Principles of bot design

Principles of bot design

Designing a bot

If you are building a bot, it’s safe to assume that you are expecting users to use it. It is also safe to assume that you are hoping that users will prefer the bot experience over alternative experiences like apps, websites, phone calls, and other means of addressing their particular needs. In other words, your bot is competing for users’ time against things like apps and websites. So, how can you maximize the odds that your bot will achieve its ultimate goal of attracting and keeping users? It’s simply a matter of prioritizing the right factors when designing your bot.

Factors that do not guarantee a bot’s success

When designing your bot, be aware that none of the following factors necessarily guarantee a bot’s success:

  • How “smart” the bot is
  • How much natural language the bot supports
  • Voice

Factors that do influence a bot’s success

Most successful apps or websites have at least one thing in common: a great user experience. Bots are no different in that regard. Therefore, ensuring a great user experience should be your number one priority when designing a bot. Some key considerations include:

  • Does the bot easily solve the user’s problem with the minimum number of steps?
  • Does the bot solve the user’s problem better/easier/faster than any of the alternative experiences?
  • Does the bot run on the devices and platforms the user cares about?
  • Is the bot discoverable? Do the users naturally know what to do when using it?