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Designing Bots and Conversational Apps for Work

Bot prototyping design sprint

Amir Shevat

Bots and conversational interfaces are an exciting new way to introduce products and services. For startups, enterprises, and brands alike, bots enable a new user experience and can improve engagement and implement workflows. In just two hours, Amir Shevat offers an overview of this new interface model and walks you through designing and prototyping a bot, following the Design Sprint methodology: understanding the domain, defining a use case you want to solve, brainstorming solutions, deciding on the solution you want to implement, prototyping a design, and doing usability testing. You’ll leave with a design for a useful and delightful bot that you can start building right away.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, online course, you’ll understand:

  • Conversational interface basic concepts
  • The uses cases bots cover
  • The principles of a good conversational design
  • The rich controls at your bot’s disposal
  • Steps to improve your bot design

And you’ll be able to:

  • Define your bot’s work use case
  • Map intent and entities
  • Outline a conversational flow
  • Design a conversational prototype
  • Test your conversation interface with actual users

This training course is for you because...

  • You’re a product manager with a background in product design who wants to build a bot spec.
  • You’re a designer with a background in UX design who wants to design your first conversational interface.

Prerequisites

Recommended preparation:

Designing Bots, chapters 1 and 2 (book)

Design Sprint, chapters 1–3 (book)

Design Sprint (video)

Familiarize yourself with Walkie (free; no registration required) and API.AI (optional; no registration needed if you have a Google account)

Answer the following questions about your use case:

  • What are the top-five use cases you want to implement?
  • Who is the audience for each use case? (Try to create a use case definition doc.)
  • Is this a consumer or a business use case? (If you answered consumer, this is not in the right course for you.)

Materials needed:

Sticky notes and colored stickers (red, yellow, and blue dots preferred)

About your instructor

  • Amir Shevat is the head of developer relations at Slack. Previously Amir was the global Startup Outreach lead in Google Play and led scalable programs in Developer Relations and Google Campus TLV. Amir has also founded several startups. He is a developer at heart and the author of the "Designing Bots" O'Reilly book.

Schedule

The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Course outline:

  • Lecture: Understanding the bot domain and examples of delightful bots (25 minutes)

  • Hands-on: Defining your use case—Distill your user statement, describe how this process is done today, and outline the intent and the entities of the workflow (15 minutes)

  • Break (10 minutes)

  • Hands-on: Diverging—Create 2–8 interfaces for the bot on sticky notes, write the script for your bot, and explore different interactions (15 minutes)

  • Hands-on: Deciding—Share sketches, review them, and decide which flow to implement (15 minutes)

  • Hands-on: Prototyping—Design a prototype of a flow using Walkie (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: Validation—Wizard of Oz user testing, usability testing, and production feedback (15 minutes)

  • Conclusion: What wasn’t covered—Onboarding, human in the loop, and hosting and tools (5 minutes)