iOS 8: Notifications are useful, interactive now

Notifications are no longer just notifications in iOS 8, many allow you to take action such as reply to a message or snooze an alarm.

You can take these actions by pulling down on notifications banners when they appear (see that little handle at the bottom?) and swiping left on an alert in Notification Center.

Third-party apps can do this as well, so keep an eye out for updates.