chatbot design

How To Create Chatbot Design [Best Practices, Examples & Layout Guidelines]

Chatbot design is an exciting field that blends technology, user experience design, and effective copywriting. As the demand for chatbot conversation designers rises, the number of job openings in this field has surged. Just last month, over 1,200 chatbot designer positions were listed in the US alone. This trend highlights the importance and popularity of creating effective chatbots.

So, what does it take to build great chatbots? In this blog, we will break down the chatbot design process into 12 actionable tips, helping you master the art of chatbot design in no time.

Read More: How to Build an AI Assistant: Virtual Assistant Technology Guide 2024

The Principles of Chatbot Conversation Design

Designing chatbot conversations is a crucial aspect of creating effective bots. The principles of chatbot conversation design focus on understanding user needs, creating intuitive flows, and maintaining natural interactions. A well-designed chatbot should guide users smoothly through interactions, providing clear and concise responses.

Good chatbot conversation design also involves avoiding common pitfalls. For instance, chatbots should not pretend to be human, as this can frustrate users when they realize they are interacting with a bot. Additionally, chatbot messages should be brief and to the point, avoiding long-winded explanations that can lose user interest.

A practical approach to chatbot conversation design includes using templates and pre-built scripts. These resources can provide a solid foundation, which you can then customize to fit your specific needs. This ensures that your chatbot interactions remain consistent and effective across various scenarios.

Examples of Good and Bad Chatbot Design

Examining examples of good and bad chatbot design can provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. Successful chatbot designs often feature clear, user-friendly interfaces and well-defined conversational flows. For instance, chatbots that inform users about promotions or answer FAQs tend to perform well when they are straightforward and easy to navigate.

Conversely, poorly designed chatbots can frustrate users. eBay’s ShopBot is an example of a chatbot that failed to meet user expectations. Despite the initial excitement, it did not perform well because users found it cumbersome to place orders through a chatbot compared to using the mobile app. This highlights the importance of ensuring that chatbots are truly beneficial for the tasks they are designed to perform.

Good chatbot designs also prioritize user needs and preferences. By focusing on delivering valuable and relevant information, chatbots can enhance the user experience. Bad designs often overlook these aspects, leading to ineffective interactions and user dissatisfaction.

Tips from Professional Chatbot Designers

Professional chatbot designers offer valuable tips that can significantly enhance your chatbot design. One key piece of advice is to start with a clear objective for your chatbot. Knowing the primary purpose of your chatbot helps in creating focused and effective conversational flows.

Another tip is to use visual elements to make chatbot interactions more engaging. Emojis, GIFs, and images can add a personal touch and make conversations feel more natural. These elements can also help clarify messages and guide users through the conversation more smoothly.

It is also crucial to continuously test and iterate on your chatbot design. A/B testing different versions of your chatbot can reveal what resonates best with users. Monitoring user interactions and gathering feedback can provide insights into areas for improvement, ensuring your chatbot evolves to meet user needs effectively.

Designing Your First Chatbot Without Coding

Creating your first chatbot without coding is possible with the right tools. Several no-code chatbot design platforms, such as Tidio, offer intuitive editors that allow you to build chatbots with drag-and-drop functionality. These platforms are user-friendly and require no programming knowledge, making them accessible to anyone.

To start, choose a chatbot template that aligns with your goals. Templates provide a ready-made structure that you can customize. For instance, you might select a lead generation template if your goal is to capture user information for marketing purposes.

Once you’ve chosen a template, customize the conversation flow to match your specific needs. Add questions, responses, and any necessary decision trees to guide users through interactions. Many platforms also allow you to integrate your chatbot with other tools, such as CRM systems or email marketing software, to streamline your processes.

Best Chatbot Design Practices

Determining if you need a chatbot is the first step in the design process. Chatbots are suitable for tasks such as answering FAQs, booking appointments, and providing product information. However, they may not be ideal for complex tasks that require human intervention.

