Visualizing how end-users are expected to interact with the Virtual Assistants is a very essential exercise in building successful VAs. This helps you design engaging conversations as well as simplifies the communication between business users, conversation designers, language experts, and VA developers.
Designing VAs comes with different challenges as compared to the development of traditional websites or apps. Most of the design tools like flow charts, tracking tools, and versioning software cater to app development.
Kore.ai’s Storyboard is an intuitive conversation designer that simplifies and streamlines the VA development process. It allows you to design various scenes that are representative of the actual end-user conversations with the VA. You can share scenes with your teams for collaborative development. You can also present scenes as prototypes to the business owners to receive feedback.
The features of Storyboard are as follows:
- Design conversations using simple text messages, carousels, lists, and more.
- Elaborate the conversations with link messages across the paths.
- Visualize the complete conversation across different paths as a unified flow.
- Build a comprehensive user flow by linking various conversations.
- Co-create conversations by collaborating with other designers.
- Share interactive prototypes with stakeholders for reviews and feedback.
The Storyboard consists of multiple scenes. Each scene depicts a conversation as a series of Virtual Assistant and user messages. VA messages are defined as plain text messages or using rich templates. Scenes have the following features:
- You can view the scenes either in an interactive conversation view or flow view for easy tracking and understanding.
- There can be multiple inter-linked paths in a scene to represent various alternate flows of the conversation.
- It allows for a collaborative effort. You can share with various stakeholders for review, approval, and/or development.
- Stakeholders can review and add their comments.
- There is a provision for developers to add notes to describe or explain a particular path or message.
- A story timeline is generated to mark crucial states in the conversation using either predefined hashtags or custom tags.
- Preview the flow for a real-time experience and much more.
Let us look into each of these features in detail.
The storyboard is the primary module that provides a complete overview of all the scenes available in that Virtual Assistant, the status of these scenes, and various other options associated with these scenes.
You can access it from the Build tab of the top menu under the Conversation Skills -> Storyboard option on the left menu of the Kore.ai XO Platform.
Using Storyboard, you can create new Dialog Tasks, FAQs or Mock Scenes.
- Dialog Tasks represents the multiturn conversations that your users can have with the assistant. For example, the ‘place an order’ intent can have multiple volleys of interactions between the user and the assistant to collect all the information to place an order and complete the task.
- Design – You can design a conversation by visualizing the interaction between the user and the assistant as a transcript
- Build – You can build complex flows to include your business logic and integrate with your systems
- Train – Provide the training for your assistant to understand this intent
To know how to create a dialog task, click learn more.
- FAQs – Add FAQs for your intents by identifying the appropriate questions. To add FAQs based on Knowledge Graph training, click learn more.
- Mock Scenes -Mock Scenes are blueprints that you can use to prototype the conversations. A scene depicts the conversation as a series of assistant and user messages. To know more about scenes, click learn more.
The Story lets you create new Dialog Tasks, FAQs and Mock Scenes.
Note:The Fallback and Welcome Tasks are created automatically for each new assistant.
To create a new dialog, follow the below steps:
- Click Create Dialog on the top-right.
- On the New Dialog pop-up, enter a name in the Intent Name field and a description in the Description field.
- Add utterances in the Intent Training field.
- Expand More Options to select the Sub-Intent and Hide from Help options. You can also add the Intent Preconditions and Context Output values.
- Click Proceed.
To create FAQs. follow the below steps:
- On the Storyboard page, select the FAQS tab and click Add Intent on the top-right.
- On the New Intent pop-up, complete the following details:
- Select Intent type either as FAQ or Task
- Enter a name in the Intent Name field and a display name in the Display Name field.
- Select the Channel from the drop-down list. Choose the All Channels option if you want the response to be the same for all channels.
- Enter the Bot Response . You can choose the Standard Text or Advanced Mode to define the responses.
- Click the Extended Response link if you wish to add additional responses.
- Click the Alternate Response link if you want to add alternate responses for the FAQ.
- Enter the Reference ID for your FAQ.
- Drag the Intent Status slider to enable or disable the Intent.
- Click Proceed.
- Hovering over an FAQ, allows you to Edit or Delete it, as well as to add an Alternate FAQ, to Add Synonyms or to Add Alternate Responses for that particular FAQ.
- Click the Add Alternate FAQ option to add the alternate question within the FAQ editing panel. Enter the question in the Alternate Question field, add any relevant tags, and save changes.
- Click the Add Synonyms option to open Storyboard FAQs in the Knowledge Graph, where you can configure synonyms for different terms used in the question.
- If the response is lengthy, click the Add Extended Response option to provide additional information. This response will be sent right after the main one
- Click Save to complete the FAQs
To create a New Mock Scene. follow the below steps:
- On the Storyboard page, select the Mock Scene tab and click Create Scene at the bottom.
- On the New Scene dialog box, enter a name in the Scene Name field and a description in the Description field.
- Select a status from the Status drop-down list. Available statuses are In Progress, Completed, and Approved. You can also create a custom status if needed.
- Click Proceed.
You can also perform the below-listed actions:
- Import an existing scene in a CSV format.
