Since my journey has begun, I read numerous articles, joined communities and started following individuals, groups and companies on twitter. At this point, I believe it is only just if I shared my experience in hope it will help chatbot fans to start their way. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Join an online chatbot community
Joining a strong community online allows an access to a dynamic knowledge base, articles and support. As a newbie I had so many questions on where to begin and how to start creating my first chatbot. My friends might share some thoughts I have on facebook, but I believe it is essential both as an up to date knowledge base and as support platform in almost every subject or hobby. I can gladly recommend the upgrowing international community of AI chatbots.
2. Always keep up to date
I believe that at least one article about chatbots is published everyday. It is impossible to read them all, past and present articles while finding the balance between reading, learning and creating... oh, and life. Since I adopted uxdesign.cc my main fountain of knowledge, the interesting content helped me built a habit of reading at least 3-4 articles a week. Having contacts that share the same interest is a great way to find more fountains of knowledge. Join groups, attend conferences, meet people, follow key people in the industry using Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and keep reading.
3. Choose a platform to experiment
Knowing I didn't want to constrain myself only to facebook bots, I was in a search for a platform that communicates with broader types of solutions. As a person who insists on not installing facebook messenger on my phone, and believes not to be the only one, it was really important for me. I tried one or two before choosing api.ai. I believe that this in an individual choice, so here are few articles to help you make a decision:
- "Six of the best chatbot building platforms for developers" on Techworld.com
- "10 Tools to Build your Own Chatbots" on Hongkiat.com
- "Top 10 platforms for developers to build a chatbot" on botstory.co
4. Don't be afraid to ask
If there's one thing I believe in, is that one must bring up questions and learn as much as possible from the experience of others. It is as important as experiencing and keep asking throughout the process - even for things that might seem "obvious". Always try to explore further more by also asking "what do you base it on?".
5. Challenge yourself and have fun
Start by creating a simple bot. You might find it's easier than you thought. Creating a good bot however is more challenging, one that will eventually communicate well with the user, use natural language processing while trying to cover type mistakes and as many cases as possible (after all, your bot will be chatting with humans...).
First things first
Even though my aspiration is creating a bot that is based on research and built upon the milestones of UX design process, I believe that first I should learn the platform and what it offers and experience the process.
Spice it up!
Having created one simple bot, it's time to move on and choose an interest or a hobby as your subject:
- What do you like? Music? Chocolate? Guitars? Traveling?
Now, try to think how creating a bot would make a change:
- Will it save you time? Collect all the relevant information and even surprise you? Engage you with new information? or one that will only choose best fit music for your mood?
For that I'll say: Have fun, you'll learn better!
So far, the process towards creating my first chatbot have been enriching and intriguing. In my next posts I will also share my hands-on experiences.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and tips in the comments 🙂
[30 Jan 2017 Update]
You might find this article interesting:
Conversational Design Essentials: Tips For Building A Chatbot