Monday, November 29Digital Marketing Journals

Making it easier to map variables


Botsociety added a new way to map variables to make your conversations more dynamic and customizable at scale. This helps you prepare your design for handover and improve the conversational experience since now you’re dealing with dynamic conversations. Think about a person’s name, location, hours, product name, things that can be dynamic or arrive from the database, API integrations, etc. This new feature gives you more flexibility to customize your designs and make them ready for production.

Introducing variables

There is something magical about using variables in your design. This is not only a Botsociety thing since it’s pretty standard in other scenarios, like programming, apps, or websites. Variables make everything more dynamic or adapted to the user’s case since they work as a placeholder for information.

In short, variables are pieces of information that change or can be changed dynamically in your design; think about any information that can be dynamic, referred to, or stored.

On Botsociety, you can use variables to:

  • Specify a keyword or a known value for your NLU engine (which can specify a format for dates, given name, location, etc.)
  • Store a piece of information (which can store dates, given name, location, etc.)

Both scenarios are similar and it changes depending on how you’re going to use them. This is the power of Botsociety since it gives you the flexibility to adjust to your needs.

Expanding variables to new possibilities

We know that sometimes you just want, for example, to call your users by their first name. It’s hard to keep it up at scale and change the information every time you present your design to a new user. Since this is a piece of information that may change every time you start a conversation with a new user because the name will be different.

To help you with this scenario, you can store this name in a variable next time you start your conversation. This will help you at the design and prototyping stage, but also whenever you export your design to your engineers; everything will be ready to be used for NLU engines, for example.

To add a new variable to your design:

  1. Open your design file on Botsociety
  2. Change to the Build mode
  3. Press SHIFT and highlight the word that you want to specify as a variable
  4. Once you highlight, add a new name or select one existing one
  5. Click in add or press enter

Once you finish this, Botsociety will highlight your variable on your canvas. It will look like Botsociety highlighted your design with a yellow marker, and you can remove the relation by click on the red X on the top of your variable.

If you want to keep the relation but would like to remove the highlights:

  1. Open the Menu on the top left
  2. Mouse over to Variables
  3. Then, select your preference (hide or show in Edit page)

Now, if you already have variables and would to add new values to an existing variable:

  1. Open your design file on Botsociety
  2. Change to the Build Mode
  3. Find your variable under the “Variable” section on the left side
  4. Click on the gear icon
  5. Add a new value and press enter

You can do this as many times as you want. Note that to add a new value to an existing variable, Botsociety will provide you an option to “map value” that is useful only for Rasa export; if you’re not going to use Rasa, please leave this field empty.

Make them ready at scale

Another great way to consider using variables is to make them available to your team. To do this, you need to mark your design as a template; whenever your team creates a new design, they can always make a copy of yours as a starting point (and Botsociety will copy all the variables as well to the new design).

To mark your design as a template for your team:

  1. Open your design file on Botsociety
  2. Click on the Menu on the top left
  3. Mouse over to File, then Mark as a template
  4. Select “All” to make available to anyone in your team; or “me” if it’s just for you

Once you mark your design as a template, you can always edit or change the original design file. Note that any previous change you do will not reflect in the previously copied design; it will be available for future ones.

You can always create a design just for you as a template and share a direct link to this design file with your team. Botsociety will suggest it as a template, and your teammates will be able to create a copy of your design as well:

Try it now on Botsociety

Add variables to your designs today. We hope you get as excited as we are to make things easier for you to map variables. We’re on a mission to democratize #conversationdesign and more things like this will unfold soon. Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter or to write a request in the Botsociety’s Community Forum.

 

Try Botsociety for free today

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