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I began this project by first doing some secondary research on chatbots in order to understand how users are able to accomplish tasks and resolve problems through conversations. I looked at chatbots within the travel industry in particular, since the domain has a flourishing chatbot presence. Below, I created a domain analysis with axis assessing range of conversationality, and assisting vs. managing.

Domain Analysis of Chatbots

With an understanding the chatbot landscape, I began to consider possible scenarios in which a chatbot would be useful. Since texting is an interaction that is familiar to people of a large range of age groups, I decided to interview older relatives in order to determine some common problems that they experience. One of the more common responses from these interviews was the uncertainty of what to do and who to call during a leak or electrical problem with the house. I figured that many homeowners/renters likely encounter similar scenarios and decided to make a chatbot to address this problem.

I began crafting the bot by considering its personality, and giving it a name. 

Meet Puka

Puka is the Hawaiian word for ‘hole’. I chose this name when recalling one of my interviews with my aunty, in which she described wanting to fix a ‘puka’ in her wall. Keeping Puka’s personality in mind, I started to build the dialog flow to systematically diagram the conversation a user would have with Puka. In this dialog flow, I also experimented with Puka’s tone in the responses. 

Mapping Out the Dialog

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