As a voice designer with a background in linguistics and neuroscience, Brielle sees a promising future in bringing voice-first interfaces to the forefront in her field.
The instinctive art of conversation
Before she entered the field of voice technology, Brielle was already fascinated by language; she often noticed how people said things and thought about why they may express themselves in a particular way.
“That’s really what linguistics is,” Brielle explains. “Becoming a ‘pattern identifier’ is one of the most important things we do.”
In college, Brielle was able to observe these patterns in greater detail. She took a class dedicated to analyzing videos of every day interactions, often as straight-forward as those between a customer and a storekeeper. This experience gave Brielle a greater appreciation for the complexities of human interaction.
“There are all these amazing ways that we communicate that we don’t even think...
“Without a doubt, it’s an exciting time to enter the voice design industry”, enthuses Brooke Hawkins, a conversational designer based in Detroit, Michigan.
“The field is being shaped as it is growing,” she explains. “And a lot of the technology is new and exciting.”
An example is smart speakers, which have proliferated in recent years. With these devices, a user can search the internet for anything they can imagine.
Smart speakers can check home security, turn on lights, or turn up the heat in a home.
Says Brooke: “The decisions that people are making right now in conversational design are really important, not only in terms of shaping our relationships with smart speakers, but our relationships with one another.”
Many projects conversational designers work on are complicated and will appeal to anyone who enjoys a complex challenge.
In addition, conversational design...
Sina Kahen is a positive and energetic guy.
Only once during his podcast interview does he express exasperation. And that’s when he thinks about businesses wanting a chatbot or voice interaction interface without considering the reasons why.
Sina is a voice strategist and owner of voice strategy consultancy Vaice. Based in the U.K., Sina is big on understanding the ‘Why’ behind a business's desire to implement a voice interface.
“Some businesses do think that voice is the cure to everything,” he observes.
“It kind of reminds me of when the microwave came out. It was like: ‘You don’t need an oven, you don’t need fire anymore. Just chuck it in the microwave and it will do everything.”
Sina says that many businesses think this way because the voice community initially pushed the voice-first message. Not web first, not mobile first, but voice first.
If you have a left-brain-right-brain thing happening, a way of thinking that allows you to engage creatively and logically - chances are you will excel at conversational design, also known as voice interaction design.
Many people who enter that conversational design have the advantage of left-brain-right-brain thinking, although this isn’t essential to succeed in this field. .
Most of all, Curiosity is the key to success for a career in conversational design, says Rebecca Evanhoe, a conversational designer based in Brooklyn, New York.
“Be curious and be interested in teaching yourself,” she says.
In a recent podcast interview, Rebecca said: “An example of that is I don’t have a linguistics background. I never studied it, but it’s really important to understand how people talk to each other, so that’s something I have studied on my own.”
Rebecca’s career in voice tech began with a plane trip from...
Did you know people are hard-wired to anthropomorphize?
It’s true. I usually talk to my plants. I will say something like “Tommy, you look stylish today.” That’s a compliment I bestow on my finest-looking tomatoes. “Buds, did you miss me?” I ask my basil sprouts. When one of them slows down or seems on the verge of dying, I ask them, “What’s your issue?”
There is a perfectly rational explanation for our tendency to anthropomorphize. Not only is it reasonable, but it’s also intelligent.
When we anthropomorphize inanimate objects — naming cars, seeing faces in street signs, greeting our couches and beds — we are forming bonds with them, impressing our concept of bonding onto them. It is the same reason that we will describe a dog as “friendly” and a storm of “vengeful.” We ask our lawnmowers why they always have to aggravate us, and we wonder how snow always...
The Digital Assistant Academy launches its first ever course in October - Voice Interaction Design.
The Academy’s founder, Shyamala Prayaga, says its launch signifies an exciting news step forward in the world of conversational design and voice technology.
“Wherever you are in your career, you’ve decided to take a big step, learn some new skills and position yourself to take advantage of the growing opportunities in voice design,” she said.
“Perhaps you want to design for some of the most well-known companies on the planet. Maybe you want to start your own design business. Whatever your dream is, the Digital Assistant Academy can help.”
There are some important reasons behind the Academy’s launch. Currently there is no standardized approach to courses available for voice interaction design. The Academy has worked hard with key people in industry to create a standardized...
The New Species among Us
Bot: Hello, Stacy, I am Ava, your museum assistant. I can provide museum information and book tickets, among other things. How can I help you today?
User: I need to book tickets.
Bot: Okay, I can help you with that. How would you like to book your tickets: online or at the museum?
Bot: Got it. Online tickets for how many people?
User: Two adults, two kids.
Bot: Okay. Your total for two adults and two kids tickets to the museum would be $55.60. Do you want me to proceed?
Bot: You got it! I have booked your museum tickets for two adults and two kids. Your tickets will be in your inbox shortly. Is there anything else I can help you with?
User: Can you give me some info about kid-friendly exhibits?
Bot: Absolutely. We have many kids friendly exhibits. The top ones are bird world, discovery center, and nanotechnology. Do you want more information on any of these?
User: Can you tell me more about nanotechnology?...
What Is a Digital Assistant?
A digital assistant is also called a virtual digital assistant or a mobile assistant. It is a computer program that performs basic tasks and answers to the queries of the user. With the advancement in the world of the internet, people are using different digital assistants on Smartphones, such as Siri on iPhones and iPads, Mycroft or Google assistant on Android smartphones, and Bixby on Samsung phones. Voice-enabled smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo are examples of a digital assistant. People who are using computers and have installed Window 10, they must be familiar with Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft's digital assistant for computers.
Rise of the Digital Assistant Domains
More than 4.1 billion users around the world are using chat and instant messaging apps. In the past, people were using these digital assistants at homes or cars, but in recent years, the digital assistant has become part of customer care and call centers. The reason...