Chatbots in Web App Development
Emerging computer technologies become more customer-driven. Developers make them more interactive and conversational. One of the recent trends is to use AI-based chatbots in web application development. They change the way customers browse and interact with web apps. Instead of step-by-step website navigation, users can satisfy their search queries in a friendly conversation with a chatbot. And Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology makes their experience even more personalized and smoother.
Many web app solutions empowered by smart chatbots, improve their search procedures, helpdesk support, and app navigation, making them less tedious, simpler to manage, and more customized. All these help attract and retain more customers, enhance companies’ popularity, and increase their revenue.
Why Should Developers and Designers Care about the Bot Era?
More and more businesses decide to incorporate chatbots in their app. According to the Grand View Research company, the global chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025 with CAGR at 24.3%, in comparison to only $190.8 million in 2016. This considerable growth is explained by continuous innovations in AI and Machine learning technologies for chatbot development.
Such well-known companies as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, and Facebook have already introduced a number of open-source chatbot development platforms, building tools, and frameworks. Thus, they are worth including in web developers’ tech stack.
Let’s have a look at the most popular frameworks and platforms for building chatbots:
Dialogflow represents a conversational platform supported by Google. It allows building chatbots and voice apps for the most popular virtual digital assistants like Google Actions and Amazon’s Alexa.
On this platform, web developers can build voice and text-based solutions on more than 20 natural languages that support Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, Telegram, Twitter, Viber, and many others.
Dialogflow allows software developers to build omnichannel chatbots that can be integrated into web apps using REST API.
Microsoft Bot Framework
Microsoft Bot Framework helps web developers build chatbots for web apps and integrate them with Skype, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and others. The framework has 2 key elements that allow building chatbots fast and simply – Bot Builder SDK and Bot Connectors.
Amazon Lex is another platform for building conversational interfaces that are available in text and voice formats. Amazon Lex provides web developers with the technologies that are used for deep learning implemented in Amazon Alexa.
The Amazon service facilitates building solutions with high-quality speech recognition and natural language understanding. Moreover, this platform is easy to scale and its solutions can be deployed right from the Amazon Lex console into any messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack, and others.
How Bots Will Change Web Interactions
To understand how chatbots will change web interaction, let’s first analyze their current state. Typically users enter their requests into Google, get a pile of search results, go through them, and find what they’re looking for. This procedure can be time-consuming and monotonous.
Chatbots help users avoid most of the steps outlined above as all navigational elements are replaced by an ordinary conversation. Users usually start these conversations with a request and then a chatbot starts asking questions to specify the search result. This type of research is more humanized and user-friendly.
Chatbots are widely used in:
- e-commerce, assisting users in searching for the needed products;
- help desk support to provide users with the answers on emerging issues;
- banking for paying bills, checking card balances, and more;
- entertainment for engaging customers in everyday conversations, like movies and weather discussions;
- surveys to collect customers’ feedback;
- healthcare when users need quick responses on how to behave in the situations of emergency;
- education when chatbots ask questions or share facts on various topics, and much more.