Chatbots Toolbox 1/5 – Tools for Conception and Prototyping

Chatbots Toolbox 1/5 – Tools for Conception and Prototyping

Smart chatbots are on the rise in conversational marketing. They have a lot of benefits for the users like instant availability, personal speech, and getting relevant information at the right time. For businesses and brands, chatbots can help in building trust and a loyal customer relationship. But what is the magic that makes these little fellers run?

With this series of five articles, I want to share my research and take a look at major and popular tools for creating chatbots. This first article is all about tools for conception and prototyping.

Let’s dive right in…

1. Botsociety

Screenshot Botsociety

Botsociety is a common and broadly used prototyping tool that works for all major conversational interfaces. Whether you want to build a Facebook Messenger Bot, a Slack Bot or a Voice Bot for Amazon Alexa or Google Home, with Botsociety you can build working prototypes to preview the experience.

“Quickly create a high-fidelity preview of your next chatbot or voice assistant” is what they promise. You can build sample conversations with a visual dialog editor which can contain custom images, buttons, and emoticons of course. ???? Team collaboration is possible. Check out the Features Page to learn more.

There are different pricing plans for different needs, but there is a free plan you can start with. The free account is limited to one prototype and one export but definitively worth to check out and probably enough for small projects.

2. Botmock

Screenshot Botmock

Botmock is another major platform to design prototypes for bots and conversation flows. You can create previews for all common conversational interfaces including Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Alexa, and Google Home.

“Botmock has everything you need to create amazing chatbot prototypes and it comes with the power of drag-drop editor.” There are several templates to chose from as a starting point. The mock layouts can be exported as video or gif. Team collaboration is possible. Check out all the features here.

Pricing starts at 30$ per month for one team member and unlimited projects.

3. Botframe

Screenshot Botframe

Botframe is a pretty fast forward prototyping tool for messenger conversations. “A playground to design bots” is how they describe themselves. The visual editor and the options are limited, but that is what really makes the difference. This tool is designed to quickly create a visual preview of a conversation. Nothing more and nothing less. A great way to communicate a dialog idea or just for testing a conversation flow. Price is free.

4. Typeform

Screenshot Typeform

Typeform is a powerful chatbot and conversation platform, originally designed to get conversational in data collection and surveys. They offer a rich visual editor for designing conversations and interactions. But at this time, typeform offers no integrations for their chatbots to major messaging platforms. There is a tool to export a conversation to Facebook Messenger, but that’s it. Still, Typeform could be a good solution for layout and prototyping a conversational experience. Pricing starts with a free plan.

What about other popular chatbot platforms?

There are a lot of platforms for Visual Authoring and Integrated Development out there and some of them also allow you to design prototypes. For more information about these platforms and services check out my upcoming article in this series “Chatbots Toolbox”.

With this article, I wanted to explore tools that are specialized in prototyping alone.

Bonus: Make My Persona

Screenshot Make-My-Persona

Make My Persona is a tool from HubSpot to create buyer personas. Why should I build a persona for my chatbot?

Personas are like prototypes for users. They are part of UX research and are made to get a clearer picture of your customers. The better you know your audience, the better you can design a product that empowers them. Maybe this tool can help you to define a precise audience, the first step to a great product.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about these tools and if I missed out something important. Drop me a line in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter.

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