Why chatbots are not the future | Amelia Wattenberger

An interesting read into designing UIs for LLMs and other generative ML algorithms, particularly given the author's relatively extensive work in that field. The main takeaway seems to be that pure "chatbot" interfaces are rarely good UX, but augmenting with various input options can be a quick way to refine them.

On the core issue of "textbox input" as your interface:

Good tools make it clear how they should be used. And more importantly, how they should not be used. [...] Compare that to looking at a typical chat interface. The only clue we receive is that we should type characters into the textbox. The interface looks the same as a Google search box, a login form, and a credit card field.

On the ways people work and how chatbots break "flow state" entirely:

When a painter is working, there are two distinct actions: up close, smooshing paint around on the canvas and stepping back to evaluate and plan. These two modes (implementing and evaluating) are present in any craft: programming, writing, you name it. Good tools let the user choose when to switch between implementation and evaluation.

On the key argument around augmenting chatbot interfaces or envisioning entirely new forms:

Hopefully I've convinced you that chatbots are a terrible interface for LLMs. Or, at the very least, that we can add controls, information, and affordances to our chatbot interfaces to make them more usable.

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