You may have heard of Cortana, Siri and Slackbot. What do they all have in common? They are all bots.
What Are bots?
Bots are a way of allowing people to use natural language to query or make action for things. So instead of using drop down menus, filtering options and searching for keywords, we can now achieve the same result by using natural sentences that contain all the key bits of information.
An example of this is how you may interact with Siri and how you used to look for the weather. In the past the weather would be searched by selecting your city (or based on your current GPS location as an option) and the date that you are forecasting for. However, with the advent of Siri, you can now ask Siri the weather just by specifying the city and day by speaking naturally. It will be able to disseminate information to you regardless of whether you say “today” or “24th March” or “next week”.
This has vastly cut down the number of steps it takes to get information and on top of that it means that people can pull information for different things from where they spend their time. For example, this means that when we are working in a social chat application, I can pull up the weather by a simple bot query, without ever leaving the same chat window or using another application.
It also means that in the future I can achieve multiple activities in the bot-enabled application, in a few keystrokes. E.g. “Please buy a Philips head screwdriver from Amazon to deliver to my office. And please also book an air ticket for Jan 24 to Denver and return on the Jan 28th. And please update my calendar for 24th to 28th Jan for the Las Vegas Auto Show”.
Data no longer needs to be displayed in websites for users to head to and interact with. Instead the data is now accessible from multiple applications which are linked to multiple bot-enabled platforms.
There may be many users who for convenience sake, skip trying to save an extra dollar and book through a bot. There may be less of a need to create a website with incredible UI, but focus on creating a good bot experience. The bot is here to stay.
Long Live the Bot,
Say Good Bye to websites.