Conversational customer support and self-service.
The design and implementation of the new chatbot in IKEA started in the fall of 2019 and I was part of the project for 1,5 years.
My role as the only UX designer for the last year in the team included tasks such as:
Customers reach out to IKEA for questions that they could potentially find the answer to themselves, or even better solve themselves by using existing self-service capabilities. One way to help users would be a conversational self-service, i.e. a chatbot.
After parts of the concept were already developed, I joined the project as a UI designer but continued as the UX/UI designer after about six months. The concept so far has been the same – to understand the customer's intent and to be able to answer the bulk of the questions
I made all UI elements in Figma and prepared them for hand-off to the front-end developers.
Based on transcripts from existing chats in a few selected markets the most common intents were covered such as order status and product availability.
The solution, Billie a gender-neutral chatbot that helped the user by offering conversational self-service, links to supporting web pages, fetching possible answers from IKEA's knowledge management system, or if needed offering a handover to a co-worker during office hours.
I created the UI design framework for how a conversation would be presented to the user, including when Billie presented content that was not a conversation, e.g. external content.
For the intent analysis, IKEA is using Google Dialogflow which then passed on the intent to another system that supplied the answer flows to the users.
This was my first experience with a conversational design which for me was another process using a lot of flows in Miro. The flows I made were bounced with the backend developers to understand what was doable, and how the flows needed to be tweaked and/or improved to fit how the backend was set up.
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