An exploration into building engaging Conversational User Interfaces.

This article is aimed at providing a foundational understanding of Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) to help you deploy your own experimental pilot within the field.

I’ll share tips and tricks while walking you through the process of making your own chatbot. This article will cover:

1. Getting Started

As part of the UX Design team within Clutch Amsterdam, I was assigned a project on building a functional, proof-of-concept chatbot. When initially beginning, I thought chatbots were nothing more than a trendy gimmick, however, through my process I quickly learned otherwise.

During the project I worked with Marion Mulder, a Digital Product Owner fascinated with CUIs. She had already given many presentations related to the subject and was excited to help guide me along the way.

Our first step was thinking of a valuable purpose for the chatbot to fill. After some brainstorming, we decided on Eurovision since it wasn’t tied to a brand and because Marion already knew a demographic interested in trying it out. Additionally, we both felt that we could craft a funny, enjoyable, and entertaining personality to reflect the popular contest.

After acquainting myself with Eurovision and the culture behind it, I moved onto absorbing as much information as I could about designing a chatbot. The process was unclear to me at first and having read through dozens of articles and Amir Shevat’s book, “Designing Bots: Creating Conversational Experiences,” it was still foggy. However, one thought became clear:

The process required to design a chatbot continues to adapt based on the designer, the tools available, and the intended platform.

2. A Brief History

While chatbots are one of the trendiest topics within the design world at the moment, they’re far from new. To understand the present and future of chatbots, we must first revisit the past.

A timeline of Conversational User Interfaces.

A timeline of Conversational User Interfaces.