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Introducing Conversational UI

Introducing Conversational UI - chatbot framework-agnostic UI controls and components for .NET and JavaScript developers. Create modern conversational chatbot experiences on any platform.

Over the years, we've added support for new technologies, built new products, and continued to evolve all of our product lines across all relevant .NET and JavaScript frameworks. We have always taken the lead to enable our customers to the latest technology and UI and UX paradigms. The time to get to the next one has come!

As we announced this week at Microsoft Build, as part of our R2 2018 release of Telerik and Kendo UI on May 16th we will introduce Conversational UI - chatbot framework-agnostic user interface controls and components that enable .NET and JavaScript developers to create modern conversational chatbot experiences in their web, mobile and desktop applications. By implementing key UI design features such as Suggested Actions, Calendars, Date Pickers, ListViews and more, developers will be able to improve the dialog with visual elements that enhance the natural flow of the conversation.

Conversational UI – which is the industry's first packaged set of user interface components built specifically for chatbots - will be available as part our Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Core, WinForms, WPF and Xamarin products, and our Kendo UI for jQuery, Angular, Vue, React, PHP and JSP libraries.

Chatbots Today: The Roadblocks

There are three major reasons why chatbots aren't widely adopted yet.

First, many chatbots are using decision trees and state workflows. Once the end user gets outside of the decision tree, the chatbot gets blocked rather than using Natural Language Processing with properly trained intents and entities to understand and meet the end user needs.

Second, the interaction with chatbots is currently not very intuitive and user-friendly and often takes more time, rather than saving time. Imagine you want to book a trip and you are asked to enter the date of the trip you desire – are you entering number, words, in what format, etc.

Third, for the developer, it is practically impossible to easily create a visually appealing and intuitive UI that plugs into chatbot conversations in web, mobile and desktop applications with the toolsets available on the market today. This is where Conversational UI helps!

The Solution: Conversational UI

Proper visual guidance lets the developer help the user navigate the conversation more effectively. Visual elements that come with Conversational UI like suggested actions, calendars, pickers and cards are essential not just to the look and feel of the chatbot, but they contribute holistically to the natural flow of the conversation. This in turn provides a better overall experience for the end user and increases engagement, and by saving time it means a more productive development cycle for the developer when it comes to NLP and the bots conversational intelligence.

Check out some of the benefits and capabilities of the tools:

Framework-Agnostic. Conversational UI is well-suited for all major chatbot frameworks including Microsoft Bot, Facebook, Google DialogFlow, Amazon Lex and more. This means you can build your bot with the framework you are most comfortable using and still style your bot with the best frontend tools for .NET and JavaScript.

Consistent Design Experience. Conversational UI lets developers give their chatbots the same look and feel as any other web, mobile or desktop application, leveraging highly-customizable components. By integrating your bot stylistically into your application, you are able to maintain the same branding and user experience from the main application to the bot interaction.

Natural Conversation Flow. Achieving quality human-computer interaction is a challenge as developers need to account for unexpected scenarios, ambiguities and standard human behaviors. When coupled with the inability to capture the right visual cues, the conversation a user has with a bot can become ineffective quickly—leading to disengagement with the bot and customer dissatisfaction. With Conversational UI developers can deliver a visually appealing experience that enables and enhances the natural conversation flow between chatbot and users.

Easy Implementation. Developers can use existing .NET and/or JavaScript skills to easily implement the components in any web, mobile or desktop application. Conversational UI will come complete with detailed documentation and ready-made demos for multiple chatbot scenarios including travel, healthcare, customer service and more when it is released on the 16th.

Want to Know More?

If you are interested in learning more about Conversational UI or chatbots in general, make sure to visit our Conversational UI homepage. We have information about the tools as well as links to resources – like our Anatomy of a Chatbot blog post or our Designing a Conversational Chatbot Experience webinar.

Download a Trial or the Latest Bits

Download a Devcraft trial now to play around with our controls for free, and we will automatically include you in a notice to customers and all trial holders when the feature is ready on May 16th.

Download a Trial

Sign Up for the Webinar

On Wednesday, May 30 at 11:30 a.m. ET and Thursday, May 31 at 11:30 a.m. ET we will host live webinars from ProgressNEXT. These webinars will cover Telerik (May 30) and Kendo UI (May 31) release updates and will both highlight Conversational UI. We hope you can join us at the conference in person, or sign up online at the links below:

Sign Up: Telerik R2 Release Webinar

Sign Up: Kendo UI R2 Release Webinar

Sara Faatz
About the Author

Sara Faatz

Sara Faatz leads the Telerik and Kendo UI developer relations team at Progress. She has spent the majority of her career in the developer space building community, producing events, creating marketing programs, and more. When she's not working, she likes diving with sharks, running, and watching hockey.


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