Voice Activation is the future
Now that we have transitioned into the tech world I’m feeling the excitement of having the tools to get started. Having the foundation of knowledge for what goes into the process of digital innovation is important. Holding the keys to the programs to get those ideas across is empowering. Adobe XD is a useful tool for those of us without a design background to convey our innovation and work meaningfully with the programmers and designers on the team.
Having practiced in-class with recreating a website for travel to working with smartphone prototypes over the weekend with my new skills, I want to consider the possibilities. Primarily, with Voice Prototyping. One of the newest trending aspects of Adobe XD allows for the integration of Voice command in prototyping. This is so important because a whopping
- 35.6 million Americans used a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month in 2017, per eMarketer —a year-over-year increase of 128.9 percent!
When we think of prototyping digital moving forward it would make sense to consider the implication of a voice-activated assistant component. Check out this Google trending tutorial on Voice Command Prototyping.
The Happy Path
Being new to the prototyping world, but convinced that voice prototyping is essential to the future of any new site, I am interested in the process. We first have to consider what the client, or product, we are working with is and how that happy path or best possible interaction with a voice-bot would go. The happy path would be a result of compiling all the possible questions a visitor might encounter on the site and what the best possible associated answer to them would be. The prototype would follow the user through the interaction as though they were answering all the questions correctly.
The above illustration would be considered the Delight Path with the user’s perspective in mind. For a Company, this usability metric is very important given the fact that voice prototyping displays the use of real-time voice internet use. Users are specifically looking for instantaneous responses to their queries and Google algorithms/Siri/Alexa will always use the most helpful resources first. For this reason, prototyping the Delight path is almost as important as considering all the other questions
An Ongoing Innovation
Of course, like Murphy’s Law, the user is rarely going to go through the site on a delightful path. There is always going to be an issue that is not covered and thus confounds the technology and the customer. Let’s face it if there was an easy problem to be dealt with, most of the time that user is going to use their own existing web knowledge to try and fix it. By the time a user has made their way to a chatbot or a phone call, it is already a time-consuming nuisance. This is where the future of Voice Prototyping, in my opinion, is still in its infancy.
I offer, for example, an awful experience with the Paypal chatbot I had this weekend! I bought a product off of a site that I later suspected of being fraudulent. I wanted to cancel my order and report to Paypal this suspicious site so that no one else suffered the same experience. Due to COVID, and Paypal’s subpar service in general, I could not get hold of a customer service agent. So I went the route of the bot. I asked Alexa to get me the instructions for reporting a fraudulent site to Paypal. What I repeatedly got in return was instructions for dispute resolution. The catch is, dispute resolution doesn’t afford items that have yet to ship. And since there is a loophole because Paypal currently doesn’t have reporting procedures for suspected fraudulent sites (hence the reason why scammers are using Paypal, beware) there was no way I could get my money back. As of today, I am still out $75 and the best I could do was “leave a note and the next available agent will get back to you in 2-3 days.” Completely unacceptable.
One would think that a Company as big as Paypal would have “paths” prototyped for all of these different scenarios, it’s of the utmost importance.
I spoke to a current designer about the possibilities of voice prototyping and he suggests that in lieu of wireframing we consider the importance of simple dialog. Knowledgeable ambassadors of the product from both the Company and customer should be engaged when considering all the problematic and non-problematic paths a user could take.
Some best practices to use with voice prototyping moving forward:
- Remember that while prototyping the delight path is helpful, all problems must be considered
- Voice prototype in the conversational tone, the way people speak not the way in which they write
- Use discourse markers – transitional words connecting one action to the nest, “now, next, etc”
What are your thoughts on adding this component to prototyping? What would be the best way to have incorporated into our class exercise building a travel website? Would it have been applicable?
Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL0iAkpqV5YaIVG7xkDtS4Q
33 Voice Search Statistics to Prepare You for the Voice Search Revolution. (n.d.). Retrieved June 29, 2020, from https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/04/10/voice-search-statistics-2018
Editorial An editorial team is a group of authors who publish articles and news on Designmodo. Posts by Editorial Share post Share Tweet Share. (2018, October 17). Adobe XD New Features: Voice Prototyping and Much More. Retrieved June 29, 2020, from https://designmodo.com/adobe-xd-voice-prototyping/