Facebook Messenger Chatbots: Do's and Don'ts

Facebook Messenger Chatbots
The design of a messenger Chabot is usually different from that of web and mobile apps. Some universal UX principles are used. However, the expectations and tools are quite different when comparing them with other messaging platforms. The design and development of the experiences desired in your Messenger should therefore be based on certain Facebook tips and practices and keep off some others. Here is a detailed look into the do’s and don’ts when working with the Facebook Messenger Chatbots:

Design Principles To Consider

Think about the following when building your Facebook Messenger Chatbot. Here are some of the DO’s and DON’Ts in your design:

  • DO short interactions. Be brief. There is a high chance that your bot will be used on phone where many distractions exist. Other apps and threads in messenger can cause a lot of interruptions making users forget about their occupation with your bot. In that case, you can keep interactions short.
  • DON’T interfere with the bot’s modal state. Ideally, avoid modality because your bot is usually in a modal state when expecting a particular group of responses. For instance, you could present and individual using a search result and be compelled to directly consider the next message sent as an enhancement. However, the individual may get interrupted along the way as the search is being conducted. This will brew frustration and confusion. Therefore, let the bot be in its normal state instead of having an interim one.
  • DO a mix of conversation and GUI interactions. The Facebook Messenger platform is designed to provide various conversation components and that includes pure texts, structured templates and full GUI interactions. Each of these has its benefits and challenges based on how you need to use your messenger Chatbot. Carefully consider the format that will create an intuitive and straightforward experience. To achieve this, a combination of GUI and Conversational interactions would be best.
  • DO a check on conversational norms. Be deliberate on your choice of language, message length, editorial voice and the time taken by your bot to respond. If you want your messenger bot to support both human and automated interactions, let it be clear to avoid confusion and Facebook scams. DON’T use an automated interaction for a real person.
  • DO have a structure in place. Free-form typed responses could be of some use. However, they can present a challenge when implementing and also tiresome for anyone interacting with the bot. in that case, use quick replies, buttons and the persistent menu in order to structure inputs by the user. This is useful in streamlining interactions and in communicating expectations clearly.
  • DON’T be unpredictable. Send a confirmation following the processing of a request. The typing indicator can be used to allow people realize that your bot is currently on-going. Make sure there is clear opt-in functionality for making subscriptions. DON’T alter what to deliver or the timing unless there is consent.
  • DO notifications with care. A push notification is not meant for every message. Enhance your notifications’ impact by being deliberate.
  • DO consider a failure as feedback. At times, you may not understand a request. In such a case, go over your capabilities: show up the help functionality or make use of quick replies, buttons and the persistent menu to make clarifications in your Facebook messenger Chatbot.
  • DON’T create an isolated entity. Generally, it is good to tie your messenger bot identity to your current Facebook Page instead of creating another one. This will give people an easy time identifying it and being confident about you or your venture.

The Language and Editorial Voice

The choice of words in explaining your bot experience and why people can use it are very important in building trust among people. As people understand how to engage you, you will most likely keep them following you. Your voice represents who you are and your personality hence should be human and natural. Hence,
  • DO depend on familiarity. Keep using phrases and terms that people know especially those that have come to relate with you.
  • DON’T create another personality. It will create confusion and your audience will wonder if they are in contact with the right person.
  • DO set expectations. Let people know what they can do and what is required of them. Based on your tasks and goals, be descriptive to communicate your messenger bot main features.
  • DO let users know when and how often you will respond for them to understand your timing based on your responsiveness and availability.
  • DON’T pose as offering live messaging when you don’t support it. Let people know your capabilities in order for them to respond accordingly.

Context for Guidance

Provide context in order to build an understanding of the experience of your bot. Make sure people are informed about where they are, what is required of them and what to expect next.
  • DO acknowledge actions taken by people. It creates a sense of reliability and that someone is “listening”.
  • DON’T keep individuals waiting. Acknowledge requests made and when to deliver on them.

The Bottom Line

To enhance your Facebook Messenger Chatbot user experience, it is important to know certain things to do and what not to do. The way you present and manage your bot will affect the way people will respond to it. Consider how you want the interactions to be and all the possible ways it could turn out to be. Stick to your brand and don’t create a new entity to build trust. Think globally and be sure of your content along with what you expect people to do. You are in-charge and the path the interactions will take will entirely be based on the guidance you offer. Listed here are DO’s and DON’Ts to guide you.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Amber Wilson is a professional writer for hire currently working for ThesisHelpers. She is a technophile and believes that technical progress is the key to the world's prosperity and the future of technology is going digital..
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GUI Tricks is a technology blog started in 2014. This blog aims to provide useful tips, tricks and tutorials to help its readers. This blog generally focuses on topics related to internet, software, security, blogging, Windows, social networks, tutorials and the world wide web. This blog occasionally features some thought provoking and humorous posts that will entertain its readers.

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