A guide to developing bot personalities

From Prototypr.io:

Conversational interfaces have reduced user experience down to a few lines of text. With bots, UX becomes conversational, products talk back, and personas now go both ways. Every bot has a voice — which means every bot needs a personality.

If conversational computing means personality is the new user experience, how do we approach the design of these nuanced digital entities?

. . . .

Chatbots and voice assistants are for humans. Conversational interfaces exist for better interactions between humans and computers. So then, how can we personalise these conversations to be more life-like, intimate, and representative of human interaction? Through personality. Building a rich and detailed personality makes your chatbot more relatable, believable, and relevant to your users.

Investing in personality informs every touch point of a chatbot. Personality creates a deeper understanding of the bot’s end goal, and how it will communicate through choice of language, mood, tone, and style. Seeing a bot as a lifeless piece of technology is a mistake. People project human traits onto everything — but now these objects talk back. Whether you like it or not, your users will still assign a personality to your bot if one hasn’t been explicitly designed.

Link to the rest at Prototypr.io

PG says Alexa definitely has a personality. However, he’s not certain whether she has moods or not.

3 thoughts on “A guide to developing bot personalities”

  1. I think the ability to customise your Automated Personal Assistants is vital. Aspects which should be user customisable include:

    1. Voice: male/female/accent
    2. Snarkiness vs Obsequiousness
    3. Seriousness vs humorous

    I envision a range of sliders for these to balance it out.

    Based on my recent reading I think Lindsay Buroker would crank the humour and snark up to 11 🙂 (I hope thats not inappropriate to say)

  2. We’ve come to expect very little personality from our computers (see Windows 95). That’s changing with modern web and mobile apps.

    But I wonder how much personality users will really want, long-term, from their conversational interfaces. There’s a fine line between delightful and irritating (remember Clippy?). Sometimes what was fun the first couple times becomes annoying later.

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