Chatbot: “Charlie”

After a conversation with Professor Tran and several conversations with my team partner, Qinyu, I decided to pursue my chatbot concept in full force.

Well, almost. I’m currently poking at the keys because I suddenly developed severe pain in the lower part of my thumb which makes typing and micro movements excruciatingly painful. This, after dealing with a hairline fracture … I mean, seriously??? The timing could not be worse. Anyway, I’m plugging along as much as I’m able. 

I’m excited and nervous. There’s a lot to still learn and doing this on my own for a specific timeframe feels daunting. But, my excitement at the moment makes it seem doable. I have to present in less than two weeks. So much for Thanksgiving break. Eep.

So, what do I do when I know there are many tasks in a project? Make a list! Here’s my list of actions for Project Charlie (in no specific order):

  • Do more research.
    • Read more articles and gather more information about Alzheimer’s
  • Define an audience.
    • Is this for all caregivers or ?
  • What is the primary function?
    • Therapy? Coaching? Both?
  • Define a personality or persona for Charlie.
    • Character based or ?
    • What kind of language will he use?
  • Come up with a different name for the app. (Maybe)
  • Define scenarios
    • Where will Charlie be used? How will users feel? (Maybe more of a journey map?)
  • Storyboards
    • Drawing may be a problem
  • Create a user flow
  • Identify features 
    • What will users really need? Try to avoid doing too much
  • Create several conversation scripts. (This is going to be the most important step)
    • Learn how to create them.
    • Understand the jargon more
  • Content types. What types of content will appear in the chat?
    • Gifs? Emojis? Video?
  • Determine a mockup or prototyping platform/tool. 
    • How to make it feel as real as possible without an active database? (I don’t even know if that is the right term)
  • Define the look and feel.
    • Moodboard
  • Build the prototype.
  • Test the prototype.
    • Contact the people I interviewed

Lots to do! Hasta pasta.

Crossroads: This Idea or That Idea?

What do you do when you started down one path and all of a sudden another reveals itself? 

Just before Thanksgiving break, I found myself researching two ideas. I knew this wasn’t efficient but I felt compelled to explore the second idea more after the interviews I had conducted. Five interviews later I found that perhaps the initial idea Qinyu and I came up with wasn’t the best path.

This is the beauty of interviews.  They can enlighten you, challenge your initial ideas and lead you down a different path. Some may think this creates more work but I think it saves you time and money down the road.

What is the second idea? A chatbot I’ve nicknamed, “Charlie”.

Charlie isn’t really new. At least, not for me. He was one of the first ideas I had after the first interview but somehow during our initial concept meetings, Charlie was passed over for our smart entertainment system idea. So, Charlie sat on the sketch shelf for months, until now.

I hope to write more about Charlie and I’ve fractured my index finger so typing is incredibly slow and not easy. (I’ve developed tremendous amounts of empathy for people who lose digits or have arthritis … )

More soon …