Choosing the right platform and framework is essential for successful chatbot design. Look for platforms that offer seamless integration with your website and social media channels. This ensures that your chatbot can operate smoothly across different platforms and provide a consistent user experience.

When designing your chatbot, decide whether you need AI and NLP capabilities or a simple decision tree structure. AI chatbots can handle more complex interactions but require substantial data to train effectively. For beginners, starting with a decision tree chatbot can be more manageable and effective.

Setting clear goals for your chatbot is another best practice. Focus on one objective at a time, such as lead generation or customer support, to create a streamlined and effective chatbot. Overloading your chatbot with multiple goals can lead to confusing and ineffective interactions.

Mastering the Art of Chatbot Design: 12 Actionable Tips

Chatbot design is an exciting field that blends technology, user experience design, and effective copywriting. As the demand for chatbot conversation designers rises, the number of job openings in this field has surged. Just last month, over 1,200 chatbot designer positions were listed in the US alone. This trend highlights the importance and popularity of creating effective chatbots.

So, what does it take to build great chatbots? In this blog, we will break down the chatbot design process into 12 actionable tips, helping you master the art of chatbot design in no time.

1. Determine if a Chatbot is Necessary

Before diving into the design process, it’s crucial to evaluate whether a chatbot is the right solution for your needs. Not every task requires a chatbot, and sometimes traditional tools like search bars, forms, or pop-ups might be more effective.

  • Evaluate Use Cases: Understand the tasks that are best suited for chatbots, such as answering FAQs, booking appointments, or providing product information.
  • Consider Alternatives: Assess whether a chatbot will offer significant advantages over other solutions.
  • Avoid Gimmicks: Ensure the chatbot is not just an impractical gimmick but adds real value to the user experience.

Example: eBay’s ShopBot failed because it was cumbersome to use for ordering, highlighting the need to choose the right tool for the job.

2. Choose the Right Platform and Framework

Selecting the appropriate platform and framework is essential for the success of your chatbot. Different platforms offer various features, integrations, and customization options.

  • Integration: Choose a platform that seamlessly integrates with your website, social media channels, and other tools.
  • User-Friendly Editors: Look for platforms with intuitive editors that allow you to build and customize chatbots without needing extensive coding knowledge.
  • Features: Ensure the platform supports necessary features like multi-channel deployment, customization options, and analytics.

Example: Tidio offers integration with WordPress, Shopify, and Facebook Messenger, along with a user-friendly editor.

3. Decide Between AI/NLP and Decision Tree Chatbots

One of the critical decisions in chatbot design is choosing between AI/NLP-based chatbots and simple decision tree chatbots.

  • AI and NLP Capabilities: These chatbots can handle complex interactions but require substantial data for effective training.
  • Decision Trees: Simple and straightforward, these chatbots use predefined paths and are easier to set up, especially for beginners.
  • Phased Approach: Start with a decision tree chatbot to collect data and then transition to AI/NLP as your dataset grows.

Example: Use live chat to gather initial data, build a decision tree chatbot, and then enhance it with AI for more complex interactions.

4. Set Clear Goals for Your Chatbot

Defining specific objectives for your chatbot is crucial to its success. Focused goals ensure that the chatbot remains effective and meets user expectations.

  • Single Objective: Focus on one primary goal at a time, such as lead generation, customer support, or booking appointments.
  • Dedicated Chatbots: Use different chatbots for different objectives to avoid confusion and improve user experience.
  • Goal-Driven Design: Start with the end goal in mind and design the chatbot’s conversation flow accordingly.

Example: Trigger a lead generation chatbot when a visitor lands on a specific page and use another chatbot to collect feedback.

5. Maintain a Consistent Tone and Voice

The tone and voice of your chatbot significantly impact user interactions. Consistency in tone ensures a smooth and predictable user experience.

  • Tone Selection: Choose a tone that matches the chatbot’s purpose and audience, whether it’s friendly, professional, or persuasive.
  • Voice Tools: Use tools like Grammarly’s tone detector to maintain consistency across messages.
  • Audience Consideration: Tailor the chatbot’s personality to your target users, considering factors like age, gender, and technical skills.

