Written by Bruna Werlang, UX Researcher & HCM Specialist at ilegra

We observed the rise and evolution of chatbot, combining artificial intelligence with the strategies of an organization, so they can relate with their audience in an integrated way. This movement has also become relevant regarding banking solutions, allowing the system interaction (public-organization) to be more intuitive with less abandoned interactions. The initiative also helps with the process of service discharge in banking services. With the opportunity to bring a creative solution to this business, ilegra had the challenge of developing a chatbot in five weeks to the banking technology fair CIAB 2018.

Even with the subject being discussed as part of business strategies when a proposal comes to life we question ourselves a basic question: how to project a chatbot? I came across with this inquiry and, as a UX Researcher, I had the challenge of participating in this project, creating personas, flows, and applying UX Writing techniques. As a solution, I developed a working structure for myself through studies and research. Therefore, I’ll share a step by step methodology that I used on the development of IwI — a cool chatbot with a ludic language that performs investments and transfers.

Step 1: final goals

It’s necessary to create a list of goals and objectives that the process has to achieve, in other words, delimitate actions that the user has to complete to effectively execute the interaction. With the chatbot that I developed, as an example, the user should be able to invest or transfer money without abandoning the application. It’s from the first step that the following steps will be projected, so define the final goals is one of the most important stages in the creation process.

Step 2: user research

Understand who the user is and the reason why he/she will is using the chatbot causes the solution to be projected based on the behavior of the idealized persona. It’s crucial to write the script in a way that the user feels involved enough throughout the whole conversation in order to achieve the stipulated goals. Otherwise, the solution could fail.

Step 3: who is the bot?

Create a personality for the bot is important so the user understands who is the “person” behind the conversation. The interactions must be fluid since the users desire a no-robotic experience, with the goal to make the interaction more personalized. For that to happen, we need to project an original and memorable character, that is aligned with the brand guidelines.

“If you don’t spend the time crafting that character and motivation carefully, you run the risk of people projecting motivations, personality traits, and other qualities onto your App and brand that you may not want to be associated with them.”

— Oren Jacob (Google I/O ’17)

Step 4: dialog flow

Determining the conversation flow is important to project the info architecture. On this stage, there’s no need to create the speeches, the important thing here is to understand the conversation route, diagnose and solve flow problems and predict all the possible interactions. It’s important for the developer involved in the project to have the knowledge and co-create the flow strategy, setting the necessary effort to produce the solution.

We utilized the Botmock tool to draw the dialogue flow.

Step 5: the script

It’s time to create the dialogue, the lines, the interactions, and the reactions! It’s not possible to predict everything that the user can say and, every time that there’s no relevant answer, the conversation can take an absurd or, at least, an inadequate route.

“The difference between a good experience and a poorly executed one can be in the small details, such as how long the text is and whether the user has to scroll to read all of it.”

— Amir Shevat, Designing Bots: Creating Conversational Experiences.

Step 6: usability tests

In order to achieve a pleasant and positive experience, apply usability tests. From these insights, it’s possible to review the scope of the project and deliver the best possible solution for the users.

We utilized the Botsociety tool to apply usability tests.

Step 7: development

Transcript the script in a way that the developer understands the relations between the phases, which conversion logic and the amount of time stipulated for each line, it’s fundamental for the solution development to be aligned with the team. In order to generate this script notation, it’s necessary to create a symbol group: parenthesis, brackets, keys and what your team can read and/or understand.

Chatbots have the potential to generate connected experiences without needlework, and a lot of times are conceived to diminish barriers of the interaction journey between organization and public. However, they are only effective if projected with intelligence and strategy. Therefore, it’s very important to talk about developing conversational chatbots and interfaces, because brands are increasingly searching for methods that allow personalized relationships, and the professionals should be prepared to meet this demand.