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Designing without an interface
DESIGNING
BOTS
HI
Sebastian Stockmarr
Head of Design
Founders
sebastian@founders.as
@stockmarr
WHY?
Why are they interesting to us?
WHY?
Bots?
Why are bots interesting for us when creating new products?
Well, imagine having to learn a new language every ...
Tue 02 May 2016Designing without an interface 5
Tue 02 May 2016Designing without an interface 6
… snapchat for example.
LANGUAGE
YOLO, lol, kthxbye
LANGUAGE
YOLO, lol, kthxbye
But bots have none of this right, they rely solely on language - something we all know
inheren...
DESIGNING
FOR BOTS
Words are hard
DESIGNING
FOR BOTS
Words are hard
How do we actually do it?
In a perfect world we’d just start typing away and getting wha...
This is a pretty standard greeting when you “meet” a new bot.
Most of them, though they look nicer, are closer to command ...
Where you need to write what you want to click on.
And remember every single link.
So how can we get around that stumbling...
english language
bot understanding
english language
bot understanding
Well, our job is to shorten the gap between the full spectrum of the english language t...
BOTS ARE
PRETTY NEW
Not science
BOTS ARE
PRETTY NEW
Not science
Full disclosure, this is a new field.
That being said, the theory that we can apply has bee...
AFFORDANCE
Our superpower
AFFORDANCE
Our superpower
In design we talk a lot about “affordance”.
Affordance can roughly can be summarized as “how a thi...
When we come across a lot of great design we don’t really think about it, because it just
works.
This is the essence of aff...
… not so.
The crazy part is, by taking something away, they could actually make it better.
.. like so.
Skeuomorphic design got its birth in this way of thinking. Make a button look like something
you can tap on, t...
💬 Chat
⏰ Chronological
# Interact with
friends and
colleagues
💬 Chat
⏰ Chronological
# Interact with
friends and
colleagues
What does our interface invite you to do?
- Chat (tap, tap, ...
PERSONALITY
# 💬
PERSONALITY
# 💬
Firstly, we can use that fact that people are used to chat with different people.
Even with humans, I choos...
I picked a few examples from the Slack app directory to illustrate this.
This is just the avatar, name & description, but ...
Visjar does something great here. It uses a real thing that everybody has an idea of what is -
an assistant, so you kind o...
Last one here is Meekan. It basically uses something that we all know as the base “the
power CEO’s” personal assistant tha...
personality scope
english language
bot understanding
personality scope
english language
bot understanding… the word personality here is used in the loosest way possible. Since...
CHRONOLOGICAL
⏰
CHRONOLOGICAL
⏰
The second affordance we have to work with is the chronological nature of bots. What that
basically means, ...
Slack is the perfect example, best on boarding experience.
Everything is controlled, even first names/last name.
In this se...
Micro action flows
FLOW
Classic tree structure
TREE
?
Micro action flows
FLOW
Classic tree structure
TREE
?
One of our learnings, from building a few different bots, have been th...
Micro action flows
FLOW
Classic tree structure
TREE
!
!
!
Micro action flows
FLOW
Classic tree structure
TREE
!
!
!
… this we can design for.
And also know the limits of the medium....
personality scope
english language
bot understanding
chronological scope
personality scope
english language
bot understanding
chronological scope
Back to our science here, we’re getting better.
B...
… this is actually one of our own bots in its early days.
There’s gonna be mistakes, but that’s part of being human and de...
TOOLBOX
Personality
& archetypes
Control the
conversation
Predict use cases Right medium for
the right situation
# 💬 🔮 👋
TOOLBOX
Personality
& archetypes
Control the
conversation
Predict use cases Right medium for
the right situation
# 💬 🔮 👋
T...
THANKS
@stockmarr
CONTINUE
DUUOO
Our newest bot based project.
A bot that help managers
become great leaders.
www.duuoo.io
FOUNDERS
A compan...
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
Designing bots
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Designing without an interface for this new interaction by applying classic design theory.

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Designing bots

  1. 1. Designing without an interface DESIGNING BOTS
  2. 2. HI Sebastian Stockmarr Head of Design Founders sebastian@founders.as @stockmarr
  3. 3. WHY? Why are they interesting to us?
