3 useful tools for developing Messenger bots from UX design, development to analytics
The chat bot community is still in its infancy, but there has been a couple of useful resources that I’ve encountered at each phase of the development, especially when developing Messenger bots. I chose 3 I particularly found useful.
Just like you shouldn’t start building your website without designing any wireframes or user flows, you shouldn’t build a chat bot without drawing out how your users will interact with the bot. Bots UI Kit is a Sketch file with all the key UI elements needed to construct the user flow for your chat bot. Especially, if you’re new to bot development, you might not realize there are quite a lot of buttons and cards you can put on Messenger as UI elements. Download the Kit and explore numerous ways in which users can converse with your bot.
Wit.ai for Messenger bots is like Storyboard for iOS apps. You can first define the major interactions between the bot and users using wit.ai, and then move on to program the actual backend in the language of your choice. In most major languages, there is a SDK for wit.ai (here’s one for NodeJS). Just like Bots UI Kit, wit.ai is useful because you don’t have to get bogged down in details when structuring the general interaction flow.
Just a week ago, Facebook released an official Messenger Bot Analytics Platform. I was waiting for this for quite a while. There are numerous third party bot analytics softwares, but most of them were implementing the very basic analytics features that Facebook should’ve done way earlier. But now that Facebook finally released the analytics, we can have at least a minimum understanding of how our apps are doing after we launch without installing any external softwares.