Text-based chatbots: differences

Chatbots built to work on text-based platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS, and so on, work the same way as other chatbots. We account for the lack of certain features (like buttons or carousels) by adjusting the chatbot visually, to still provide a great UX.



Main differences:

  1. Buttons and quick replies
    One of the most prominent differences is the lack of any buttons or quick replies that the user can click on to navigate in the flow. Instead, the user sees a short instruction (“Write:“) with listed button names. The user has to write the indicated name to move through the flow and trigger the appropriate action.

  2. Hyperlinks
    Due to platform limitations, we are not able to pass hyperlinks. However, we are able to pass full links (starting with http:// or https://) and in that way, they will be clickable once they reach the user.

  3. Carousels
    We use carousels on multiple places in the chatbot conversation: to show a list of matching jobs; get application data confirmation from the candidate; or manage job alert subscriptions. Since text-based platforms don’t support displaying data in carousels, we created a text version of such representations that creates a great UX.

    1. Job carousels
      Instead of forcing the user to write (usually lengthy) job titles, we instruct them to select one of the numbers that are visible next to the job offer.
      Once the user writes one of the numbers (for example “3“), they will be led to the second part of our text-based job carousel. They will be able to see the job title, short description, link to more information (can lead externally to your website), and three options: to apply for the position, ask a context-specific question, or go back to the previous view (list of jobs with numbers).


    2. Application summary
      Since we are not able to show an application summary in a card format, the user will receive a list of their entries with an option to adjust them by choosing a number. If all information is correct, the user will be able to send the application by writing “Apply“.

    3. Job alert subscriptions
      Similarly to the above, the job alert subscription carousel’s text representation consists of two consecutive steps. First, the candidate can select one from the active subscriptions by entering a number. Second, the user can manage the selected job alert.