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Brooke

Motion Graphics | UX / UI

Chatbots take advantage of our current technology and relate to young adults in a medium that they understand very well. Brooke is a chatbot that answers all of those life questions that parents didn’t have time to teach. These include taxes, insurance, and utilities. With Brooke handling all of these tasks becomes easy. This project goes through identifying our demographic, figuring out a solution that best fits them, making user flows to prove that solution, branding a new company, and creating a video explaining Brooke to the world.

Timeframe 5 Weeks
Roles User Experience User Research Brand Development Animation Illustration Market Research
Skills After Effects Illustrator InDesign
Collaborators Jeff Dull
Problem

Young adults who are either fresh out of college or just entering the workforce are often not able to complete the tasks that an independent adult life requires. These tasks are not taught in school or by their parents and can make living on their own very difficult. These young adults are used to a fast paced life and want to know the answer now.

Goal

We want to provide a solution that teaches young adults how to complete these tasks in a trustworthy and efficient way.

Solution

A Chatbot that uses both contextual awareness and machine learning to answer any questions they might have. Brooke will also serve as a resource helping young adults complete everything from their taxes to paying their utility bill.

Finding the Solution

The first step in finding the solution to helping young adults that are unable to handle adult life was to learn more about them.

Target User Base

This product is very interesting because it is a use product. It has no social value other than it’s ability to relieve stress on your life. Because of that we knew that we needed to really nail the research in this project and prove that the chatbot would work. Our target user base is Generation Z as well as Millennials are demographics comprised of young adults who are new into the world of responsibilities. Many have not had to take care of basic life tasks (getting auto insurance, paying utility bills, doing taxes, etc...). They often avoid dealing with these tasks because of the hassle and learning curve associated with them.

Research on Users

We did research on the userbase as a whole to confirm that we understood them and that this was actually a problem they were having. We found a number of great studies done that collaborated our initial thoughts as well as showed us some new things we could use.
The majority of Generation Z reported that they felt Highschool or College had not prepared them for an adult life.
Only 31% said their high school education did a good job teaching them strong financial habits
Only 41% said their college education did or has done a good job imparting those lessons.
They wish that they had learned basic tasks in school.
43% wish they had learned how to invest.
40% wish they had learned how to do taxes.
26% wish they had learned how to manage monthly bills.

How do we Communicate with Them?

Now we know that young adults have these holes in their knowledge of how to live a successful adult life, we wanted to figure out the best way to communicate the information with them. Our initial thoughts were that we would talk to them through an app or some sort of website.

Gen Z and Millennials make up an ever growing market share that primarily use technology to learn new things. They don’t like taking a long time to try and figure something out, and more and more they trust the internet for their information.

50.4% of the United States Population are Gen Z or Millennials
52% use Youtube or social Media for typical research assignments
33% watch lessons online
20% read textbooks on tablets
32% work with classmates online
8 seconds - average american attention span
64% are more likely than other generations to trust somewhat or completely the content on mobile apps from brands, as well as text messages from brands.

Chatbot

90% of US teens today using some form of chat to communicate

Millennials and Generation Z are the perfect target for a chatbot that helps with everyday adulting because they not only understand and trust the form of communication, but they also lack the knowledge and education to do it themselves. The market share is already huge and growing more each and everyday.

“People are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is a huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.”  -Peter Rojas
Personas

From all of the research we did and from talking to people this age and going through these struggles we created 2 personas that are going to help us direct our decisions as we move forward and make sure we don’t lose touch with our users.

Functionality

Now that we had a really good idea of what our users wanted and how they wanted to do it, we could start to create a scope list of all of the functions of Brooke. This wasn’t only a simple list of what features we covered, but also contained information on how things would work behind the scenes and what would keep Brooke viable as the years went forward.

Retrieval-Based Model

Retrieval-based models use a repository of predefined responses and some kind of heuristic to pick an appropriate response based on the input and context. The heuristic could be as simple as a rule-based expression match, or as complex as an ensemble of Machine Learning classifiers. These systems don’t generate any new text, they just pick a response from a fixed set.

Natural Language Processing / Machine learning

Current approaches to NLP are based on machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence that examines and uses patterns in data to improve a program's own understanding. Brooke will use Machine Learning in order to communicate with users in “human” speech. As Human speech is not always precise, it is often ambiguous and the linguistic structure can depend on many complex variables, data mining will be implemented to detect patterns in slang, regional dialects and social context.

Autofill to 3rd Party Sites

Brooke will get you through the confusing part of the process and drop you off just when you need to finally enter information that you might want to keep private like your credit card information. Brooke wades through the many options that other sites will offer you to try and get you to spend more money on their site. Brooke will collect all your basic information conversationally and automatically fill out forms on these sites.

Setting up Accounts

Brooke will help you setup the initial accounts for different services by asking you specific questions that have easy answers. She will Lead you through the forms and help you avoid and tricks that might be there to try and get you to spend more money. If you ever don’t understand a question you can just ask her and she will tell you how things work and why they need that information.

Contextual Awareness

If you put in your address on the car insurance form Brooke will automatically know what Utility bill you need to pay based on your city. Brooke takes information that you use in one place to conveniently find out and answer questions in other places.

Payment Reminders

Brooke has the ability to keep track of when your bills and other service charges are due and will message you reminding you to pay them. If you want to pay them right away, brooke will provide you with a link to do so that will have all of the information filled out except for your personal card information.

Decision Trees

We created sample decision trees for Brooke so we could confirm that we really understood how our chat bot would work.

Tone of Brooke
Voice

The voice we wanted for Brooke was something that we needed to make sure we got correct as it was our only touch-point with out users. We decided to go with a voice that was conversational, adult, knowledgeable, calming, and encouraging. We decided to use this style of voice because we wanted our users to trust Brooke. She needed to sound smart but not like a know it all. So she uses language like:

“Hello! My name’s Brooke. What can I help you with today?”

“Good Question. Car insurance can be tricky. I’ll need to ask a couple more questions to make sure I’m helping properly.”

“Awesome, there are several ways to set up an account. Would you like to set up online or over the phone?”

“Excellent! Let’s get started.”

Brooke’s voice is something that will set the pace and mood of the interaction our users have with us. So getting it correct is very important.

Logo & Style

We decided to go with a very simple logo and style for Brooke. We wanted our users to know the Brooke color but not to have the visuals over-power the rest of their interaction. So we went with a blue that gave us a trusted look and feel.

Video

In order to communicate that Brooke existed to our users we needed to somehow show them how useful she was. We decided that a short video would work really well in this regard. We added text all over the video because people on facebook often watch videos without sound so we still needed to be able to communicate with them even if they don’t turn up the volume.