Share

VUX World

The practical voice podcast

Learn how to implement voice first strategy and create world-class voice experiences with VUX World. Every week, we speak to industry thought leaders and practitioners on the three core pillars of voice: strategy, design... More
Latest Episode
2019-5-24

Connecting the Dots with Ruby Steel and Will Merrill

This week, we're finding out how Ruby Steel and Will Merrill made Alexa more accessible for Susan as part of BBC 2's Big Life Fix.


Become an expert conversation designer

The Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.


In this episode

Voice first devices such as smart speakers are often touted as accessible. That's one of the main reasons voice assistants are forecast to grow in adoption and usage over the next 5 years. Voice is the new interface.

Whether you're a child, an elderly person or if you have a disability of some kind, voice is here to enable to you interact with technology and connect with those around you.

However, as you'll find out in this episode, there are some fundamental accessibility problems with smart speakers. Having to download the app in order to onboard, for example. Even the design of smart speakers themselves can be intimidating for some.

As part of the BBC 2 Big Life Fix in the UK, Ruby Steel and Will Merrill of Smart Design Worldwide looked to address these problems for Susan.

Susan has MS and requires round the clock care. Even things like changing the TV channel are a challenge for Susan and Smart Design Worldwide looked to change that.

Through creating a custom build, 3D printed casing in the shape of an owl, this 'accessibility jacket' made Alexa less intimidating. Inside, were two Echos. One for Susan to address, and that one talked to the other. Why? You'll find out in today's episode.

There are also plenty of insights into how to make your voice experiences more accessible. Some of which, like the use of small nested menus, go against the grain of current VUI design thinking.

Prepare to be inspired and challenged.


Links

https://smartdesignworldwide.com

Smart Design Worldwide on Twitter

Smart Design Worldwide on Medium

Ruby Steel in Big Life Fix

2019-5-24

Connecting the Dots with Ruby Steel and Will Merrill

This week, we're finding out how Ruby Steel and Will Merrill made Alexa more accessible for Susan as part of BBC 2's Big Life Fix.


Become an expert conversation designer

The Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.


In this episode

Voice first devices such as smart speakers are often touted as accessible. That's one of the main reasons voice assistants are forecast to grow in adoption and usage over the next 5 years. Voice is the new interface.

Whether you're a child, an elderly person or if you have a disability of some kind, voice is here to enable to you interact with technology and connect with those around you.

However, as you'll find out in this episode, there are some fundamental accessibility problems with smart speakers. Having to download the app in order to onboard, for example. Even the design of smart speakers themselves can be intimidating for some.

As part of the BBC 2 Big Life Fix in the UK, Ruby Steel and Will Merrill of Smart Design Worldwide looked to address these problems for Susan.

Susan has MS and requires round the clock care. Even things like changing the TV channel are a challenge for Susan and Smart Design Worldwide looked to change that.

Through creating a custom build, 3D printed casing in the shape of an owl, this 'accessibility jacket' made Alexa less intimidating. Inside, were two Echos. One for Susan to address, and that one talked to the other. Why? You'll find out in today's episode.

There are also plenty of insights into how to make your voice experiences more accessible. Some of which, like the use of small nested menus, go against the grain of current VUI design thinking.

Prepare to be inspired and challenged.


Links

https://smartdesignworldwide.com

Smart Design Worldwide on Twitter

Smart Design Worldwide on Medium

Ruby Steel in Big Life Fix

2019-5-17

Voice first sneaker drop with Nike and bridging the voice and social gap with Unilever with Nick Rovisa and Matt Lang

Become an expert conversation designer

The Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.


In this episode

In part 2 of RAIN week, we're joined by Nick Rovisa, Director, Business Development, and Matt Lang, Strategy Director. The guys share their learnings on the voice industry, including how different clients perceive price i.e. how much should a voice project cost, as well as whether to think about voice from a content or app perspective.

We dive deep into the work the team did with Nike in using Google Assistant to launch a new pair of sneakers at the half time interval during a televised Celtics v Lakers basketball game. We look at how the project came about, the lead times, the technical necessities of handling substantial transient traffic and the results of the project on sales.

We discuss how through working with Unilever and a selection of influencers, RAIN were able to achieve a 10% conversion rate of newsletter sign ups via the Alexa skill they built. The Unilever project was a 7 week pilot with a selection of influencers in an attempt to bridge the social and voice landscape. We discuss how this new medium caused confusion with influencer licensing and how to get around that, as well as the results of the pilot and what it takes to sustain a content heavy voice experience.

We discuss how to measure success and how, for some, starting to gather data to develop understanding is a better option than setting KPIs. We cover how to sell, without selling or being too overly salesy (that's a word).

Finally, we chat about what's missing in voice: virality (that's another word). This includes developing our thinking on how to make experiences spread and whether to plumb voice into the mobile and social ecosystem in order to help discoverability.


