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Designing Bots, 1st Edition by Amir Shevat

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Chapter 9. Rich Interactions

Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.

TESS FLANDERS

RICH INTERACTIONS AND CONTROLS are a great way to simplify, optimize, direct, enrich, and sometimes just replace text-based conversations. These are also the most volatile aspects of each bot platform. Most platforms support multiple types of rich interactions and controls, but each platform implements these in a different way (similarly to how in the mobile world, a button will look, and even act, differently on Android and iOS). Because of all of the permutations and ongoing changes, it would be extremely tedious and ineffective to cover all the nuances of each platform. We will review different implementations and show differences between platforms, but we’ll focus on the most common chat platforms and use cases.

Fine-tuning the balance of rich interaction and text-based interaction is a matter of understanding your use case. In a task-led conversation you might want to over-index on rich controls, in order to work around lengthy conversations. In a topic-led discussion, you might want to over-index on natural conversation, and let the user enjoy the chitchat and lengthier discourse.

Key takeaway

Rich interaction and controls are a great way to simplify, optimize, direct, enrich, and sometimes just replace text-based conversations. In a task-led conversation you might want to over-index on rich controls, in order to work around lengthy conversations.

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