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Bot prototyping & design tools?

As a conversation designer I spend a load of time prototyping interactions and trying to manage scripts and I haven’t found a set of tools that let me do this quickly and easily.

Is anyone building tools that are just focussed on making it easier to design bots rather than a whole platform?

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When you say prototyping, do you just mean designing the if/than’s of the bot/human conversation? We’ve (lifecycle) built a very simple “when a user says this, the bot says this” with some NLP. Is that what you mean?

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hey @steffan this is a tool that you guys created?

Hey @nei.fda! Yep. Currently in MVP mode.

Nice!!! Just join the waitlist to give it a try :grin:

Cool! Sending your invite now :slight_smile:

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I have tried botsociety.io to create prototype. It is very convenient and fastest way to show conversation. No technical knowledge required.

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Hi @tom, are you talking about a form of chatbot specific mind mapping software? For mainly creative, planning structures etc.

I’m interested to know how bot writers are planning and structuring their conversations, and what tools would make it easier (or what you would like to see).

Although it’s not necessarily a bot-specific tool, we’ve used twinery.org for mapping out all of the potential decision trees a user could head down. Works great for e-commerce bots, specifically :slight_smile:

Hey @steffan, I’m thinking more about how multiple flows connect together - how to take the user through an entire conversation rather than just question and response. @brian I’ve used Twine a fair amount but it doesn’t output in a way that reflects the actual bot experience, it’s also a pain once you start getting into multiple scripts and revisions.

@keyul - looks useful for showing stakeholders a specfic interaction but I don’t know if this really helps with the bot design process itself.

@jessthoms Kind of, though I’m not convinced the mind map metaphor works once you start getting into more complex situations eg what happens when the user changes topic one way through a flow? I’m looking for a tool that can also help manage + visualise the stack of flows and how they interact.

Yeah I agree @tom - I haven’t found anything effective myself, so I’ll be interested in hearing if you find something!

@steffan Looks nice lifecycle project, I’m developing a similar idea in a shorter scale than yours and I’m using API.ai to the NLP. What 3th party NLP are you using? or you built one yourself with which technology (botscript, syntaxNet) ?

We actually started using moqups to build out our flows. You can actually see screen shots of this in part 2 of our medium post Part 2 — Can a Chatbot Prove How Scared You Are? (this is a case study and learnings around the bot we built for Warner Bros, Lights Out). Since we have needed lots of client copy approval we also export them to… Believe it or not PDF that normally get printed out and marked up from the client.

This has evolved to our visual builder where we can map out the conversations. Since conversation loops can be complicated this makes it nice for our conversation architects to quickly visualize the whole conversation and see where improvements can be made.

That being said our tools are mainly for our platform and not just tools to map the conversation.

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if its for bot-bot interaction, it can have boundaries…but for human-bot interaction…you must be going deep to make it as real as possible…doesn’t that calls for a content writer’s help…?

I’ve been using Lucid chart, its great for sharing and collaborating. Only downside… no emoji support. Currently placing SS’s :expressionless:

Suggest using Gupshup in platform. They provide a proxy both in all leading channels to quickly build a bottle.

Hi @Mike, very interesting article, thanks for sharing.

Using a UX tool is a good way to map out flows but I’m really after something that lets me play through the bot so I can see how it feels. I’m thinking about things like cadence and how many messages can be sent in one go before it feels overwhelming.

Almost what I want is a version of Twine that allows collaboration and outputs to a chatbot interface.

cc @steffan

Oh ok, yeah we just use FB messenger for that currently, we have test pages set up and we just do it from there.