Example: A mental health chatbot should have a sympathetic tone, while a sales chatbot might be more energetic and persuasive.

6. Ensure a Friendly and Readable Chatbot UI

A user-friendly interface is crucial for effective chatbot interactions. The UI should be easy to read, navigate, and interact with.

  • Readable Messages: Ensure that messages are clear with readable fonts and contrasting colors.
  • Non-Intrusive Widget: Design the chatbot widget to not interfere with other website elements.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure the chatbot UI is mobile-friendly and follows accessibility guidelines.

Example: The chatbot should be easy to start a conversation with, have clear action buttons, and work seamlessly on mobile devices.

7. Be Transparent in Chatbot Interactions

Transparency builds trust and reduces user frustration. Users should know from the beginning that they are interacting with a chatbot.

  • Welcome Message: Clearly state that the user is interacting with a chatbot in the initial greeting.
  • Capabilities and Limitations: Be upfront about what the chatbot can and cannot do.
  • Human Agent Option: Offer users the option to connect with a human support agent if needed.

Example: Include a welcome message that informs users they are chatting with a bot and offer to connect them to a human agent for more complex queries.

8. Keep Conversations Simple and Engaging

Simplicity is key to effective chatbot design. Conversations should be straightforward, focused, and engaging.

  • Avoid Complexity: Don’t create overly complex conversation flows that can confuse users.
  • Relevant Messages: Keep messages concise and relevant to the user’s needs.
  • Interactive Elements: Use bullet points, quick reply buttons, and visual elements to enhance engagement.

Example: Use decision cards and visual buttons to guide users through interactions, making the conversation more interactive.

9. Use Visuals for Better Engagement

Visual elements can significantly enhance user engagement. Incorporate emojis, GIFs, and images to make interactions more lively.

  • Visual Clarity: Use visuals to clarify messages and provide visual cues.
  • Interactive Visuals: Add visual buttons and decision cards to make interactions more intuitive.
  • Complementary Visuals: Ensure visuals complement the message and do not distract from the core content.

Example: A chatbot that uses emojis and GIFs to respond to user inputs can make the interaction feel more personal and engaging.

10. A/B Test Chatbot Messages

A/B testing is essential for optimizing chatbot interactions. By comparing different versions of your messages, you can identify what works best for your users.

  • Test Variations: Experiment with different tones, visuals, and message structures.
  • Analyze Data: Use tools like VWO or Tidio’s Chatbot API to gather and analyze performance data.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly update and refine your chatbot based on test results and user feedback.

Example: Test different welcome messages to see which one generates higher user engagement and adjust your chatbot design accordingly.

11. Design a Chatbot Avatar

A chatbot avatar adds a personal touch to interactions. Choose or design an avatar that matches your chatbot’s personality and purpose.

  • Avatar Selection: Pick an avatar that is pleasant and not distracting.
  • Contextual Avatars: Consider the emotional state of users and select avatars accordingly.
  • Memorable Design: A well-designed avatar can make the chatbot more memorable and engaging.

Example: A friendly cartoon character can make a chatbot feel more approachable, while a neutral avatar might be better for sensitive interactions.

12. Offer Human Support Options

Providing an option to connect with a human support agent is crucial for user satisfaction. Ensure your chatbot can hand off conversations smoothly when needed.

  • Handoff Workflow: Set up workflows for smooth transitions from chatbot to human support.
  • Real-Time Alerts: Use notifications to alert human agents when they need to take over a conversation.
  • User Filtering: Use chatbots to filter and prioritize queries, allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.

Example: Implement a system where the chatbot can notify a human agent to take over when it encounters a query it cannot handle effectively.


Mastering the art of chatbot design involves understanding the principles of effective conversation design, learning from good and bad examples, and following best practices. By setting clear goals, maintaining a consistent tone, and ensuring a user-friendly interface, you can create chatbots that enhance user experiences and achieve your business objectives.

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