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Designing Bots, 1st Edition by Amir Shevat

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Chapter 2. Bot Types

We are all unique, just like everyone else.

PROFESSOR DAN ARIELY

AS WE DISCUSSED IN the previous chapter, not all bots are the same. Let’s examine the major types of bots out there. Understanding the different types of bots will provide you with the ability to pick the right type for your use case and allow you to explore alternative ways to expose your service, product, or brand.

Personal Versus Team Bots

A personal bot (also called a direct message bot or private bot) is a bot that is serving as a personal assistant. Communicating directly with the user, on a one-on-one basis, this bot has a single-user focus. An example would be a business travel bot that a user talks to directly in Slack, or a shopping bot in Facebook Messenger or Kik (Figure 2-1).

The H&M shopping bot on Kik
Figure 2-1. The H&M shopping bot on Kik

A team bot facilitates team processes and activities—for example, the Lunch Train bot (Figure 2-2) that helps teams choose where to go to lunch together, or the Standup Bot that facilitates team standups. A team bot can talk with multiple users either directly (privately) or publicly in a channel/group setting.

The Lunch Train bot—an example of a Slack bot that enables people to plan where to go to lunch together
Figure 2-2. The Lunch Train bot—an example of a Slack bot that enables people to plan where to go to lunch together

Team bots are a little more complex to design: as multiple ...

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