downloading is a thing of the past (Bye Bye App stores!)

We humans have become an impatient lot, then from what we used to be a couple of decades ago. It’s probably because we are getting used to getting access to what we want, whenever we want, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The best part about Progressive Web apps is that you no longer need to download them. All that frustration of downloading an app from an app store or play store is a thing of the past. All a user needs to do is type in the URL, click on a URL link and the app will launch straight away. No more logins, no passwords to remember, no wasting precious data, no updates, and who doesn’t like the sound of that!
For companies, PWAs are designed to provide the same responsiveness as a native app. They aren’t just fast- they load instantly, even if you have a patchy connection, which simply means that fewer and fewer potential customers are going to give up midway, which in turn, means a quick turn transition from potential customer to conversion.

They offer a frictionless experience.

PWA’s provide the best of both worlds, and they are far more efficient than native apps. They work on-demand and are always accessible, without taking up a phone’s valuable memory or data. However, this doesn’t mean users need to sacrifice the convenience of a native app, users can still save the PWA to their home screen and it’s installable without the hassle of a real download. This is not only a considerable improvement in user experience but also efficient and economical.

Search Engine Optimization, SEO Services

SEO benefits

Progressive web apps are essentially websites which means they are advantageous for SEO! Unlike, native mobile apps, they can be discovered and indexed by Google hence they will appear in search engine results and in return drive more traffic to your website. A PWA loads seamlessly while accessing a site on a smartphone, which reduces friction and improves conversions.

Native Mobile Apps, Native Apps

Faster updates & cost effective

PWA’s don’t require developers to send new builds to the app stores when they need to adjust, a process which can take up to a week for native apps. In case of a critical bug in a native app, developers need to find the problem, fix it, send the build to Apple and Google, wait for them to review the build, and only when the new update will be available for the users. With progressive web apps, any fixes can be launched almost immediately, and it eliminates the need of two separate code bases for Apple and Android devices. Additionally, they cost less to develop than a native mobile app, lowers customer acquisition cost, increases customer reach and conversion rate. This kind of efficiency leads to significant cost savings for companies and paves the way for more rapid innovation.

Progressive web apps are faster, leaner, sleeker, where the user has a much better experience, completes their tasks, and returns for more. This has led many major brands switching from native apps to PWAs, and with good reason. Although PWA was introduced in 2015, they have gained considerable popularity in a short time because of their inherent flexibility, and their huge cost-saving features. From Flipkart to Twitter to Starbucks, PWAs are proving that any business can make significant gains with this technology.

Progressive Web Apps

How to launch your own Progressive Web App?

If you are a growing startup and would want to launch your own PWA then you are in the right place. Scketch has gained substantial expertise in designing and developing Progressive Web Apps and would love to help you out. Contact us.

Humanizing Big Data with Design Thinking

Big Data, Design Thinking

The amount of data each one of us is creating, in this world of increasing connectivity, is enormous. Although, we are aware that big data is poised to transform businesses and even our lives, but companies are gradually struggling to find a way to translate all that data in a way which actually benefits the business.

We’ve reached a stage in the field of technology where consumers are no longer attracted to access to data, as data availability, even our own, is increasingly the norm. If you are wondering what exactly are consumers looking in products and services, the answer lies in the usability of the data.

So what are successful companies doing to stay ahead in the game to woo consumers? It is Design Thinking. By employing human centered design thinking techniques to something inhuman such as big data, companies are continually engaging with customers in an emotional way and outsmarting the competition in the market.

Design Thinking and Big Data, exciting right?

No matter how much the world has come to revere Big Data, data scientists don’t hold some magic formula that’s going to save the world, radically transform businesses, or eliminate poverty. Problems cannot be resolved just by accumulating large amount of data or setting a bunch of nerds loose on a pile of data. Solving a problem not only requires a high-level conceptual understanding of the challenge, but also a deep understanding of the nuances of a challenge.

Let’s take a quick recap of the design thinking process:

  • Observe, empathize and understand the customer’s behavior or interaction.
  • Develop theories about their behavior, including spoken and unspoken aspects of their behavior, explicit and implicit needs, etc.
  • Based on derived theories, develop potential solutions that could address the problem they face.
  • Qualify some of these solutions based on various kinds of criteria, such as feasibility, scope, technology, cost, etc.
  • Start designing a prototype, iterate and then begin developing the final product idea.

Applying Design Thinking on Big Data

Getting back to how big data companies can leverage design thinking, data scientists could benefit by starting with asking right questions like who for? Who are? Instead of applying frameworks and algorithms right away to the data, begin with a stakeholder mapping exercise. Understand and clarify relationships and potential gaps, being sure to include both internal and external stakeholders. This will help data scientists understand who is the target user and who will benefit most from their future innovation.

Design Thinking on Big Data

Design relies heavily on empathy and it is the cornerstone of ground breaking products.To utilize design thinking methodology, understand your consumers or users and develop insights and opportunity statements to act as a springboard for ideation. Look at how key stakeholders use (or don’t use) information currently, concentrate on individual experiences, invite stakeholders into the process as much as possible, whether through contextual observation in the early stages or collaborative workshops as your process evolves. Forming a deep customer empathy allows data scientists to understand the consumers, the environment and the criteria of a good solution. The end-goal of any product is to be consistently used by all users, not just power users, and the only way to accomplish this is to make it as simple as possible to discover the relevant insights.

Design thinking has given a rise to a new mantra- Fail fast to succeed faster. Sooner you identify that something is failing, the quicker you can fix it and the faster you will ultimately succeed. A vital component of design thinking is a prototype, which conveys a realistic impression of the new problem solution as early as possible. Developing prototypes allows to obtain more informed feedback from users, and combining this information with additional research, iteration, and brainstorming lays the pathway to reach the final goal.

As technology is evolving at a rapid pace, enterprises are facing new challenges every day which is only growing complex with time. When design-thinking is applied to analytics, sheer magic is born. Big data in combination with design thinking can be revolutionary by virtue of the value it creates for organizations. Thinking from a human level, paying attention to the human factors that contribute to or motivate success, is the surest way to for organizations to unlock new opportunities, build empathy for users and pave the way to exceptional experiences that are truly human-centered.