How to create a chatbot that doesn't sound like a robot

Image: Shopify
(Image credit: SHopify)

Chat is a super-hot topic in the web world. "Digital conversations are increasingly becoming our preferred way to communicate," says Verne Ho, Shopify's UX director. "We're not only chatting more than ever before, we're chatting in more places than ever before."  Conversational interfaces are evolving – chat has shifted from being merely a means of communication, to a means of getting things done. 

Ho works with a team at Shopify to define the experience offered by Kit, the company's virtual assistant. At Pixel Pioneers Bristol, he took to the stage to share what he's learnt in the role. He also pointed out that while we all know how to chat in real life, creating a bot that speaks in a natural way is surprisingly difficult, and offered his advice for creating chatbots that don't feel like chatbots. Here are four top takeaways from the talk. 

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Ruth Hamilton

Ruth spent a couple of years as Deputy Editor of Creative Bloq, and has also either worked on or written for almost all of the site's former and current print titles, from Computer Arts to ImagineFX. She now spends her days reviewing mattresses and hiking boots as the Outdoors and Wellness editor at, but continues to write about design on a freelance basis in her spare time.