How Interactive Game Design Really Make A Bot App UX Better?
A delightful user experience most of the time starts with a conversation, and that is why digital world is slowly leaning towards voice command from text inputs. The whole case of virtual assistants like Siri just confirms this notion. With Siri and similar voice input enabled virtual assistants the UX of mobile apps got a new horizon to deal with, and it is chatbot. Today apps use bots not just to stun users with an entertaining new feature but to help them get things done more quickly and smoothly. With bots what most apps strive to achieve is a crisp and sophisticated way to guide users in getting things done through the app.
But, just because the chatbot as an AI powered technology is still in its nascent state many of us often seem to be clueless about using it to its full potential. Let us understand now that bots and these virtual assistants are far from flawless as of now. Just think how you find yourself in a helpless situation when Siri just does not understand what you say and keep on telling the same thing in spite of your fresh effort to pronounce correctly. How to fix such gaps of understanding when dealing with bots? Do you have any clue?
Bots can have inspiration from game designers
Just come to the world of mobile games, and you will find how in designing interaction these game people just went over everyone’s head. Yes, long before we actually conceptualise the problem with chatbot interaction in mobile apps, several mobile games already made it happen right through their gaming UIs. This interaction based UX design which is widely being dubbed as Interactive Fiction offers us a new opportunity to develop better bots for our app. The only requirement on the part of developers is they need to think like a game designer and address the bots just as game designers do.
Interactive Fiction, is this really a fiction or reality?
Interactive Fiction, a concept that was born and practiced thanks entirely to the early game designers still offers an era defining the opportunity for mobile app developers. Yes, they made intervening into game fiction with simple typing commands a reality and we had countless such games where we played the game by guiding game avatars with type inputs on the screen. That is how we were allowed interaction within the fictional world of games. The phenomenon has a grave significance for modern bot apps.
What happens when the bot doesn’t understand?
In the early days of interaction design, an app whether it is a game or an algorithm was only able to understand a set of pre-programmed commands and most of these inputs were programmed keeping all kinds of possibilities related to the user or game player context in mind. Naturally, any weird input that does not fit to the context or seems out of place used to receive a negative nod with a message like “I’m sorry. I don’t understand a thing”.
We are already familiar with machines responding with such repetitive negative nods, and we already have an impression that bots and virtual assistants can only be effective and useful to a very limited extent. In case of a website or app, such limited scope of understanding user inputs can only undermine user experience. How can you breach this gap of understanding between user inputs and bots understanding and ensure quicker and desired response?
The way interactive fiction games evolved
Typical first generation Interactive Fiction games could be the starting point for a whole new approach in allowing interaction with machines in a meaningful way, but their scopes were limited as these games could only offer a limited set of input options without much flexibility to move elsewhere for the game avatar. Soon, new approaches came advancing this interaction gaming creating detailed paths within each segment of the game fiction. This allowed creating multiple paths for the game fiction to progress at every stage as preferred by the player. As Interactive Fiction continued to evolve, we came across games that in fiction and output are closer to the imagination.
Can UX issues be addressed with this?
Now, let us come to the most important question. Can UX issues be solved with this Interactive Fiction principle as advocated by mobile games? Can UX become more efficient and responsive to users with the game like interaction powering it from within? As per many experts chatbots which are commonly used in web apps for carrying interaction, should be designed with a game like logic. With a game loop in bots, an interaction taking multiple directions can be handled aptly and with less such instances when the bot becomes clueless and nonresponsive to certain user inputs.
Now want to know how to perfect your bot with a game like interaction? Just look at the below-mentioned tips.
Always coming with an answer
If you have a very rigid input system for your bot, it will come out with frustrating “don’t know” message more frequently. But if your bot can be adjusted with a more free input system like that of Interactive Fiction games, it can always come out with a more relevant answer or several options for each command. For even a weird question it can come with few suggestions to make users rethink and choose an option.
What about Natural Language Processing?
If the biggest threat to a bot’s performance is understanding the user’s pronunciation then, latest natural language processing and machine learning tools can be the ideal answers for them. If your bot can be made with these cutting edge AI capabilities, it can learn by listening to users better over a period of time and will come with negative responses less frequently.
Finally, more you branch out the interactions of your bots to cover most of the possible responses and outcomes, better a user experience you can ensure. Make sure any single possible diversion from the common path of user activities and line of action is not overlooked while mapping and designing interaction for your chatbot.