The eternal battle between the VUI Designer & the Customer

7 Dec

I promised some time ago to put up the slides of my presentation at this year’s SpeechTEK Europe 2010 in London, the first SpeechTEK to have taken place outside of the US. My presentation, “The Eternal Battle Between the VUI Designer and the Customer“, was on Wednesday 26th May 2010 and opened the “Voice User Interface Design: Major Issues” Session.  It went down really well, and I had afterwards several people in the audience tell me about their own experience and asking me for tips on how to deal with similar issues.

Here is a PDF with the presentation slides:

Maria Aretoulaki – “The Eternal Battle Between the VUI Designer and the Customer” (SpeechTEK Europe 2010 presentation)

Maria Aretoulaki – “The Eternal Battle Between the VUI Designer and the Customer” (SpeechTEK Europe 2010 presentation)

Maria Aretoulaki – SpeechTEK Europe 2010 presentation UPDATED ppt

And here’s the gist of it:

VUI Design is preoccupied with the conception, the design, the implementation, the testing, and the tuning of solutions that work in the most efficient, secure and non-irritating for the user manner. Well, realistically that’s what VUI Design can achieve. In an ideal world, the VUI Designer would actually strive to create speech applications that – apart from taking into consideration the customer’s financial and brand requirements – would also fit the caller’s needs, goals and preferences. The initial Requirements analysis should bring both in focus. So much is already known and accepted both amidst the VUI Designers and the customers.

The problems start just after they all leave the meeting room and start working on the implementation: Call flow design, system persona development and prompt crafting, but even recognition grammars, all seem to fall victim of a war of words and attitudes between the VUI Design expert who has seen systems being developed and spurned before, and the customer with his tech-savvy business team and their technical architects and programming geniuses, who all think they know what callers want and how call flows should be structured, prompt wording crafted and grammars written, just because they have got strong opinions! Even the results of Usability tests are liable to different interpretations by each side.

This presentation pinpoints common pitfalls in the communication between a VUI Designer and customer employees and recommends ways to resolve conflicts and disagreements on the application design and implementation.

Credits:

SpeechTEK Europe 2010 was organised by:

Information Today, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike
Medford NJ 08055 U.S.A.
Phone 1 (609) 654-6266.
http://www.infotoday.com

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4 Responses to “The eternal battle between the VUI Designer & the Customer”

  1. Kirsi O'Connor December 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Great presentation. I’d imagine that web design/development companies run into these kinds of problems as well. It’s a question of project management, educating the customer as well as being able to listen.

    • Dr. Maria Aretoulaki December 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

      Indeed, Kirsi! It’s all about (gently!) educating the customer – without them realising even! (Great way to avoid resistance this way!)

      Many thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment (and RT!) 😀

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. SpeechTEK Europe 2011 – The Voice Solutions Showcase « VUI Design, Speech Recognition Apps & all that - May 20, 2011

    […] presentation slides from last year and from 2007. Get them from these older blog posts: ““The Eternal Battle Between the VUI Designer and the Customer“ and “Does Your Customer Know What They are Signing off??“. Although you do need to […]

  2. Tweets that mention The eternal battle between the VUI Designer & the Customer « VUI Design, Speech Recognition Apps & all that -- Topsy.com - December 7, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VBVoice by Pronexus, DialogCONNECTION Ltd. DialogCONNECTION Ltd said: The eternal Battle between the Voice User Interface Designer & the Customer http://bit.ly/gIXPog #vui design #speech recognition #voice rec […]

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