July 15, 2019

Using Chatbot Buttons to Improve UX

Article

Chatbot Buttons are all the rage at the moment and for a good reason. If you’ve used any Facebook Messenger-based chatbot recently, you’ve likely experienced firsthand how awesome these buttons can make the User Experience (UX). But why exactly are the use of these buttons becoming the norm in a great chatbot? Well, there’s a couple of prominent reasons why, but first and foremost, it all starts with providing a simpler and faster way for users to get the answers they’re looking for. After all, isn’t that the point of a chatbot to begin with?

Let’s start off with the most obvious benefit of using buttons in chatbots, with that being the fact that users can respond without having to type anything. While this may seem nominal, if a user has to go through several rounds of responses before getting to their answer, this can provide a fairly substantial savings in terms of time. This time savings extrapolates on mobile devices where it takes longer to type a response. To take this even one step further, the use of buttons helps to mitigate issues with spelling errors in user responses. The last thing a chatbot designer wants is for a user to have a bad experience because a typo prevented them from queuing the answer they were looking for.While the most obvious benefit is the time chatbot buttons save users, the more substantial value may be the ability to increase the likelihood that users get to the answer they’re looking for.

One of the most challenging aspects of chatbots from a user’s perspective is that it is usually unclear as to what the bot knows. Couple that with the fact that users often don’t know how to ask their question properly and you have a major UX issue on your hands. Chatbot buttons can recommend similar topics to the user, ultimately helping to guide them to the answer they’re looking for. In the screenshot below, we’re showcasing the use of buttons in one of Boomtown’s chatbots designed to provide support on the Poynt smart payment terminal. In this example, the user asked a very vague question about printers, and the chatbot used appropriate buttons to guide the user.

Chatbot Buttons

The chatbot buttons in this example accomplished everything we’re hoping for. They provided a faster route to the answer by eliminating the need to type a follow-up response, mitigated the chances of a typo or spelling error, and guided the user to the answer they were looking for after an initial question that was too vague. So, if you want to provide a better UX for your chatbot users look no further than the use of buttons. They’re relatively easy to implement and can help to hide other potential shortcomings of your chatbots.

How are you using buttons with your chatbots today? What have you found to be the right balance between buttons and text?