- Filter scenes based upon their status.
- Search for a scene by name.
- For each scene, you have an option to:
- Share the scene with other users or teams.
- Duplicate the scene to create a copy.
- Export the scene into CSV format.
- Edit the name, description, and status of the scene.
- Delete the scene.
As mentioned in the Overview section, a scene depicts the conversation as a series of VA and user messages.
The editor has the following features to help you design the conversation:
- User Tab: It is used to enter possible messages from users either requesting information or providing input to a request by the virtual assistant. These messages are defined as:
- Plain text messages. For example, in a Banking VA, I want to transfer money or I want to know my account balance.
- Attachments. For example, in a Banking VA, to upload documents to complete KYC requirements.
- Bot Tab: It is used to design Virtual Assistant messages. VA Messages are messages that the Virtual Assistant sends to users as a greeting, information, answer to a user query, or requesting for input. These messages are defined as:
- Plain text messages with options to mark text as bold, italics, indent, multi-line, and lists – ordered and unordered.
- Rich messages using the predefined templates like buttons, list, quick reply, etc,. (see below for a list of supported templates).
- Notes: It is used to add text between messages describing an action or a section of the conversation.
Notes also provides an option to define the timeline of the conversation by using hashtags. Thus defined notes help denote an important state in the conversation. It appears on the left of the conversation under the Story Timeline. You can move to the relevant place in the conversation by clicking the tag on the timeline.You can define your own custom tags or use one of the predefined tags. Each of these predefined tags is depicted by a unique symbol in the timeline indicating its purpose. These predefined tags include:
- Paths: Paths are different flows in which the conversations provide based on the options provided by the VA or the user. For example, a Virtual Assistant expects a yes or no response from the user, and the path differs based upon the user response. Using the VA message, the template predefines the number of alternate paths allowed. The business logic can also decide the number of paths.
To continue the scene along a specific path, you can select the path either using the Previous Path (<-) and Next Path (->) or select the options given to the user. You can also add additional paths using the New Path (+) option.
You can reorder the messages by a simple drag and drop action. When you hover over a message you can find the following options:
- Add New Path
- Add Comments
- Delete a message
- Link a Message: You can use this option to link another message in this scene and continue a flow that is already designed. When selected, this option transitions to the Flow view from where you can select the message node, and the same is linked to the current node.
Note: This option is available only for the leaf nodes with no flow defined.
- Link a Scene: You can use this option to link a predefined scene in the Storyboard. This scene is invoked during the preview. When selected, this option gives a list of scenes for you to select from and the same is linked to the current node. You can also perform the below-listed actions:
- View Scene: Click View Scene to open in a read-only window.
- Unlink: Click Unlink to unlink the scene.
- Edit: You can edit a message.
Comments are a very useful collaborative tool. Storyboard allows users to add comments to any component of the scene like user messages, VA messages, and notes. You can also reply to an existing comment thus maintaining a comments thread.
You can access comments using the comment icon next to the corresponding message/note. You can access the full comment history using the comments icon at the scene level.
- Preview: It is used to see how the conversation flows on your website. This opens in a mock website with the chat window. You can Play/Pause, Restart, Customize, and Exit the preview. (See here for customizing options)
- Share: This option gives you a URL that you can share with others. This URL presents the scene preview and you can let the various stakeholders a glimpse of what to expect and take their feedback. You can secure the scene preview URL with a password.The Share link allows the viewer to add comments that are communicated back to the developer for further action.
- Click the More icon to perform the below-listed actions. Most of these actions are available on the Storyboard page also.
- Edit: Edit the name, description, and status of the scene.
- Clone: Clone the scene to create a copy.
- Export: Export the scene into CSV format.
- Import: Import an existing scene in CSV format. Import fails if the import scene has linked scenes which are not present in the current VA.
- Delete: Delete the scene. Unlink all linked scenes before deleting it.
- Version History
- A list of recent 20 changes made to a scene.
- Version is automatically created whenever the following changes are made:
- Message Added
- Message Edited (included edits to templates)
- Message Removed
- Message Reordered
- Scene Restored
- Note Added
- Note Modified
- Note Removed
- Linked to a Message
- Linked to a Scene
- An option to restore to any of those versions.
- You can also download a particular version in CSV format.
The customize option from the scene preview allows you to view the conversation in the widget view. By default, the platform provides two themes:
These themes set the light or dark background for the widget and the text accordingly.
You can create your own theme, save it, and use it across the scenes in your storyboard. There are four aspects of the conversation widget that you can customize:
- Background Image
- Overall Chat Widget
- User Message Bubbles – text and background colors.
- VA Message Bubbles – text and background colors for various components.
This option will let you customize the entire chat widget. This includes:
- Widget background-color
- Widget text color
- Widget border-color
- Widget divider color
VA Messages Templates
|Template Type||Template Definition||Comments|
For each Carousel:
For each List Item:
After you design, switch to the Flow View to see the scene in a flowchart.
All the Scene Options mentioned in the previous section are available with the following exceptions:
- You cannot import a scene from the flow.
- Export results in a PDF document.