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Simple Conversational Design and Science-based Chatbot Copy that Engages People

Chatting with Humans: User Experience Design (UX) for Chatbots

Simple Conversational Design and Science-based Chatbot Copy that Engages People

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Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Pages: 159 (paperback edition)
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publication Date: June 22, 2021

The content of this book and much more is included in our eCourse Landbot: From User Experience Design (UX) to a Functioning Chatbot

What is this book about?

Conversation Design Skills Are Critical for Chatbots and Conversational User Interfaces

Chatbots sell. Chatbots advise. Chatbots entertain. For the consumer, Conversational User Interfaces drastically reduce wait time. For the business, they drastically reduce the need for human resources and increase customer satisfaction. All of that is true only if the dialog is well-designed.

Poor Conversational Design leads to frustrated visitors and tarnishes the image of the organization. Poorly designed chatbots or virtual assistants lose customers. Whether you implement your chatbot on a rules-based platform or a natural language understanding-based AI platform, the exchange between the computer and the person needs to be crafted.

This book shows you how to use Conversation Design to make your bot a raving success. We show you how to:

  • Leverage UX Design and Business Analysis techniques to create chatbots that align business goals with user expectations.
  • Structure your chatbot’s conversational flow for the best user experience.
  • Use the power of neuroscience to shape your chatbot messages and create an exceptional and engaging user experience.

What You Will Learn

A Great User Experience Is the Combination of Conversational Flow Design and Excellent Chatbot Copy

Conversational user interfaces (UI) are becoming ever more popular around the world. Chatbots serve many different purposes. Simple chatbots can generate leads, sell products, support affiliate marketing, answer questions, and even provide customer service. Their more sophisticated cousins, Artificial Intelligence/ Natural Language Processing (AI/NLP) chatbots or virtual assistants, understand natural language to a degree and are capable of learning.

Unfortunately, many companies experience low adoption rates of their new technology. Studies show that:

  • Users abandon chatbots that have a poor user experience.
  • Businesses abandon chatbots that don’t achieve their business goals.

The critical success factor for any conversational user interface is the design of the conversational logic AND well-crafted bot messages supported by the right media elements. All are essential to keep a chatbot user engaged.

Conversation Design is much more than just writing questions and branching to the next question based on a user choice. The essence of Conversational Design is to have defined and logical dialogs that resemble the reasoning of a business expert.

User Experience (UX) Design Skills Are Essential for Building a Chatbot

The User Experience (UX) analysis and design skills taught in this book are essential regardless of which chatbot platform you ultimately choose to build the chatbot or virtual assistant. Learn how to sequence and design a logical conversation flow that incorporates brain-based messaging for engaging audience participation.

Every salesperson will tell you that they know what path a successful sales conversation must follow. For a product chatbot, your chatbot conducts a sales conversation and needs to follow the same rules. A customer service support chatbot, on the other hand, should resemble the actions of a customer service representative. We show you how to design and structure a conversational flow for the best user experience.

Visualize the Chatbot Dialog

We capture the logical sequence of a dialog in a decision tree that allows us to develop and visualize the conversational flow. You learn how to use Lucidchart, a free diagramming cloud-based app that simplifies the creation and visualization of a decision tree. We also introduce the use of spreadsheets and Use Case sequences as other potential ways of visualizing the conversational flow logic.

Using Neuroscience to Shape Your Chatbot Messages

Once you have defined and structured the user choices and decisions, it is time to wordsmith. In this chapter, you learn how to use the power of neuroscience to shape your chatbot messages and create an exceptional and engaging user experience.

You learn how to phrase questions that convert visitors to customers based on how the human brain makes decisions. That is just for starters. To make a difference, you also need to know how to formulate the questions that are the heart of the chatbot.

To give you an opportunity to practice your new skills we include 2 assignments. To allow you to judge your retention of the material, we also add quizzes to each chapter.

What You Learn in a Nutshell

  • Understand pros and cons of AI/NLP (Artificial Intelligence / Natural Language Processing) chatbots and rule-based chatbots.
  • Analyze business goals to identify opportunities for chatbots and conversational interfaces.
  • Define user goals and chatbot outcomes that are aligned with business goals.
  • Apply user experience analysis to define user choices and decision points for the bot.
  • Visualize and design conversational flows with decision trees, spreadsheets, or Use Cases.
  • Create an exceptional user experience by using variables to capture user choices.
  • Minimize lost leads by designing a “live chat” option.
  • Develop the chatbot personality that can make or break your bot.
  • Use brain-based messaging to engage visitors with your bot.
  • Write powerful, engaging, and convincing chatbot copy.

This book takes a practical approach by giving you a step-by-step, real-life example of how to define, analyze, and design the logical flow of a lead generation and product sales bot that we developed.

Who will benefit from reading this book?

