Product Updates

Chat UI Kits: Reduce Your Dev Time, Focus on Customization

3 min read PubNub Labs Team on Oct 6, 2020

At PubNub, we’re dedicated to making chat development easy and accessible to all—regardless of the language you’re building with or the application you’re creating. This is why we’re excited to announce our newest endeavor into streamlining chat development: our Chat UI Kits

Chat UI Kits are collections of reusable components that help developers build chat experiences quickly. These core components utilize the PubNub platform to efficiently and easily establish the core of any messaging solution. 

As part of this rollout, we’ve pre-built three example chat apps for you to explore. They include beautifully designed, functional experiences that illustrate how you can customize and use our core components for any use case—from customer service chat to a real-time chat platform for live events. 

This first phase of our Chat UI Kits focuses on React and React Native, with more frameworks to come in the near future. This ongoing dedication to continuously improve and iterate on our Chat UI Kits truly speaks to why we built out these components in the first place. 

Why we built our Chat UI Kits 

In 1988,  the first globally accessible chat application was created, Internet Relay Chat (IRC). For the next several decades, IRC iconified the structure of chat applications, one-to-one chat, group chat, and channels. And ever since, the essential structure of how to organize and build chat has been universal and relatively unchanging, requiring developers to build chat apps from the ground up.

Here at PubNub, we are always looking to expand on the potential of chat applications. We want to allow developers to focus their time on creating interesting and unique features for their users, and spend less time having to re-create the essential structures of chat offerings from the ground up.

At the heart of why we started the Chat UI Kits project are two simple questions: 

  1. What features and structures are common to all chat apps and experiences? 

  2. How can we provide developers with flexible components to meet these needs?

We created our Chat UI Kits to give you pre-built, plug-and-play chat components that capture all the essential functionality you need to quickly build any chat app—from one-to-one chat to group chat to multi-channel chat—without needing to start from scratch. This frees up your time to focus instead on adding layers of customization and creating features to meet your users’ needs and expectations. 

What can you build with our Chat UI Kits?  

Our Chat UI Kits have been designed to allow you to produce chat applications that meet your unique use case and user needs—whether you’re working on a personal project or a large scale telemedicine platform. 

By stripping away the need to spend dev time on building the basic infrastructure of your chat app, our Chat UI Kits let you instead focus on the unique look and feature set of your application to make it truly fit your needs. 

To exemplify the wide range of use cases and levels of complexity our Chat UI Kits can address, we’ve pre-built some example chat applications including:

  • Basic Chat: an application offering simple and streamlined group chat, allowing users to branch off from one channel into another at will. 

  • Live Events Chat: an application that allows users to simultaneously watch videos or live streams and connect through in-app chat. 

  • Support Chat: an application built with customer service in mind, this chat app allows customer service representatives to speak with customers and address multiple tickets submitted through different channels in one interface. 

And to keep pace with user expectations around real-time, connected communication, we’ve also built our Chat UI Kits to:

  • Provide users with messaging that is instant, capturing the engagement and energy of in-person interactions.

  • Allow users to simultaneously communicate through multiple channels, with multiple people, with ease and snappiness.

This first release of our Chat UI Kits provides you with the essential, pre-packaged chat components you need to build any chat application, regardless of your use case. With our Chat UI Kits, you can spend less time worrying about infrastructure and basic chat functionality. Instead, you can invest your time in developing the unique feature set and feel of your app, so that you can truly please your users.  

How to get started with our Chat UI Kits 

Getting started building your chat application with our Chat UI Kits is as simple as downloading our pre-built Chat UI Kits right here

And while there’s little to no learning curve on getting up and running with our Chat UI Kits, you can find more on how to build with our kits in our Docs pages