Voice User Interface (VUI) Design is rapidly emerging as a new discipline in the world of user experience due to the rapid adoption of smart speakers and voice assistants. While a lot has been written about key principles of VUI Design, or how designing for voice radically differs from designing for a screen, not much has been written on the actual concepts that VUI designers can manipulate or should think about when crafting a conversational experience. Visual designers play with layers, filters, gradients, etc...But what can VUI designers play with? What does their toolbox look like?
Voice assistants have moved beyond everyday commands and are becoming one of the most engaging platforms for entertainment. Conversational interface-based devices now offer an entirely new medium for entertainment brands to bring stories and characters to life, distribute content through voice, provide searchable news, and activate fans through engaging experiences.
Think about your last great conversation. What made it special? Maybe it was the other person. Or maybe it was the fact that the conversation felt natural and was something you could get lost in? Were you riding the highs and lows of whatever story you were being told, forgetting about everything and everyone else around you? Probably so, and that’s the great part about great conversation. It’s immersive.
The types of conversations you create for a voice application shouldn't be any different. Amazing conversational experiences are not only immersive, they’re also expressive. Through conversational AI, we can now move far beyond basic voice commands and make the shift toward meaningful conversations with voice assistant powered devices.
The adoption of voice assistant technologies like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft Cortana are on the rise. And with Amazon’s recent launch of twelve new Alexa-enabled hardware products, how can brands capitalize on the exciting opportunity to engage with customers through emerging voice technologies everywhere?
A common request from voice assistant users is to ask for their favorite station, artist, or song. Others will ask for games like Jeopardy, Akinator, or Rock Paper Scissors. And if you enjoy shows like The Voice and X Factor, then you would have enjoyed the latest iHeartRadio Rising Star Alexa skill that was powered by the PullString Converse voice technology platform and tested for optimal user experience by Pulse Labs.
The incredible adoption of voice activated devices is driving brands to rapidly embark on a journey towards building engaging voice applications. In addition to identifying a voice-first use case to build, brands must also decide which tools and techniques their team should use to achieve this vision. In our evolution over the past seven years of building conversational experiences, we’ve seen it all, and want to share our key learnings and considerations when beginning your journey with voice.
Since our company was founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives, we have aspired to bring characters to life through computer conversation. With more than seven years of experience in the computer conversation space, predating the introduction of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, we’ve been at the forefront of innovation, building software and domain expertise to deliver incredible voice experiences.
Smart speakers continue to rapidly become more integrated into our daily lives. There are now 50 million+ people globally activated on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled devices, and thousands more adding devices to their homes every day. Besides driving user engagement, ensuring security for voice applications is critical for brands, so it is important to understand the key security procedures and privacy policies when choosing a software platform.
Protecting the security and privacy of our customers’ data is a top priority at PullString. Our platform, PullString Converse, provides a visual authoring environment for creating engaging voice applications that can be deployed to popular platforms like Amazon Alexa. As an enterprise-level solution, it’s critical for us to provide a secure product where customers can be confident that their data is stored safely and protected from unauthorized access. We take this responsibility very seriously. This article describes the various ways we achieve this goal.