When Stefano Tombolini and I started Botsociety – a design tool for conversation designers – very few people believed that conversation designers would even exist in a larger sense. Very few companies were hiring for that position, the number of designers focused on conversational UX was very small. In the last two years, things have changed a lot! It is now clear that conversational interfaces are going to be a large chunk of all of the user experiences built by companies in the very near future.
When we first launched the original Botsociety, we very much built it for ourselves. We needed a prototyping tool focused on chatbots and voice, and at the time, there was no such tool. So we built Botsociety. It allowed you to quickly create a prototype that you can share with your team.
Then, as the ecosystem matured, our users started to create larger and larger designs. We started to see design files with hundreds of messages. Those were not prototypes anymore, but full-fledged design projects. The original Botsociety was not built for that – in the same way that it’s really impractical to design an entire website from scratch using the original InVision. We talked more with our users, and we figured that adding more flowcharting-like features was not going to cut it. We had to bite the bullet. Take everything that we learned from the original Botsociety and rebuild a new product, from scratch. To move beyond prototyping, into design. This was around one year ago.
To be honest, it was kind of a scary decision. It meant that we would not be able to announce new features for quite a lot of time, and spend one year “in the lab” building something new. But as we started to build it, we became more and more confident that it was the right call.
Now, after a year of development, I’m proud to introduce you to Botsociety2.
We built it around 3 ideas for the perfect conversation design tool:
Design for anything. You should be able to design for any type of conversational interface, either chat, voice, or any other device mix
Design everything. You should be able to design complete conversation design patterns, like dedicated repair paths, multi-intents paths, multi-modal interactions, etc.
Collaborate. You should be able to keep managers and developers on the same page, collaborating on a complete design artifact. That also means that your engineers should be able to export your design to the technology that they want to use.
Here is a demo video:
This is just the beginning, we have big plans for Botsociety2!
You can try Botsociety2 for free by signing up on Botsociety.
Also published on Medium.