Messenger Bots & Partial Payment Concept
Concept design exploring the potential of chat bots with possible new features and easier interaction with them using a blend of GUI and command line
I started this work after encountering some problems and seeing an enhancement potential in Facebook Messenger’s chatbot experience. So I showed the ideas on Messenger’s UI by applying my concept to it.
This is a concept about how it could be easier to call and interact with bots, even when there will be lots of them in future for different purposes like shopping, finance, transportation, reservation etc..and about some new features which would make them more functional and useful.
Note: To provide more context, the date I took the screenshots from Messenger app and did my prototype is May 2016. Later on, some changes are made in Messenger and other messaging apps with chatbots.
Problems with current product
- Finding a particular app is too hard
- Opening another screen during conversation is not convenient
- Custom buttons to call bots is not a universal and consistent way for all types of messaging apps.
- The user may not know the bot which would serve to their need
- Unknown apps and their bots are hard to explore
Now on FB Messenger you tap on the “More” icon to select the app you need, which is difficult -open another screen and browse through all apps- or the related button (like transportation icon for Uber) is on the keyboard bar, but if there are many other bot types they can’t fit there.
Besides, you may not know all apps which does the task you need. If they would be associated and directed to user by Messenger, it could serve also to apps for being explored.
Messenger could direct the user to the right bots according to the desired task when tapping on a “bot-button” and typing what you need.
BUT what about other messaging platforms which have bots?
Instead of a button like gif/transportation icons on Messenger keyboard, there could be a universal way to call bots. A symbol on keyboard could be universally used on any chat interface for calling bots about the desired task (like hashtag or dollar sign for payment)
I tried with the symbol =, if you begin with = and type what you want to do, Messenger gives suggestions by autocompleting.
Problems with current chatbots in different platforms
Series of questions and having to type answers is annoying and time-consuming, whereas a bot should facilitate the task rather than making it more difficult.
Widgets could appear in place of the keyboard when needed.
Each task can have its specific UI elements, blending command line and GUI. For example, in the case of flight search; a calendar and passenger selection part can provide easier and quicker input than typing.
Potential of chatbots in a group chat context
Many tasks which require multiple user input could be done using chat bots.
For example, in case of flight booking for a group with members at different locations, it’s hard to browse options and decide together. Besides, one person has to get all passengers info and fill in the forms for all. Tickets are paid by one person and probably the money is collected from others later, which adds another task to the process. So what could be done using the potential of this chat interface:
- Calling bots to a group conversation for tasks done together
Just like I showed in the prototype, booking a flight together -from agreeing on a specific flight to paying together- would be convenient both for users and for companies serving to multiple users on “one common interface”:
- Partial Payment option for splitting the total amount between users in chat group
- Multiple bots working together passing the task to each other, so that users have a seamless experience.