Links

RAIN

Visit the RAIN website

Subscribe to the RAIN newsletter (scroll to bottom)

RAIN on Twitter

RAIN on Insta


Contact

Email RAIN 


Things we discussed

Adoption, growth and in-skill purchases with Nick Schwab

Everything is a remix by Kirby Ferguson

2019-5-13

How we approach voice with Fortune 100 companies and the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill with Greg Hedges

The Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.


Welcome to RAIN week

This week is RAIN week. We've got two huge episodes featuring the industry-leading and ground-breaking RAIN Agency.

RAIN are a dedicated voice agency and have worked with 23 of the Fortune 100 companies on voice projects. From Nike to Unilever, Campbells to Tide creating experiences from utility to leisure to kids and even product launches.


In this episode

In this first episode with RAIN, we're joined by VP Emerging Experiences, Greg Hedges, to discuss how RAIN approach voice with the Fortune 100 and we get into detail on how they built the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill for DreamWorks and Amazon.

We share some detail on what's changed in voice since RAIN pivoted in 2015 to focus exclusively on voice. We discuss how brands have moved from more tactical thinking to more strategic and how voice is something that is beginning to impact businesses, rather than be a nice marketing tick box. We also discuss how voice has changed ownership within brands, moving away from the research and innovation teams and moving into the hands of marketing.

Greg shares how RAIN has changed and adapted over the years, how the tools they use have improved, how they built using the VOXA framework and he shares some of the secret sauce RAIN use to track and analyse their voice experiences using Google Analytics.

We also dive deep into the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill and discuss some of the technical detail in how it came to be, how RAIN approached the project and what Greg learned from a technical, design and strategic perspective.


Links

RAIN

Visit the RAIN website

Subscribe to the RAIN newsletter (scroll to bottom)

RAIN on Twitter

RAIN on Insta


Contact

Email Greg 

Email RAIN


Things we discussed

Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill

The VOXA framework

Lucid charts

VUI design best practice when designing for kids with Paul Jackson

Will Hall and Jason Herndon of RAIN on VUX World

 

2019-4-25

Can design solve the biggest challenges in voice? With Mark Webster of Adobe XD

Why do all skills start with 'Welcome to xyz'? Is an 'assistant' the right mental model for voice experiences? Mark Webster of Adobe XD joins us to tackle some of the biggest challenges in voice and discusses how design can play a role in solving them.



About Mark Webster

Mark Webster is Director of Product at Adobe, focusing on voice integration for Adobe XD. He is also responsible for driving product strategy for emerging technologies within XD. Mark joined Adobe through the acquisition of the company he founded, Sayspring, which offers a design and prototyping platform for voice interfaces.

Prior to Sayspring, Mark was Director of Product for Groupon, focusing on entertainment and events. He landed at Groupon after SideTour, an e-commerce marketplace for local activities he co-founded, was acquired by Groupon in September 2013. Mark started his career with a five-year stretch at the National Basketball Association, where he worked in Creative Services.


Links

Follow Mark on Twitter

Read Mark's posts on Medium

Check out Adobe XD

Follow Adobe XD on Twitter

Listen to Hans Van Dam discuss conversational design techniques

Listen to Pulse Labs discuss situational design

2019-4-17

How to use sonic branding in voice with Eric Seay

This week, we're digging deep into how to craft compelling audio experiences in your voice app by using sonic branding and sound design, with Audio UX Co-Founder and CMO, Eric Seay.


In this episode: sonic branding

We're advancing the conversation we had with Joel Beckerman of Man Made Music on scoring voice experiences, and get into specifics of how to make your VUX sound better with a combination of sonic branding and sound design.

We discuss:

  • The resurgence of audio
  • Why is sonic branding and sound design are important
  • Where and how to use sonic branding
  • How sonic branding applies to voice
  • What's missing in voice from a sound design perspective
  • The anatomy of an Alexa skill and where sound design can make an impact
  • The 4 As: Audio As An Afterthought, and the perils of putting audio last
  • Challenges in sound design and audio branding, including celebrity voiceovers


About Audio UX and Eric Seay

Audio UX are a sound design and sonic branding company helping brands create a holistic Audio Aesthetic by developing an Audio DNA that is extractable, expandable, and effortlessly deployable into virtually any brand moment.


Co-Founder and CMO, Eric Seay, has a background in audio production and composition, working on sound design and sonic branding initiatives for global brands.


Earn monthly recurring revenue from your skills/actions

If you build skills/actions for clients, then you can earn money from them each month through Speebly.

Speebly let's your client's skill/action be accessed and interacted with via your client's website.

Sign up your client to Speebly and you'll get a share of the monthly subscription fee.

Plus, if you've already built the skill/action in Dialogue Flow, it'll take you 5 minutes to set up.

Find out more


Links

Auxnyc.com

AUX on Twitter

Amazon Alexa Blueprints

Amazon Alexa sound library

Invocable shuts down

2019-4-15

4 ways to take your voice strategy to the next level

Since starting VUX World in February 2018, things in the voice assistant industry have changed. At the last MUXL London Meet-up, Design for Voice, I presented 4 things that have moved forward and gave 4 pointers for you to take into consideration when working on your voice strategy and voice first projects.


Read the full write up on vux.world