  4. 4. WHY? Bots? Why are bots interesting for us when creating new products? Well, imagine having to learn a new language every time you wanted to order a pizza from a new place? Or if you had to learn a new language if you wanted to switch to a new phone company? Or book a hotel? *It’s not really that nice* From a visual design perspective this is in reality what we’re experiencing on a micro level already. Whenever we go to a website or download an app, we have to learn how to use it. There is of course also a form of language here, but, it’s not like everybody sends their app through this visual spellchecker…
  5. 5. Tue 02 May 2016Designing without an interface 5
  6. 6. Tue 02 May 2016Designing without an interface 6 … snapchat for example.
  7. 7. LANGUAGE YOLO, lol, kthxbye
  8. 8. LANGUAGE YOLO, lol, kthxbye But bots have none of this right, they rely solely on language - something we all know inherently. We can think of language as the “new” interface. Partially standardized, endlessly complex and yet, as simple as one makes it. This is one of the reasons why, from a design perspective, bots are super interesting.
  9. 9. DESIGNING FOR BOTS Words are hard
  10. 10. DESIGNING FOR BOTS Words are hard How do we actually do it? In a perfect world we’d just start typing away and getting whatever we wanted - but, there’s still a bit of way to go… These guys & girls, aren’t close to understanding natural language just yet.
  11. 11. This is a pretty standard greeting when you “meet” a new bot. Most of them, though they look nicer, are closer to command line interfaces like MS-DOS. Most of them even have /help commands and what not. At this level, it’s not a lot different from a visual interface.
  12. 12. Where you need to write what you want to click on. And remember every single link. So how can we get around that stumbling blindly in the dark feeling? How can we create something that utilizes the great parts of the bots, the language, when we’re at a point where our machines can’t really understand natural language completely? (And even if they could, our bots probably wouldn’t be able to act on everything anyway)
  13. 13. english language bot understanding
  14. 14. english language bot understanding Well, our job is to shorten the gap between the full spectrum of the english language to the few commands that they understand now. Nudging people to want to use our bots the way we intend them to be used.
  15. 15. BOTS ARE PRETTY NEW Not science
  16. 16. BOTS ARE PRETTY NEW Not science Full disclosure, this is a new field. That being said, the theory that we can apply has been regarded as a pretty solid truth since the days of MS-DOS.
  17. 17. AFFORDANCE Our superpower
  18. 18. AFFORDANCE Our superpower In design we talk a lot about “affordance”. Affordance can roughly can be summarized as “how a thing invites you to use it”.
  19. 19. When we come across a lot of great design we don’t really think about it, because it just works. This is the essence of affordance. Compared to how many doors we open, its pretty amazing that we hardly ever get it wrong, though most of us never consciously think about it. Some of you might think “bullshit, it’s just because doors are simple.”
  20. 20. … not so. The crazy part is, by taking something away, they could actually make it better.
  21. 21. .. like so. Skeuomorphic design got its birth in this way of thinking. Make a button look like something you can tap on, to make people understand it. Or make a groove that a slider like a scrollbar can be moved along.
  22. 22. 💬 Chat ⏰ Chronological # Interact with friends and colleagues
  23. 23. 💬 Chat ⏰ Chronological # Interact with friends and colleagues What does our interface invite you to do? - Chat (tap, tap, tap, enter. Shorthand/conversational tone) - Chronological (One message “leads” to the next.) - Interact with friends and colleagues (someone on the other end) This is how we can expect people to use these interfaces. So, we can do two things with this. 1. First we can try and change the affordance of the bots 2. Secondly we can change our applications to better work within the limitations that this type of affordance works well with.
  24. 24. PERSONALITY # 💬
  25. 25. PERSONALITY # 💬 Firstly, we can use that fact that people are used to chat with different people. Even with humans, I choose my words. I’m not going to ask my plumber to fix my printer. I know what I can ask and expect help with. Giving the bot “personality” in the broadest sense of the word, can help us with two things. One part aligning of expectations and secondly setting a scope for what this conversation is suppose to be about.
  26. 26. I picked a few examples from the Slack app directory to illustrate this. This is just the avatar, name & description, but the personality is of course in everything. From the written copy the bot communicates with, to the landing page, to, well, the Slack app directory. So, Ace is a great example of the “we have a new tech, let’s do a to-do-list”. Manage to-do’s, action items, polls, close tasks on the go, list tasks. A lot of stuff, that’s sort of connected but also other stuff that clearly isn’t. This doesn’t fit into an established mental model.
