Bots aren’t everything

Really nice post about bots, UI, mobile efficiency, and much more at http://dangrover.com/blog/2016/04/20/bots-wont-replace-apps.html. I recommend reading the entire article but if you are pressed for time let me try to summarize:

  1. Bots are hot right now.
  2. Bots are not the final answer to interacting with our devices. The article points out several nice examples but fundamentally there are some things that are easier done *without* conversation.
  3. Good bots, the bots coming in the next generation will offer data-dense options. In other words when I contact Pagliacci Pizza I don’t want to chat back and forth about a pizza; just give me a quick menu.
  4. Good bots are integrated e.g. payments are simple, I don’t need a new app for a city every time I travel, etc.

One of the examples people should think about is from the early days of games on PCs e.g. Maria, Hammarabi, Zork, etc. These games were fun. We all played them. And yet when you could add graphics and make the game deeper, richer, and more informationally-packed the games got better. This means bots isn’t an either-or game: you don’t have to accept that bots are text-only and only about conversations. WeChat is clearly kicking butt and taking names in this realm; I look forward to Facebook, Telegram, and others joining the space and getting it right.

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