Conversational UI

Really insightful article on the development of user interfaces, chat bots and conversational UIs given the background of WeChat’s success in China (title threw me off first, but it’s a good read).

Alhough some apps are indeed mini-desktop apps that make full use of the supercomputer I carry in my pocket, well over half fall into another category. These apps are just a vessel for a steady stream of news, notifications, messages, and other timely info ultimately residing in a backend service somewhere. They don’t really do much on their own.


It’s no stretch to see WeChat and its ilk not as SMS replacements, but as nascent visions of a mobile OS whose UI paradigm is, rather than rigidly app-centric, thread-centric (and not, strictly speaking, conversation-centric).

Why bots won’t replace apps anytime soon

This article he links about differences between western and Chinese apps from 2014 is also really interesting:

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends