Talking to a Bot: the Chat UI

Once I knew what I wanted to build, I began designing the interfaces. I build the interfaces out in HTML/CSS/JS so that I can immediately use the final design as I start backend work. The UX had to be great because most people have never used a chat bot.

Above is the home page after signing in. The main interaction is talking to bots, so it is the central element in the IA. On the left side are user centric functions, which is why bots that the user created are listed there, as well as the CTA to build a bot.

Suggestions

The experience of creating an Interview Guide had to be straightforward, to allow a user to come in and create one with little friction. I wanted to be able to guide a user through the creation process.

Appearance & Settings

The experience of creating an Interview Guide had to be straightforward, to allow a user to come in and create one with little friction. I wanted to be able to guide a user through the creation process.

Responsive for Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile

The experience of creating an Interview Guide had to be straightforward, to allow a user to come in and create one with little friction. I wanted to be able to guide a user through the creation process.

Discovering Bots: the Botler Market

The Botler Market was critical because it was what let users find bots that they would love. It had to be inviting to users and I realized that the market is a product in its own right (in fact, many startups simply aim to provide a bot market). The Botler Market had to inspire developers so that they would be proud to have their bot listed here.

Instant Interaction

In addition to showing listings of bots, which every bot market does, Botler could do something others could not. I wanted users - whether or not they had an account - to immediately interact with a bot on the market. They could immediately decide whether they liked a bot or not.

Building Bots: Docs and Tools

The other core facet of Botler is building a bot. Because I wanted to expand the scope of developers who made bots, Botler had to be extremely developer friendly. Developers can use any language they want and any API's they want, because bot logic is deployed on the developer's own server!

In order to help developers understand Botler and why they should register their bots on it, I realized I had to write up the documentation. I needed to tell developers the exact parameters I passed and give them inspiration on things they could do with Botler. You can check out the more technical Service Bot documentation, if you would like.

Query Routing

When a query to a bot registered on Botler arrives, Botler simply routes it via GET to the endpoint specified by the bot creator (which is their own server/domain). Botler can receive user queries online or through SMS on the Botler number. This means users can get information even without Internet access.

No Code? No problem!

To reach even more potential bot creators, Botler allows users who cannot program to create simple bots. Users can register a bot handle, and specify key value pairs so that when a user messages the bot with that keyword, a preset string is returned. The majority of bots on Botler are made without coding.

Viewing Bot Usage: Bot Analytics

The Botler Market was critical because it was what let users find bots that they would love. It had to be inviting to users and I realized that the market is a product in its own right (in fact, many startups simply aim to provide a bot market).