Eight steps to better chatbot conversation design

If you’re involved in writing content for chatbots, or are looking to develop your chatbot conversation design skills, we recently spotted this presentation from the PLAIN 2019 conference which has some clear and useful guidance.

In her talk, plain language consultant Andrea Othilie Rognan outlines why robots get human interaction so wrong: unlike humans, machines have “no social intelligence, layers of meaning, or real understanding of context”.

To get around this, she offers eight simple but useful instructions for better chatbot conversation design and setting up machine-human interactions that are more likely to succeed.

In summary they are:

  1. Manage expectations – be clear on what the chatbot can do
  2. Use personality – be human in your responses
  3. Take turns – this is a conversation
  4. Be brief – the golden rule
  5. Speak the truth – make sure your answers are accurate
  6. Know what’s relevant – context is everything
  7. Be polite – Ps & Qs matter
  8. Fail graciously – how to get it wrong

See the full presentation here: The robots are here – how to combine plain language and conversational design.

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