An Insight into the World of Voice User Interface Design

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The possibilities that are coming to light with every new technology are beyond what we could have ever thought of. The technology of Voice User Interface is the current trend that is taking the market by a storm. It is not only indulging us in using smart devices more but is becoming a part of our daily lives entirely.

There are a lot of things inculcated in the concept of VUI. In this blog, we have covered every aspect of Voice User Interface, its opportunities and the challenges that come with it!

What is Voice User Interface?

Voice User Interface is a speech recognition technology that allows the users to communicate with their devices with the help of voice commands. The assistance that VUI provides is not only for smartphones. It is also present in smart homes, smart TVs, and a range of other products.

Some examples of the Voice User Interface are Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortona.

This technology has been eliminating the use of the traditional modes of communication majorly. This is done by bringing forth the most convenient and comfortable form of communicating to the users; the mode of language!

Now there is no specific task for which VUI’s have come into existence. They assist in tasks ranging from your daily routine requirements to complex tasks altogether.

What are the Opportunities that VUI is Presenting?

The emerging technology of VUI is, of course, bringing a lot of opportunities and benefits that the mainstream communicating elements do not provide. Moreover, the advantages that users are attaining are more enhanced. Some of the potential opportunities that are coming to our feet today are:

  • Giving life to communication:

    Let’s face it, when we use our smart devices to attain any information, we are always hoping for an entertaining background. Voice user interfaces like Apple’s Siri have received development in a way where they perform tasks with a pinch of humor. That makes the time spent by users with them interactive.

    You must have seen users playing around and passing their time with Siri or Google Assistant sometimes. This is because the answers they give even when they are unable to complete your task are priceless!

  • Convenience at its best:

    If given a chance, would you not prefer to talk your way out of something rather than type it out? This is the case with every user, they would happily choose vocal commands above anything else.

    You can ask your device to perform tasks without having to lift a finger, all you have to do is give a voice command to the VUI. This not only saves the time of users but provides a stage for a higher level of satisfaction amongst users.

  • A more realistic interaction:

    The rapid extension of technology that we are facing today is massive. That has made our interaction with devices more human-like and less mechanical. Human interactions have the power to persist a user in a way others can not.

    Engaging with VUI has helped app developers in achieving a milestone that otherwise was barely possible; making users addicted to this technology!

Principles of Designing Voice User Interface

  1. The conversation should not be purely mechanical:

    Human interactions are never one turn. They switch sides and have a continuous conversation. Many VUI’s are still unable to keep up with this conversational design. And that ends up making the entire user experience look dumb!

    This inability to continue a conversation with a relevance would make it difficult for users to rely on VUI’s. Which is why, rather than just answering the questions mechanically, mobile app development companies should focus on anticipating what the users are trying to say while they are developing the interface.

  2. Read this following example which illustrates the inability of Ok Google to continue a conversation.
    Voice User Interface Design

    Note: Due to some technical glitches, the human could not listen to the response. The next question is an add-on to the former query depicted in the image below.

    Voice User Interface Design

  3. Be accustomed to errors:

    While voice commands are pretty accurate, communicating by voice can be a complicated task. Developers are used to basically reject any command when it has an error. But with VUI’s, they need to give space to these errors and complete the task nevertheless.

    The focus should be on understanding the errors and finding a way to recover from them. This is so that the conversation can come back in place.

  4. Make the design versatile:

    Even though the interface is mainly accustomed to voice commands, developers should also provide the option of typing to the users. Because the more, the merrier! The interface should be presented to the users in a way that they can perceive it in any way they find convenient.

  5. Don’t fill up the entire space with information:

    There is a thing about information that we receive through voice, it would not remain in the minds of the users for a long time. Hence, developers should make sure not to design the VUI in a way that it only presents precise information at a time.

Challenges faced in Voice User Interface

Despite the various facets of opportunities and advantages that VUI’s are filling us with, there are some challenges that still require attention. Although they are not hampering our interaction with the interfaces as such, some rectification might offer a higher efficiency.

Here are some of the challenges of Voice User Interface:

  • The conversational design is still lacking accuracy
  • VUI’s require a lot of attention of users to process the information
  • Difficult for the users to convey a complex task
  • Very hard to correct errors in listening

Is Voice User Interface taking over Graphical User Interface?

Before coming to whether or not VUI’s are taking over the visual interfaces, let’s see a brief about what Graphical User Interface is all about. GUI’s are interfaces in which the users interact with the devices through visuals like icons, menus and other graphics. These visuals help in displaying information to the users in components more than just text.

Even though there has been a revelation of the voice recognition technology, there are things that are still constant. Users still prefer to opt for visuals over text! However, the transformation and convenience that users are receiving might just change the scenario.

As a matter of fact, rather than seeing these two concepts as a comparison, app development companies should try making them one. The blend of these two will transform the entire experience of users and would make it more immersive.

Conclusion

The world of VUI has a lot of potential opportunities. However, there are still some challenges that lay ahead which need some attention. As of now, users are still somewhere familiar with the concept of GUI. And Voice user interfaces are still a new thing. This is actually why there are a lot of possible opportunities that app developers can make use of!

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