The concept of voice search needs no introduction! We all are aware of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Most of us are relying on them to make web-based searches and garner information. Voice search interfaces have been one of the hot topics over the past few years and its popularity is expected to grow in the future. The ease of finding things over a voice command is making people crazy around. The trend of voice search is making the designers drool and they are looking forward to acquiring skills to design such an amazing interface.
Before we dig deep into the topic, let’s know the basics of the voice user interface. Many of us are not clear of what voice user interfaces are. What is VUI (Voice user interface)? Well, the VUI interface is different from the usual UX process, it works on the voice commands. The biggest advantage of using the voice user interface is it allows the users to enjoy a hand-free and eyes-free interaction on their devices.
How is VUI different from other digital products?
- Interaction is done solely on voice commands.
- An invisible interface that the user can’t refer back to.
- Many users who tend to use graphic user interfaces are unfamiliar with the concept of VUI.
- It has no navigation for the user.
Although, these may seem small differences between the two, but have a huge impact when it comes to the designing part.
Reasons for the popularity of Voice User Interface
Technology be Prevalent
Well, the technology is not limited to calling and messaging only, there is a lot more to the box. With the introduction of the voice user interface, many long-awaited gates have been opened. Now, you can open the gates, start your car, book an appointment, and even order food - all this at just over your voice command.
Speaking is Much Easier Than Typing
We all know speaking takes much fewer efforts than writing. So, using an app that works on voice commands makes things much easier for people. More and more industries have now started employing voice technology in one way or the other.
Embedded for Specially-Abled
Another reason for the popularity of voice interfaces is it helps the industries to target the demographics which are usually neglected. Voice technology helps visually-impaired users who don’t get access to use such devices. They can now use apps and devices without any hassles and enjoy ample features over their voice.
Tips To Design The Voice User Interface
Identify Your Audience
When designing the VUI, the first thing you need to do is to identify your audience and employ the user-first design in mind. You need to understand the needs of your audience and collect information on their behavior. You should be able to analyze the trouble spots of your users and provide them with efficient solutions. Also, you need to collect the phrases and the way they talk. This will help you in understanding how efficient they can work.
Shape the Product
The next step is to define and shape the product. Here, you need to create the key scenarios for the interaction. The VUI interface should have a conversational dialogue flow which enhances the user interaction. Once you identify the relevant cases, then you need to shift onto the functioning part. Check whether the cases identified are compatible with the voice search interface. Once you are done with this part, then hop onto the next part.
Here you need to create the dialogue flow for quick and easy interactions which includes the main keywords for the interaction. There are several tools for prototyping that help in creating efficient VUI. While creating these dialogues your focus should not only be the dialogues but also focus on the emotional needs of the user. For this, the tone of voice matters a lot. Just like human interactions, your dialogues will show the personality of the product.
There is no good way to judge the quality of a product without testing it. This is why testing the interface is important. Wondering, how can you test the functioning? Well, there are two ways of how one can test the prototype.
- Test Simulators: Just like the simulators used in mobile app development, there are tools provided by Google to test the product. You can easily test the product using the Google Action with respect to the settings and hardware settings.
- Target Users: You can also create a group of target users and start with the testing sessions. This can help you in observing how the interactions going on between the users. Also, doing this will help in analyzing the customer satisfaction score.
Once your product is all set to reach the market, you need to observe the market reactions towards the same. This stage is really crucial and it can be really challenging if you don’t know which metrics to consider. Below is a list of a few metrics that you cannot miss on:
- Languages used
- Behavior flows
- Utterances and Intent
- Messages per session
- User engagement metrics
Future Of Voice User Interface (VUI)
Just like other technologies, we are bound to look at the future aspects of the technology we use. The current observations show that voice integration alone cannot provide you with efficient results, one needs to integrate other ways to get better conversions. Still, investing in voice user integration is the need of the hour and with the increasing popularity of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa - the competition is likely to increase.
Designers who aren’t afraid to unlock the new technology should definitely try their hands on this futuristic technology and see what exciting things are awaiting them ahead. Test and validate the device and get ready to set the stage for future designs. Voice user interface may tend to be more challenging than the usual graphic designs but it is becoming more prevalent in various aspects of life. Voice will definitely impact various businesses, industries, and products in the coming years.
It’s Time To Hop In To The Future! It’s Voice-Age!