In recent weeks I’ ve audited a number of chat-bot interfaces. This involved sifting through articles on the ethics and best practices of AI design . Here are some principles, which can be used as a starting point. I’m interested in how other researchers have tackled chatbot audits. Did you have a checklist or set of best practices to refer to?
What can I do here: being transparent to manage my expectations
- Ensure people know they are talking to an algorithm
- Onboarding Information should be useful, discoverable and understandable
- Don’t create expectations that the chatbot can’t meet.
- Ensure customer expectations align to chat bot capabilities in terms of
- Query type
- Ensure guard rails / button options are appropriately used, to keep people on a happy path
How do I progress confidently: help me avoid poor results
- dead ends should be avoidable and easy to recover from . Present a way forwards when they occur.
- undo and cancel are essential functionalities for a smooth conversational experience
- confirm by asking: Question are a natural way to correct misunderstandings and cuts down on the user annoyance when something goes wrong.
- do questions invite the right answers ?How you formulate your questions will affect the user’s responses
Let me explore my options safely: keep navigation consistent
- Options to reset conversation should be easy to find to support safe exploring and control
- Options to get home
- If your chatbot employs buttons, users will scroll back and try to use the buttons again
- ensure it’s clear when I’m about to be redirected to a webpage
Keep feedback flowing: Conversation flow and responsiveness
- People should always get hard feedback that
1) the chatbot is processing things and
2) a response is on the way.
- Where information is pulled into a chat, this should feel smooth
- 8 seconds is about how long a user will wait until he or she starts trying to reboot the “unresponsive” chatbot
- It’s incredibly distracting when messages are sent too quickly, as the new messages will move the text that the user is still reading.
- When messages are sent right after one another, pause between paragraphs, so that users have time to finish reading older messages before newer messages are sent out.
Serve me efficiently, but don’t assume you’ve understood me: Voice / character
- ensure messages are succinct and to the point, to support efficiency
- validate the relevance of suggestions