The Knot's half bot / half human wedding planner component of the iOS app. She provided concierge service via a chat UI to brides-to-be*. The service was well-liked, so with a 3-month deadline I was contracted to help prove profitability.

*Users were predominantly heteronormative women, planning their first wedding. 




How do we demonstrate the wedding planning power of Louisa without giving her services away for free?

HYPOTHESIS: Let Louisa be the face of conversational UX throughout the app




Interview Human Louisas

The "Louisas", as they were fondly called, were experienced wedding planners who provided concierge service to brides via the chat interface. They shared with me their wealth of knowledge regarding brides' expectations and what Louisa could actually deliver. The following are some highlights.


Bride's State of Mind

Worried about money

Don't know where to start

Stressed out

Planning feels like a second job


Expectation of Louisa

Solve money related problems

Resolve relationship stresses

Find vendors that meet expectations

Make the dream wedding a reality


Common Louisa services

Suggest alternative options and vendors to fit budgets

Advise on sensitive ways to deal with personal conflicts

Educate brides about etiquette and expectations, and suggest ways to navigate outside of those norms

Curate's content to answer questions

Help brides distill their likes and dislikes into a defined style and vision

Provide knowledge on a wide range of traditions, across cultures

Affirm and support brides when they need it

Educate brides about the typical order of operations for smooth wedding planning

Provide one-on-one personal attention



Distill Reports & Studies

It's always a treat to have access to analytic reports and studies conducted by a dedicated in-house research team. These are the first friends I make at the start of every project. I pored over their treasure trove of proprietary data to understand the bigger picture.




Wedding planning pain points

Wedding priorities


Bride demographics

Competitor tools used at various stages in the planning process



Analyze Chat Transcripts

Analyzing a random sample of confidential chat transcripts I learned the importance of the human connection Louisa makes with the brides, as well as a handful of other insights. 



Some brides questioned whether Louisa was human or not

Louisa's automated (bot) responses were often clumsy and awkward and got in the way of the conversation

Brides showed immense gratitude once Louisa proved her helpfulness

Some brides formed an intimate relationship with Louisa



Contextual Education

After learning that users see The Knot as a trusted source of wedding planning advice and inspiration, I designed a way to frame the site's free content in Louisa's voice. This would allow us to demonstrate Louisa's expertise outside of the chat experience. It was also important to follow the rules of non-spammy notifications, and make sure Louisa offered advice only when it was timely, relevant and useful.


In-Chat Content Curation

Depending on the user's answers to automated questions, (bot) Louisa would suggest an article from, to highlight Louisa's value as content curator.


Venue Insights

For brides who learn that choosing a venue dictates most other decisions, Louisa adds some additional insights on how to make that choice.


Checklist Advice

Since the checklist was one of the most popular reasons brides downloaded the app, it was the most obvious place for Louisa to add contextual value. 


Paywall Tactics

Working closely with the Product Manager and developers, I designed various paywall tactics that were A/B tested, and iterated on any design that showed a hint of success.


Human Louisa

WINNING TACTIC: Emphasis on "talk to a real" wedding planner with the use of photograph avatars instead of the Louisa icon



Illustrating Louisa's value by highlighting the downsides of her competitor — the broad search of The Internet



Graphic overview of Louisa's collective experience and range of abilities



Using social proof to express Louisa's values