Without habitat, there is no wildlife. It’s that simple.
—WILDLIFE HABITAT CANADA
IN THIS CHAPTER WE’LL explore bots in their habitats. As a designer, you need to choose the right platform for your bot. There are many platforms that host bots, and we cannot cover all of them. We will pick a representative platform for each unique user experience and review the key aspects of each of these platforms. We will give a brief description of the bot capabilities in these platforms and cover these UI capabilities in more detail later, in Chapter 9. In the second part of this chapter we will discuss practical ways to pick the right platform(s).
A popular messaging platform for teams at work, Slack is available on mobile and desktop, serving tens of thousands of businesses from small startups to large enterprises. Slack users are very engaged, having Slack open about 10 hours per day on average. Business users pay for Slack, making the audience for your bot qualified and highly engaged. (Full disclosure: I work at Slack.)
The Slack API provides a wide range of actions that bots can do on the platform. These include:
Post messages. Bots can send messages into Slack either publicly, to a channel, or privately, to a person (direct message, or DM) or set of people (multi-party direct message, or MPDM). Bots can post content that includes rich text, emojis, images, and more.
Receive user and team message inputs, both text and files, in a specific ...