We wrote the book for:

  • Developers interested in learning how to create chatbots that solve business problems
  • Website Designers who want to add modern chatbot design to their toolkit
  • Business analysts who need to define the requirements for chatbots
  • Practitioners who want to know how to implement a chatbot in Landbot
  • Test engineers who need to develop tests to validate the functionality of chatbots
  • Anyone curious about what chatbots are, how they work, why they are important, and how to build one

Table of Contents


I. Overview of Chatbots

  • Problems with Today’s Businesses Communications
  • Usage of Chatbots and Conversational User Experiences
  • Rule-Based Chatbots and AI/NLP Chatbots
  • KwikKwiz 1: Test your understanding of the current chatbot environment
  • What Is an AI/NLP Chatbot?
    • The Pros and Cons of AI/NLP Bots
    • Watson at Work
  • KwikKwiz 2: Clarification of Terms
  • What Is a Rule-Based Chatbot?
    • Advantages of a Rule-based Chatbot
    • Demo of a Rule-Based Chatbot
  • Which Type of Chatbot Should You Choose?
  • KwikKwiz 3: Assess the pros and cons of each type of chatbot

II. User Experience (UX) Analysis Creates Great Chatbot Performance

  • User Experience Analysis Defined
  • BAXBY Interview Notes
  • Which Business Problems, Goals, and Needs Will BAXBY Address?
  • Who is the Target Audience?
  • KwikKwiz 4: Measures of Chatbot Success
  • Relevant Subject Matter Expertise
  • Establish the Chatbot’s Choices and Decision Points
    • Define BAXBY’s Choices
    • Define BAXBY’s Decision Points
  • Assignment 1: Analyze the User Experience for a Chatbot that Offers Training Aids for Golfers

III. Sequence a Natural Conversational UX Flow

  • Criteria for a Natural Conversation
  • A Chatbot Needs to Earn Trust from the Start
  • How to Sequence Decision Points and Use the Right Tools
  • KwikKwiz 5: Determine the Value of Creating a Natural Conversation Flow in Your Bot
  • A Simple Spreadsheet or Table
  • Depict the Flow as a Use Case
  • Create Chatbot Structure Using a Decision Tree
  • KwikKwiz 6: Select the Best Tool for Representing Conversational Flow

IV. Use a Decision Tree to Design Conversational Flow

  • Start with the Welcome Message and a Persistent Menu
  • Represent Decisions and Conversation Flows
  • Remembering the Users’ Choices
  • Use Conditional Logic Based on Stored Variables
  • KwikKwiz 7: Understand Conditional Logic
  • Developing the Services Leg
  • Tips for Creating a Great User Experience
  • Assignment 2: Develop a Conversation Flow for the GolFix Chatbot Duration: ~30 minutes

V. Emotion-Triggering Words and Media Are the Heart and Soul of Your Chatbot

  • Chatbots Succeed by Using Natural Human Communication
  • Factors Influencing the Usability
  • Design Your Chatbot’s Personality
  • KwikKwiz 8: Understand the Basics of Human Conversations
  • Power Rules for Writing Great Chatbot Copy
  • Use Brain-based Science to Make Users Love Your Bot
  • Effective Chatbot Communication Is Always Persuasive
  • KwikKwiz 9: Assess the Importance of Understanding Human Conversation

VI. All’s Well that Ends

About the Authors

How To Write User Stories That Deliver Real Business Value

How to Capture, Write, Prioritize, Rightsize and Split User Stories Plus Acceptance Tests with Given-When-Then Scenarios

Design, Build, Publish, and Monitor Chatbots Using the Drag-and-Drop Landbot Platform

Learn how to build a Landbot chatbot with conversational flow design

Learn Lean / Agile Business Analysis Techniques

Book - Lean Agile User Stories and Features

Self-paced Course – Agile Business Analysis: Getting and Writing Lean Requirements

Lean Business Analysis for Lean Requirements: Techniques for Discovering and Writing User Stories, Acceptance Tests, Scenarios and Examples

Requirements Gathering with Use Cases for Business Analysts

Lean Use Cases to identify and write Use Case models and diagrams

Chatting with Humans: User Experience Design (UX) for Chatbots

Simple Conversational Design and Science-based Chatbot Copy that Engages People

Tom and Angela’s Story

Like all good IT stories, theirs started on a project many years ago. Tom was the super techie, Angela the super SME (Product Owner in today’s lingo. They fought their way through the 3-year development of a new policy maintenance system for an insurance company.

They vehemently disagreed on many aspects, but in the process discovered a fundamental truth about IT projects. The business community (Angela) should decide on the business needs or user experience while the technical team’s (Tom)’s job was to make the technology deliver what the users needed. Talk about a revolutionary idea! All that was left was learning how to communicate with each other without bloodshed to make the project a resounding success. Mission accomplished.

They decided this epiphany was so important that the world needed to know about it. As a result, they made it their mission (and their passion) to share this ground-breaking concept with the rest of the world.

To achieve that lofty goal, they married and began the mission that still defines their life. After over 30 years of living and working together 24x7x365, they are still wildly enthusiastic about helping the victims of technology learn how to ask for and get the IT solutions they need to do their jobs better. More importantly, they are more enthusiastically in love with each other than ever before!

How they Can Help

Tom and Angela love to share their experience, knowledge, and expertise with the world. They have taught thousands of students in face-to-face training, published numerous business analysis and user experience how-to books on, authored many courses on with over 50K students, and enriched the global community with close to 2 million views on their YouTube channel.

Their company, BA-EXPERTS, focuses exclusively on business and user experience analysis for anyone wearing the BA hat™. Business needs analysis for digital solutions has become a critical skill for most business professionals regardless of job title (Business Analyst, UX Designer, Product Owner, SME, Project Manager, etc.). In today’s world, knowing how to analyze and define digital solutions from the user perspective will open many doors.


A big thanks to all our loyal readers and students.
Tom and Angela Hathaway

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