Towards a Set of Heuristics for Evaluating Chatbots



Chatbots, Evaluation, Heuristics, Usability


Chatbots are artificial intelligence tools that interact with people in different contexts. A chatbot can be useful to streamline daily processes, serve customers 24 hours a day, provide information about classes, among other things. The appearance of new development technologies has made creating a chatbot an increasingly fast and straightforward process, bringing this kind of applications to people who had never considered using them before. However, this speed in development can lead to specific problems, many of them caused by the lack of usability evaluations. Heuristic usability evaluations are user interface review processes carried out by experts and are an essential part of any assessment process. To date, there are no heuristics to evaluate the usability of chatbots. Therefore, this work proposes five usability heuristics in chatbots that come from the experience developing this type of applications, as well as from a broad review of state of the art. The set of heuristics was tested using a case study with the help of five experts, who evaluated an education-oriented chatbot. The results revealed that, although the proposed heuristics need refinement, they are an excellent first step in broadening the horizon of usability evaluations in chatbots.


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Author Biographies

Luis Martín Sánchez-Adame, CINVESTAV-IPN

Luis Martín Sánchez-Adame obtained in 2013 a BS in Computer Engineering at Durango Institute of Technology, Durango, Mexico. And in 2016 a MSc degree at the Department of Computer Science of CINVESTAV-IPN (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional), Mexico City, Mexico. Currently, he is a PhD student at the aforementioned department. His lines of research include Human-Computer Interaction, User Interface Design, User Experience, and Social Media.

Sonia Mendoza, CINVESTAV-IPN

Sonia Mendoza obtained a PhD degree in Computer Science at INPG (Institut National Polytéchnique de Grenoble), Grenoble, France. She is a full professor at the Department of Computer Science at CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico City, Mexico. She has been published in several international journals and conferences, and has advised around 31 MSc theses and five PhD dissertations. Her major research interests are in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Ubiquitous Computing, and Human-Computer Interaction.


José Fidel Urquiza-Yllescas is a research tutor professor of the computer class at IEMS, Vasco de Quiroga Campus, Mexico City. Previously, he worked for ten years as a professor of the Faculty of Sciences of UNAM teaching the computer class for the Physics major. He studied Computer Science at UNAM. Subsequently, he obtained a master’s degree at UAM-I. Currently, he is a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at CINVESTAVIPN, Mexico City. His main research areas are Architecture and Design of Chatterbots and Human-Computer Interaction.

José Rodríguez, CINVESTAV-IPN

José Rodríguez obtained in 2005 a PhD degree in Computer Science at the Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, France. Since 2006 he has been a full-time researcher at the Department of Computer Science of CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico City, Mexico. His lines of research are Distributed Systems and Ubiquitous Computing.

Amilcar Meneses-Viveros, CINVESTAV-IPN

Amilcar Meneses-Viveros obtained in 2009 a PhD degree in Computer Science at CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico City, Mexico. Since 2010 he works as a full-time researcher in that department. His lines of research include Human-Computer Interaction and Parallel Computing.


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How to Cite

Sánchez-Adame, L. M., Mendoza, S., Urquiza, J., Rodríguez, J., & Meneses-Viveros, A. (2021). Towards a Set of Heuristics for Evaluating Chatbots. IEEE Latin America Transactions, 19(12), 2037–2045. Retrieved from