7 Principles of Designing Interactive Chatbots

Saurabh Tiwary | 7th February 2018

Chatbots are great tools for your website to automate the process of communication with your clients. Unlike, usual communication medium, chatbots can serve 24/7 making your site interactive and user-friendly. They have significant advantages that also help you generate leads and convert them later on.


What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are programmed bots that sit on your website and assist users with frequent queries related to products, business and services. These are very useful when you are unavailable from work and cannot communicate directly to clients.

Do Not Pretend to be a Human

If your chatbot tries to pretend itself as a human being, it is likely to kill the user experience. Avoid using something like “is-typing” indication or any such artificial delays to make it look more humanely. Chatbot messages should be in a different style and should be clearly displayed in a way that communicates they are not actually human. This doesn’t prohibit us from giving the bot persona.

Simplicity is the Key

Chatbot conversations must be restricted to few subjects and go behind linear conversation routes. Also, we get rid of any complicated branching routes. Our goal is not to create AI-based robots.It’s absolutely fine to expose and elaborate the limitations.

Keep Users in Focus

Bots must be used to enhance the end-user experience, but not only to support as customer care executive. A designer must ask themselves if the design should convey as a human being or a chatbot.

Use Infrequently

Do not fully rely on the bots. They are just an alternative to the real-time human support. Whenever possible, make sure to directly communicate to the users instead of fully relying on the bots. You may ask users to communicate through email or call instantly in case they need some human support.

Incorporate an Option to Escape

No user would ever want to be impelled as per the site administrators. So, always have a room for them to escape with the bot options and prefer to communicate via human interactions etc.

Use structured input when possible

Be unambiguous with your chatbot content. Provide easy interactions as well.  For an example, instead of asking the end user to answer “yes” or “no,” provide them with two mutually exclusive hot buttons. In this way, you can keep responses on track and get rid of the complications of parsing unpredictable plain text input.


About Author


Saurabh Tiwary

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