The best thing about chatbots is that technology gives you a great degree of freedom — both for users and developers.
It gives you the sense of the “Back to Nature” idea that you can literally tell your problem — as anywhere in real life— and get an answer the same way.
But why would I limit this freedom with cold, impersonal buttons?!—you may ask.
Worry not. Quick Replies give rather than take.
How Should You Use Them?
A Quick Reply is a clickable button at the bottom of the screen (or buttons: a total of 11 of them may appear under a message). If the user chooses one of them, it will send its contents to the bot and the rest of the buttons disappear.
A Quick Reply can send the same kind of message like the one you would type, but the server may receive data other than the button’s label (for example, a unique ID assigned to the button).
When using Quick Replies, you should let users to answer in a message anyways, without using the buttons.
If the chatbot is an endless highway that can be freely rushed on, Quick Replies are the lanes that keep you in direction.
We can use them sufficiently to let users know about the features of the chatbot and to guide them on how to use it.
You can also avoid misunderstandings by using Quick Replies. Send buttons with a certain question to show the users what kind of answer we are expecting from them.
Even though there’s a good chance of the user choosing one of the buttons rather than typing the same message, we give them the opportunity to respond in their own words as well.
Push It Real Good
Bear in mind that it is not always good to use Quick Replies, because that takes the beforementioned freedom from the user.
When designing UserFlow, you have to consider when and where it is helpful to hold the users’ hand and show them where to go.
Shortcuts that are well-defined and sent in the right time will greatly increase the user experience.
Freedom of self-expression remains, but the user will not feel lost as help always comes when it is really needed.
Dare to use Quick Replies!
Disclaimer: this is a translated version of an article originally posted on our own botblog.hu, on April 24, 2019.