The Future is Spoken presents Brooke Hawkins as a guest in this episode - Designing for Voices in Conversational Design.
Brook is a conversational designer based in Detroit, Michigan. She defines conversational design as any back and forth between a human and an interface. For a designer, it can involve any visual or sonic decisions that are made, such as the sound of crickets in the background.
Brooke extends this definition to telephone menus we often encounter when we call banks or government agencies.
Without a doubt, it’s an exciting time to enter the voice design industry. “The field is being shaped as it’s growing and a lot of the technology is new and exciting,” says Brooke. “For example, we haven’t had something like smart speakers before, where you can search the internet for anything you can possibly imagine.”
These speakers can provide a lot of other services, such as turning on lights in your home.
“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,” she notes.
People entering the field can expect to be involved in critical conversations about what the future of these devices may look like. In addition, there are many ethical and humane questions that need to be asked and answered.
“If you’re designing this for voice, you need to ensure that you’re creating products that are helpful to people, and not harming people.
“And if you care about ethics and designing products that make people's lives better, these questions will come up for you every single minute of the day,” observes Brook.