  27. 27. Visjar does something great here. It uses a real thing that everybody has an idea of what is - an assistant, so you kind of instinctively know what it can do. Good but also setting unrealistic expectations. “Perfect assistant” - but it can’t handle my dry-cleaning. (Being a bit hard on Visjar here, but just for examples sake.)
  28. 28. Last one here is Meekan. It basically uses something that we all know as the base “the power CEO’s” personal assistant that sets up a meeting. Besides the fact, that everybody sort of wishes that they had such an assistant from time to time, it actually sets a super specific idea of what you’ll use Meekan for, right. Scheduling, nothing else, something that we all have a pretty similar mental model for how works. It could perhaps have a bit more personality too it, but at the same time. Though it’s named an assistant it clearly doesn’t feel like someone you would try to pick up your dry-cleaning.
  29. 29. personality scope english language bot understanding
  30. 30. personality scope english language bot understanding… the word personality here is used in the loosest way possible. Since what we’re actually trying to do, is to get away from this openform super natural language. Almost, the opposite of personality - more like a robot. Mimic archetypes from real life, not necessarily only “human” arch types, it could also be a thing or a workflow (like a known app or specified workflow with a well understood taxonomy/shared language). As with most design, honesty here, is the key.
  31. 31. CHRONOLOGICAL ⏰
  32. 32. CHRONOLOGICAL ⏰ The second affordance we have to work with is the chronological nature of bots. What that basically means, is that when you write someone they reply, and you expect the same in return. When someone pings you, you respond right? .. and with this mechanic we can, to some extent, control the conversation. The same social rules that makes you not interrupt someone, allows us, to get the input we want when we want it.
  33. 33. Slack is the perfect example, best on boarding experience. Everything is controlled, even first names/last name. In this setting we can create applications that does some pretty amazing things. Now this is of course super controlled inputs, but it still saves the user from going in an using a new system.
  34. 34. Micro action flows FLOW Classic tree structure TREE ?
  35. 35. Micro action flows FLOW Classic tree structure TREE ? One of our learnings, from building a few different bots, have been that we’re going from the classic tree structure IA, to a bunch of smaller chronological flows ones. This is partially because of the nature of the chat, but also because we lack the “dashboard” or frontpage from which our users can navigate. Now, there’s two ways to solve this. 1. Make people remember this initializers 2. Get smart about when people need these actions that we’re building. And I think this is where bots are so valuable, one thing is not having to go to a new destination when you want to do something. Not having to go to a separate destination when you’re in the middle of something completely different to respond to something is even more valuable.
  36. 36. Micro action flows FLOW Classic tree structure TREE ! ! !
  37. 37. Micro action flows FLOW Classic tree structure TREE ! ! ! … this we can design for. And also know the limits of the medium. Bots simply aren’t good for exploration. Micro action flows = magical feeling when it works & anticipates our needs. Like a real assistant. Not go to use. Come to us to serve. Go to slack or other app = same same. Get notified and take action with 1 thing = great.
  38. 38. personality scope english language bot understanding chronological scope
  39. 39. personality scope english language bot understanding chronological scope Back to our science here, we’re getting better. By controlling the conversation we’re down to a much narrower set of possible answers, and we have a much better chance to prepare sensible responses from our bots and create a great experience. This chronological affordance goes both ways of course. We can't prevent people from writing to our bots about whatever they want, and in return they will expect an answer back.
  40. 40. … this is actually one of our own bots in its early days. There’s gonna be mistakes, but that’s part of being human and definitely also a bot right now. Luckily, it’s human to error, and in this medium there’s probably even more room than most, for us to fail graciously. Again, honesty and a bit of humor goes a long way.
  41. 41. TOOLBOX Personality & archetypes Control the conversation Predict use cases Right medium for the right situation # 💬 🔮 👋
  42. 42. TOOLBOX Personality & archetypes Control the conversation Predict use cases Right medium for the right situation # 💬 🔮 👋 To wrap up we can, add personality to align expectations. We can use the chronological nature of bots to control the conversation and help people hit the right commands at the right moments. We can try and predict use cases and move people into these micro-action-flows. Lastly, we can choose when to use bots (action focused, coming from another focus.) and when not to (explorative, tree-structure requiring use cases)
  43. 43. THANKS @stockmarr
  44. 44. CONTINUE DUUOO Our newest bot based project. A bot that help managers become great leaders. www.duuoo.io FOUNDERS A company that builds companies. www.founders.as
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Designing without an interface for this new interaction by applying classic design theory.

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