How to design your assistant on Voiceflow.

Project Creation

An overview on how to create or import projects on Voiceflow.

Create a new project

If this is your first time using Voiceflow, after account registration & onboarding you will see an empty workspace to create a new project. This option allows you to create a project pre-configured for a specific channel and/or NLU.

If this is not your first project, you can start a new project by clicking on Create Project at the bottom of your dashboard lists. Remember that this is an important step, as this will generate a project with a specific configuration based on your selection, that will determine:

  • Steps available for designing
  • Pre-built Entities and Intents available for your NLU Model
  • Text-to-Speech (TTS) Voices available for your prototype
  • The data format for your NLU Import and Exports (check the NLU Selection section below)
Note:  The project creation flow has recently changed and has updated UI. To preview the new updates, walkthrough here.

When creating a new project, you will notice a modal window appear and you will be prompted to:

  1. Choose the Channel (or modality) you are designing for (ie. Chat Assistant, Voice Assistant, Alexa, Google Assistant)
  2. NLU - Natural Language Understanding (NLU) adds out of the box intelligence to your assistant (if this is a foreign concept, we recommend selecting the Voiceflow default option for the simplest user experience)
  3. Language - language you are designing, building and intending to deploy your conversation in
Important Note: Selecting your NLU allows you to build your assistant and leverage that platform/NLU provider's NLU Model, and DOES NOT connect directly with an NLU.

PROJECT CREATION - Channel/Modality Selection

Currently, Voiceflow allows you to build Custom project types, or easy one-click publish experiences to deploy.

  • Chat Assistant (custom chat assistant/chatbot for any channel)
  • Voice Assistant (custom voice assistant to deploy for any modality)

One-click publish

  • Amazon Alexa (build, publish & deploy custom Alexa Skills)
  • Google Assistant (build, publish & deploy Google Actions)
Tip: When creating One-Click Publish: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant projects, you will have to select an invocation name and list of available Locales for your project. Note these can be changed later within project settings.
Tip: The locales you select will change the built-in intents and slots you have available to you, so it's recommended you only select locales and languages you intend to support. You can select Locales by toggling this menu by the number icon.

Each of the above channels will have access to different Steps, design/publish-aspects and features according to the native functionality of the channel you are designing for. For example, Alexa will have In-Skill Purchases whereas the General Assistant channel will not.

If you have some technical skills and/or developer resources, you can leverage the Voiceflow Dialog Manager API to add any amount of custom functionality to Voiceflow that isn't supported natively with channel-specific steps.

Note: Voiceflow supports several native integrations with major assistant platforms, but can also be configured to work with any custom assistant using Voiceflow's Dialog Manager API. More creator integrations are on Voiceflow's roadmap.

Project Creation - NLU Selection

A reminder that NLU systems work by analysing user input whether voice and/or text, and uses that to determine the meaning behind the user's request.

Once you select your channel/modality, you can choose your conversation's NLU compatible/available on Voiceflow today:

  • Voiceflow (default)*
  • Dialogflow ES
  • IBM Watson
  • Microsoft LUIS
  • Rasa
  • Salesforce Einstein
  • Amazon Lex V1
  • Nuance Mix

*If you don’t already use one of the NLU providers listed, we recommend selecting the Voiceflow default option for the simplest user experience. This will still allow you to export your designs into the production provider of your choice.

Note: Of the NLU types available in the list above, you are able to import any existing data with the respective NLU provider, as well as export in, any data compatible with the respective provider in your Voiceflow project. To learn more about the import file types/formats supported, navigate to the NLU Content Imports doc here.

Once a custom NLU option is selected (ie. IBM Watson), you will also have the option to import a pre-existing NLU model file in the Create Assistant project creation screen. With NLU Data Import, it allows you to kick-start your designs using data exported directly from the NLU of your choice!

Note: Please note that toggling NLU to a custom provider listed above, is only available in our Voiceflow Enterprise plans. Please contact our sales team to learn more.

This can be seen with further options appear under this section/box, which indicates a link/button to upload the model, and a prompt of the file types supported with the import for the respective NLU.

Once the model import is complete, you will notice a toast notification/confirmation of the status of the import, such as the number of intents imported. You will also notice the section under the NLU selection box update with this data, and additional information such as number of entities imported.

Tip: Once project creation is completed & you are taken to the Canvas, navigate to the NLU Manager (shortcut M). You can verify and check that the NLU Model data imported successfully/correctly (ie. Intents, Utterances and/or Entities)

Start with a template

Each template available on our website in the below link has a Start with Template button that will allow you to import it to the workspace of your choice on your account. After a click on this button, a modal view will allow you to choose the workspace you want to copy the project to.

Note: Voiceflow regularly shares up-to-date templates from the dedicated page:

When starting a Voiceflow account, you will also have access to several dedicated starter Templates.

You can test/view the templates in the templates workspace before choosing to download a template.

Local Project File Import (.VF File/JSON)

You are able to create new projects utilizing Voiceflow's project file imports and exports. You can do so by importing a Voiceflow (.vf/JSON) project file into your workspace.

This can be done using the Import icon button visible on the workspace/dashboard header. Select the project file you want to import (ensure it is a .vf file) in the dialog window that pops up and click Open.

When your project is imported, a notification will appear on the top right of your screen. You can choose to open the project from here with the Open Project button. Alternatively, this will also populate by default in your Default List with every imported project.

Copy Project Link

You can also choose to share your project with a link, allowing anyone with this link to import the project on their workspace.

You can create an import link from the canvas header while you are on your project by clicking on the project's name to access the quick actions menu and select Copy clone link. The link will be automatically copied to your clipboard.

Another way to generate a project link when you're not on your project is by clicking on the project actions menu from your workspace and select Copy clone link.

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