As the most critical element within an automated speech recognition (ASR) system, the voice user interface (VUI) determines not only whether a customer’s experience is satisfying, but also speech adoption and facilitates transaction completion. Michael Cohen, Nuance co-founder, has presented a practical methodology for creating an effective and successful VUI in his just-published book, Voice User Interface Design, co-authored with Nuance alumnus James P. Giangola and Jennifer Balogh, a VUI Designer and Researcher at Nuance.
“When people engage in conversation, there are all kinds of underlying assumptions and expectations that quietly play out: turn-taking, expressions, pausing. By understanding and employing these subtle rules of engagement, you make it easy and intuitive for the end-user to have success with the system,” says Cohen.
Voice User Interface Design, published by Addison-Wesley, is a comprehensive guide to all things VUI including an overview of design issues and a description of the technology, as well as best practices for specifying requirements and making high-level design decisions. Additional chapters map out “Creating Persona, by Design” and “Working with Voice Actors.”
“The reason we design personas (the consistent character of a voice automation application) and use prompting approaches based on human-human conversation is to make the VUI more intuitive and to better meet business and branding objectives,” added Cohen. “Technology also plays a critical part in how users react to voice automation systems. Today’s speech recognition software can accurately understand millions of spoken words and rapidly turn them thanks also to good VUI — in to action.”
Voice User Interface Design will be especially helpful for professionals in the voice recognition field, including application developers, interactive voice designers, interface designers, and companies with extensive toll-free customer service systems.