Working with seemingly separate conversational flows in flowcharts can be challenging and inefficient for designers. These different flows are often disconnected from one another or interconnected in overtly complex ways, which can make it difficult to see how they fit together to form a cohesive user experience.
As a result, designers may struggle to identify and address potential issues with the flow, leading to a disjointed and confusing conversation for users.
What are Domains and Topics
Note: intents are a representation of a user's intention or purpose in a conversation.
Imagine that you were creating a travel assistant for an online travel booking system. This is how you could potentially organize the assistant:
Domains: Bookings, Support, FAQ
- Domains in Voiceflow are used to illustrate the broad areas of functionality within a complex assistant. In the Domains Overview of an assistant, each domain has a status (three possible phases of design, review and complete) and a last modified time stamp.
Topics: Places to Stay, Flights, Cars, Activities
- Topics represent specific conversation paths or user intents within the domain of an assistant. Users can be directed from one topic to another using go-to action blocks.
Intents: Book a Hotel, Book a Villa, Book a Hostel
- Intents are specific user intentions defined by one or more potential user responses. For example, "Book a Hotel" can be represented by "I want a book a hotel" or "I want to stay at a hotel".
By organizing different functions and actions in this way, designers can create a more comprehensive and user-friendly assistant that is easier to navigate. Instead of having one large document with multiple disjointed flows, domains and topics within a single assistant helps visualize the logic of a clear conversational tree.
Another advantage is that it allows for more efficient and flexible design iterations. Instead of having to make changes to multiple, disconnected flows, designers can make changes within a single domain or topic, and those changes will automatically propagate throughout the assistant.
Creating a Topic
Starting from a new assistant canvas, you can begin replicating your multiple flows in your flowchart as individual topics. To get a rundown of how to use the different steps in Voiceflow, start from here.
Once you've recreated the different flows as Voiceflow topics, you can start building relationships and connections between the topics by using Go-To Actions. Below is an example of how to connect the Main Menu topic to the Create New Ticket topic.
Creating a Domain
As you create more and more topics in your assistant, you may find that the list of topics is growing uncontrollably, or you see that natural topic groupings are forming. In that case, you would want to introduce a second layer of organization, and sort all topics into multiple domains.