Why Voice-based UI Design is the Best for Your Business

Currently, there are numerous UIs or User Interfaces designed to go with various users in different ways of interaction. These UI encompass everything and we generally take things for granted like keyboards and the computer screen to sophisticated technologies, like the motion-based UI – Xbox Kinect. Having said that, technologies sprung into lives easily but the adaptability rate of the technology is based on the efficiency and making the UI more humane.

Voice-based UI Design

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User Interface Types:

The Voice-User Interface has made it large in terms of popularity in the recent years. VUI uses speech recognition technology to make the users interact with the system using just their voices. Virtual assignments like Siri and Alexa have made VUI commercialized with various giants like Google and Sonos. The concept of virtual assistants is currently the trend that has become a corporate favorite.

VUI provides complete hands-free, interactions that are more ‘human’ than any other form. To create VUI systems that work, developers need to fully understand the intricacies of basic human communication. Users have an expectation in a certain level of fluency in human mode behavior like building a conversation with the bots and virtual assistants on a regular basis. There is a certain science-fiction charm to such technology but virtual assistants is a tech that is going to stay.

In such a scenario, there are various potential pitfalls and positive opportunities that tag along with such design, and there are various possibilities in the VUI.


User Interface Types

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An effective VUI needs to be designed according to the requirements of the users, like what exactly they expect from the virtual assistant and most importantly – the aspects of interacting with AIs which empower them. There are several benefits to a VUI that are exclusively present only in a Voice User Interface are:

  • Overall Personality: The voice-based virtual assistants means more opportunity for brands to add personality and humor to everything. Like if you asked Siri a joke she would give you sarcastic lines that generally your friends tell about you. Google Home is also brimming with pop culture references from Star Wars to Marvelverse. There is a more personalized tone that helps several users to have a more easy and humane problem-solving system. A customized VUI also helps in increasing the brand value as users generally prefer a service that is more human in nature as well as fun to work with.

  • Ease and Efficiency: VUI generally requires a vocal command to carry out several processes. For instance, Alexa can control the errands of your entire household with just a word. Be it skimming through the grocery list, checking on the weather forecast or even skipping a certain song on your iTunes playlist. The best part about VUIs is they are online through the day and stay quiet about it, unlike being show-offs or loud in their functions.

  • The ‘Human’ effect: The accurate and efficient speech recognition software allows for an effective ‘human’ kind of conversation that can be experienced using other devices. The value of human interaction isn’t to be undermined since nobody likes to talk to an emotionless robot for a long time. However, several developments in machine learning and natural language processing, interactions with brands and devices through a VUI are becoming more ‘human’ and less mechanical. In this field, a VUI-based technology explains the real commitment to a culture of human centricity.

The Drawbacks:

Implementation of VUI

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The implementation of VUI isn’t all sunshine and daisies. From the problems that require serious conceptualization and design processes, the results are often because of an insufficient understanding of human psychology.

  • Discovery and retention: Amazon has made it very easy for various third-party developers to come up with original skills for the development of Amazon Echo, out of which only 31% of the 7,000 skills have more than a single review of low usage. Though this issue isn’t new to Amazon, in order to increase the rate of adoption, developers need to convey several users which tasks require rework from the beginning, while working parallel on making the VUI systems more humane.
  • Recognising the borders: When a machine and a human are interacting, the machines need to adapt the way humans communicate – not strictly following any laid-down rules, several ground rules of linguistic laws. If users understand from the very beginning the ways in which their devices are limited, chances are high that they wouldn’t feel disappointed when the assistant isn’t able to help them to complete a task.
  • Natural Factors: Since there are no hard and fast rules to develop a VUI with an inbuilt natural and complex understanding of human communication. Regional accents, sarcasm such natural behavior can’t be added to any programming paradigm in a machine.

  • Visual Feedback: From including an element of visual feedback can help to reduce the level of frustration and confusion among users who are facing problems in understanding or listening to the machine. Alexa’s blue light ring visually flickers while communicating the device’s current status.

The Threat:

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there have been several accusations that devices like Google Home, Amazon Alexa might be recording the user’s private conversations and thus putting things in a potential threat of GDPR. Consumers often find asking themselves about what is being recorded and how is it going to be used by the corporations, leading to a loss in consumers’ trust in various virtual assistants is decreasing each day. But, like everything else, once the data privacy is ensured and clearly laid or made transparent to the users, it may take lesser time for the users to get more at ease with this technology.

The Future:

Internet of Things

Image Credits: mark-making

The VUI provides users with a completely engrossing experience which is nuanced, complex and more humane in nature. But since the inception and now the beginning of developing software that are apt to stimulate human behaviors, therefore has opened up a new demographic for possibilities in and around the technological workspace:

  • Corporate: When in 2017, Amazon Alexa was announced for Business that has been specifically built to help employees with their schedules, managing their to-do lists, initiate conference calls, control functionalities of equipment by their voice and recalling the latest inventory details.

  • Internet of Things: Amazon Alexa and other virtual assistants are more popular as smart home devices. Google Home can control every Google device, with the master control in the hands of the users via their Android smartphone. Apple’s HomePod can use catchphrases like ‘Good Morning’ to turn on multiple smart home devices at once in previously-set modes.

The principal barrier in between the mass implementation and adaptability of VUI is the tedious task of implementing the rules of communication in order to accommodate the limitation of the device. Since there are several numbers of possible replies to a conversation, developers often find it difficult to get around it and then limit the number of options and then asking the users if they wanted to hear more. To improve the quality of the user experience, the machine needs to be developed with a more comprehending context, tone of voice, attitude and with a better understanding of user intention based on historical data and the previous patterns of behavior.

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