Voice Search is a hugely popular emergent technology. Voice user interface (VUI) is becoming an integral part of human lives. Voice search technology that allows the users to perform a search on the world wide web or internet by just asking a question verbally or by using voice command on a smart device, smartphone, or computer instead of typing. Experts predict that in 2020 50% of all searches on the internet will be voice-based and the use of smart speakers/Voice search Assistants will rise by 55% in 2022 at the homes of the United States.
As everyone knows, Voice-controlled devices like Apple Homepod (Siri), Amazon Echo(Alexa), Google Home (Google Assistant ) are storming the market. Voice User Interface for smart home speakers or mobile apps, voice interactions are becoming more common technology today. Creating a voice user interface is quite different and unique from the regular graphic UX design process. As designers, it is an ideal opportunity to look more carefully about voice UIs.
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What is a Voice User Interface (VUI)?
Voice User Interface (VUI) is a design practice where the user interacts with a framework utilizing voice commands. The most popular Voice User Interfaces (VUI) are Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa. We can also find many VUI on the phone, smart home technology, and many other products. In some cases, smart home speakers like Amazon EchoDot voice user interface is the primary or only way of interaction with the products. Sometimes voice user interfaces will coexist with a graphical user interface example Siri on iPhone. The biggest advantage of VUIs is hands-free and eye free (ie No swiping on a screen) way of interacting with a system.
Reasons why voice search is becoming more popular
The future of voice technology is endless. A voice search strategy can improve the user experience. Speaking is natural and easier than typing text to search for information on search engines like google. Voice interaction makes the process easier and faster. For example with the help of voice interactions, you can open your garage door, order food delivery, Make an appointment, search location, and even start your car with a single voice command. Many top brands that have successfully incorporated voice search technology.
The difference within other UI and Voice UI
Speed is one of the most important Differences. Voice user interface requires speedy response than other graphical user interfaces. System response time is one of the major factors that have to be considered while developing a Voice User Interface (VUI).
The next big difference to take into consideration is Privacy. We have privacy for the text-based interface, touch-based interface, and gesture-based interfaces but still, privacy for the voice user interface is challenging.
3. Text vs gestures vs Voice
Voice-based and gesture-based is the next-generation interface. People move from the visual interface to the voice interface. The visual interface is the primary stage of interface and voice commands are more natural ways to communicate with Voice-based AI platforms. The best example of a gesture-based interface is Sony Playstation.
Guidelines for Designing Voice user Interfaces
The designer has to understand the interaction between the user persona and the system persona. System persona is the thing that speaks back to the user. The designer has to understand the customer journey mapping or user journey mapping.
The designer has to focus on simple dialogs. The ideal path they can follow is “Happy path” for voice user interface design. Let us understand in detail the steps for designing the voice user interface.
Step 1: Research your audience
The primary aim is to gather information about user requirements and their behaviors are the foundation for the development process. In this phase, you must identify the difficulties of the users and how the VUI will be the right solution for the problem.
Step 2: Identify who will use your VUI solution
Identify the user personas for your product. Ensure How they will interact with your VUI System. Understand the fundamentals of voice interaction and how people naturally communicate with their voices on the VUI system.
Step 3: Define your VUI persona
In this phase, you have to decide the voice and tone of your VUI. You have to decide VUI intents. There are two kinds of intent. One is High utility – It is straight forward specific commands eg: turn on the lights in the living room. And the 2nd one is low utility types of intents. Most of the application uses high utility intents for VUI.
Step 4: Create a prototype
This process begins with the dialogue flow, Dialog flow is the series of answers to the question. It is the process of how the user and technology make the voice interaction.
Create a set of dialogue flow for your product, the dialog flow should cover the core keywords on the interaction.
Picking the correct tool to prototype VUI is an extremely significant step. There are numerous tool are accessible, for example, Tortu, Adobe Sayspring, and Botsociety
It is important to select the best tool that exactly meets your project needs. While planning voice interface design, make a point to have an ideal error handling strategy or dialogs for the extraordinary end-user experience.
Step 5: Test your product
The test is the next step if you reach the completion stage. In this stage, you have to test the voice user interface to fulfill your benchmarks on the checklist. There are two ways to test your prototype. One is the test with the target user and another is the test with simulators.
With target users
Implement testing sessions by creating groups of a targeted audience and then to observe how users are interacting with your product. By doing this kind of test helps in analyzing customer satisfaction.
With test simulators
Simulators are used in many mobile app developments. There are many testing tools available on the market. Amazon and Google also provide tools for testing the VUI designed product.
Step 6. Refine
In this phase you need to collect all the feedback and analyze how to make improvements. Repeat this step more than on time.
Make improvements based on the feedback gathered from users and do testing. This stage is challenging if you are not aware of the metrics to consider while testing. Below is the list of a few metrics that you can’t miss on
● Languages used
● Utterances and Intent
● Behavior flows
● Messages per session
● User engagement metrics
Future Trends of VUI
Most fundamental principle of UI design to create GUI is still applicable for VUI design. Below are the few trends that shape the VUI.
Voice interface that builds trust – VUI design has to provide the valid outcomes for the user request. Improving speech recognition and accuracy will build trust between the
User and the device.
Adaptive user interface – AUI is a user interface that adopts the user’s needs. The future of VUI will be adaptive to the user.
For example: if the user has high blood pressure decides to set a meeting in 2hrs. Then the VUI Assistant will suggest the user to cancel the meeting or provide suggestions to lower the blood pressure before the meeting starts.
VUI impacts on society – As wide acceptance of the VUI system. Improving the nature of VUI AI-based frameworks will prompt better user experience. In the next 10 yrs, people trust AI for a trusted decision. If you walk into the home you will talk to the VUI Systems to control your entire home and machines. VUI technology will improve the lives of older people and individuals with disabilities.
Future of Voice User Interface (VUI)
Voice user interface (VUI) is reshaping human lives. VUI use continues to grow. As indicated by specialists, 39% of millennials use voice search and one in every six US homes uses voice activated devices or smart speakers at home.
Voice Interface is the next big thing. Large corporations are getting benefited by making use of VUI as part of their business. JP Morgan, a Banking and finance organization utilizes Alexa to give research and analytics reports to their clients. Numerous organizations are making their own voice-driven hardware and programming to satisfy the market needs. Users can experience an amazing voice assistant experience with the use of voice user interface and visual user interface technology.
Designers who are passionate about new technology have to work on futuristic technology like VUI and explore the exciting things that are waiting for them. When it comes to the voice user interface (VUI) is quite challenging than the usual graphic interface design however VUI is more prevalent in various aspects of life. Voice interface will impact business, products, and industries in the coming years.