Voice-First: A Return to the Natural Interface

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...

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‘An exciting time to enter conversational design!’

 

“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. 

Conversational design is shaping the future

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...

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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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