Technology is rapidly advancing, and we now have access to voice-only chatbot interactions in our own homes! One of the devices that makes this possible is Google Home, which utilizes actions on google to have conversations with users. In this short tutorial, you’ll learn how to design your first Actions on Google.
Don’t feel like reading? This tutorial is also available in video format, check it out below! Otherwise, keep scrolling.
First, create a free account on Botsociety. It’s quick and easy, and you’ll be ready to design in no time!
To start designing your Action mockup, name your bot and click on the Google Home option.
Once you click “Start Designing”, Botsociety’s user-friendly interface allows you to create a Conversation Action that meets both your needs and your user’s.
Designing a chatbot that relies on voice interaction presents its own challenges, but with clear objectives in mind, your chatbot can provide a positive experience for your users.
Designing Your First Actions on Google
For this tutorial, I will be designing a bot I’ve named BaristaBot. The objectives are:
- to provide instructions on how to make coffee at home,
- and to provide discounts for coffee and supplies from my (imagined) coffee shop.
When users summon this Acton, the experience should be pleasant and helpful. Therefore BaristaBot should have a warm, friendly personality. (Need ideas on how to get your conversation just right? Check out this post.)
Let’s say this Action is summoned by the user by asking for her by name. Pictured below is an example of an optimal path—or “happy path”—for a Conversational Action.
As previously mentioned, this bot’s objective is to give coffee tips, with the end goal of getting a user to buy supplies from my shop.
At this point, the path is very straightforward because the user has asked for BaristaBot directly. If I link an alternate path, I can provide a way for users to get to the same place without knowing this action by name.
Now if you move your mouse over a message and click, you can add a new path. I’ve done so here, connecting this Action to a much more general question: “Ok Google, how do I make cold brew?”
Next, I can link to the path I’ve already created in response to the user’s question. Just click “link to message”, and select the correct message. Because I’ve already answered the user’s question in the happy path, all I have to do is link to the right spot. In this case, it would be “To make cold brew…”
You can then preview the new path, and ensure that it flows smoothly.
Continuing to design your mockup is simple—you can continue to repeat these steps until you are satisfied with every path.
For BaristaBot, what if the user asks about different methods of making coffee? What if they don’t want discounts, or if they do? What if they ask a question that my bot isn’t prepared to answer? To continue developing BaristaBot, I would add paths to respond to each of these situations.
Finally, when you are finished designing, you can test your design.
Chatbot design for Actions on Google can be intimidating. Luckily, Botsociety makes it possible for anyone to design a bot that will improve user experience.
Also published on Medium.