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Consistent Branding: Customising a Chatbot's Design

Product used: SaaS chatbot.

As ubisend's client base continues to grow so does our commitment to a variety of non-disclosure agreements. Though we cannot disclose our client's name, we hope this case study still inspires you.

Our client is a global information technology organisation based in France with over 120,000 employees across 73 countries. They were keenly involved in the development of their chatbot solution and wanted to ensure that the final product met the needs of their users no matter what.

The client requested full control over the customisation of their chatbot's design. While our chatbots have always been fully customisable, this often required our developers’ involvement to update the relevant code in the backend. We set ourselves on the journey of providing a more direct means of altering the chatbot visually.

A chatbot's design is crucial to its effectiveness. How a user interacts with a chatbot is key to their experience and the design of a bot’s interface is vital to that. A poorly designed chatbot may squander the otherwise valuable knowledge base it makes available for users, an entirely avoidable scenario.

Our developers have gained a great deal of experience creating chatbots and understand what a chatbot needs to be helpful for our clients. However, it’s also important to give clients the freedom to personalise their chatbots without needing our support.

Implementing a new user interface

In September 2019, we launched MyBot, a new user interface through which all of our clients would be able to alter the visual designs of their chatbot’s chat widget.

Allowing clients to implement branding in this way helps seamlessly integrate the chatbot into their existing communications strategy. Before MyBot, most features were stored within the code that each chatbot was written in, with no accessibility on the client’s end. Making any changes required one of our developers to manually make the change in the back end. The client’s proposal to create MyBot was, therefore, a time-saver for us, as well as them.

Customisable features to your heart’s content

MyBot allows clients to customise more features than just branding though. Through discussion with the client, we realised that making many additional features fully customisable within an easy-to-use interface would help make our chatbots the perfect tool for our clients to use. Maximising customizability allows each of our clients to create a more unique chatbot, helping them better convey their message and improving the user experience.

Simplicity on the client end

The client’s user interface consists of a series of dropdown menus, each with their own set of customisable options. Interacting with each option updates a preview of the chat widget, allowing clients to see how their changes will look on the user-end. This provides a sort of sandbox, where our clients can see the changes they make to their chatbot without having to push them live.

The ‘main settings’ section includes the ability to change the bot’s name, as well as a welcome message and a brief introduction which can introduce the purpose of the chatbot.

On our website’s chatbot (which you can interact with at the bottom right corner of the webpage), it simply says “Hey, I’m ubibot!”. We recommend keeping the banner title brief and to the point.

Maintaining client branding

Back to the branding features of MyBot, we wanted to make the customisability for our clients as helpful as possible. To this end, we’ve included three different colour options settings to help clients match their company’s colour scheme. A range of preset colours is available for a quick fix. Alternatively, a hex code can be added to match an exact colour if required. These options can be used to affect text colour, as well as two further options to create a solid or gradient background. Making text and background colours contrasting naturally makes sense but the flexibility means that clients can choose any colour combination they desire.

These colour options are further extended into the chat widget itself, with the ability to customise message bubble and text colours separately for both the user and the chatbot. This helps users differentiate between their own messages and the chatbot’s response, and allows for additional colours to be included should a more complex colour scheme be needed to match the client’s branding.

Adding even more features

All of the features mentioned so far were made available on the launch of MyBot after initial discussions with the client. More options were added later, again at their request, further enhancing their control of the design of the chatbot.

Soon, the ability to customise the chatbot launch icon was also added, giving the client more control over the display of their chatbot before their users interact with it.

An additional background colour option, which could once again be different from the colour scheme of the chatbot widget once opened, was added. Then, another feature gave clients the power to choose their chatbot’s logo, as well as a library of all past logos. Previously, the logo would be sourced from one link and would require manual updates should a temporary logo be required. The new function gives clients the ability to switch between old and new logos with a single click!

Plans for the future

There are plans to further increase the number of options available to our clients within MyBot.

Implementing rich media (i.e. images or videos) into welcome messages is already a feature within the code but will soon become available on the client end. A hamburger-style menu is also on the cards where clients will be able to define more pre-set options for their users. Functions will be fully customisable, including a list of pre-loaded questions that users can ask.

MyBot has quickly become a key part of the user experience for our clients, providing them with an accessible gateway to edit their chatbot without needing to delve deep into the coding of their chatbot. The development of this user interface means that we can now offer ALL client’s more control over their chatbot solution.

Our bots are designed to help clients manage their business processes more efficiently; providing them with an easy-to-use tool for managing their chatbot helps us deliver a more complete product.

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Chris Amos, project manager at Archant Limited