Why strategy is essential for any voice interface project

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.

Voice interfaces aren’t the cure to everything

“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. 

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Curiosity is key to success in conversational design

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.

Be curious and love learning

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...

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Part 2: The Importance of Personality in Digital Assistants

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?”

apple-food-fresh-fruit-Photo from Pixabay

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...

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New Voice Interaction Design course launched

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. 

A standardized approach to voice interaction design

“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...

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Part 1: Digital Assistant Personality

Meet Your New Assistant

The New Species among Us

Bot: Hello, StacyI 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?

User: Online.

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?

User: Yes

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?...

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