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Conversational bots: the uprising user experience tool

“There’s an app for that.” It’s a phrase that became popular through Apple commercials a few years ago and it certainly describes the state of the technological world today. However, if you delve a bit deeper into the culture, you may find that there is a new type of user experience (UX) rising: conversational bots. The best examples of this are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Now. These are the most popular applications of “conversational interface.” But now you probably might ask “what exactly is this conversational interface”?

Nina Hoedlmayr

· 3 min read

Now that there’s an app for everything, we are all working on developing a bot for everything (we tech-nerds are so predictable). By creating bots, developers are making it easier for you to navigate interfaces more efficiently and with a greater degree of satisfaction. The reason for this efficiency and satisfaction is precisely because of the role of conversation. If you’ve ever used Siri, Cortana or Google Now, you know that all you have to do is talk to it in the same way that you would talk to a person. These bots are voice bots, consequently, you only need to talk to make the bot work. On the other hand, there are text bots, such as assi.st and Luka, and most importantly Yodel (😉) which are also pretty great as you are texting them and get a suitable response back. These handlings are so much more convenient as there’s no need to learn how the app works, no need to read an instructions manual, and no need to get used to any layout. This makes it a lot simpler for anyone to use and it also gives you a sense that you are interacting with someone else in order to navigate through an interface. It’s like having your own customer rep who helps you navigate through interfaces until you find what you’re looking for. And you must admit, this evolution is pretty neat!

However, bots are a lot more than customer reps. There are bots to help you order food, to update you when something happens (news, weather, etc), help you manage your home or business, and even manage other bots. Again, even though there’s an app for just about everything, bots have started replacing apps because of their simplicity and personalization. This last element also plays an important role in conversational UX.

Bots and this might sound creepy, are often made to have personalities. But this is a huge advantage for generating conversational UX as it makes you feel like you are talking to a real person rather than a robot. More precisely, it primes a social context that encourages you to simply express yourself and really want to work together to get something done.

Taken all together, bots (that are created to be helpful to you) have a huge potential and really help to make your day, work, and personal life better. From my point of view, this is pretty great and I’m sure you will be surprised by what extend bots will make your life easier!

Written by Ed Alvarado and Nina Hödlmayr

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