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Design With Your Eyes Closed: The Beginning of Voice-Based Interfaces

Nothing seems impossible standing in 2017 where AI is finally a reality. However voice interactions are still a challenge that experts have not yet been able to overcome. This year will be one of innovation and trials. New technologies will keep coming up that aim at integrating user experience with voice interactions. The inclusion of voice elements in our digital ecosystems prompts new challenges for website designers all around the globe.

Do you remember what happened when touchscreen phones came into being? Most websites turned responsive and introduced intuitive scrolling to facilitate mobile log ins. Very similarly, the inclusion of voice interactions in the main stream media ensures a revolution of customer-website relationship that is long overdue.

Design with your eyes closed - the beginning of voice-based interfaces

Very soon, customers should be able to talk to their “products” and be understood as well. Screen based interactions won’t be the limit anymore. People will be able to “talk” to their products on websites. The new voice interactive tools are keys that can unlock a huge user-centred innovation for the near future.

Personalization of Ultimate Tech:

Almost every person walking the civilized parts of the world is carrying a microphone coupled to a personal supercomputer in their pockets, right now. The computational power available to us right now, is enough to design systems that can recognize, understand and process human speech. Creating vocally controlled interfaces is not a science fiction anymore considering the progress we are making with speech recognition and analysis like the kind seen in Amazon Echo. The aim is to extend this technology to common websites and inventories where customers can browse, select and complete the purchase of products and services without visual/touch based interactions.

Creating a Cross-Device Platform:

We might get machines to understand us seamlessly, but that is not the end of our journey. We already have voice controlled smart assistants like Cortana and Siri helping us with our day-to-day queries. Right now, the primary concern of Las Vegas Web Design Co is to make voice interaction available to all users across more than one interface and platform. This is one challenge that website designers are yet to meet.

What’s the Future of UX Design?

Human beings have been the intermediaries of technology even since the dawn of time. From GUIs to voice interactions, we have always been on the receiving end. This is the only reason UI has to be optimized for all platforms and interfaces. The aim should be to make the process easier, faster and accessible by the general public.

More than responsive designs and placeholder texts, vocabulary has become more important for designers working to design the future of websites. Choice of words and their context will influence the searches, more than ever. It is all about vocal interaction as customers will not be providing any visual cues to help with the queries. The website designers will become completely reliant on what the chosen words mean. They have to pay attention to nuances and contexts more than ever. This will bring about a massive change in the way most website designers view UI at this moment.

The Immediate Next Step:

One can only wish for a set of standardized voice commands and keywords to make it possible for users to navigate among multiple AI systems. But we also know that it is simply ridiculous to expect people to memorise a fixed set of commands for their AI assistants for every search action.

Communicating with users will become more challenging as “click here to register” simply won’t bear any meaning without any visual cues as to where this “here” is located. This calls for the innovation of a novel lexicon that will help users to act. These cues need to be commonly understood, intuitive and easy for the users to remember and use.

How to Understand What Your User Wants?

When “lose” and “loose” sound the same it might be difficult to understand if your user wants to get rid of something or if he is complaining about unfastened shoelaces. Things are going to become even more challenging if the gap between visual and voice interfaces cannot be bridged. Just as we discussed above, it won’t be possible to include a visual cue for a clickable link or button for a vocal interface. This will bestow more responsibility on the website designers. They will be completely responsible for anticipating the user’s intent at each decision making point in the ongoing conversation and ready an appropriate response.

Summarizing:

In 2017 we are looking towards a world of new innovations and opportunities. This is a wonderful news for website designers who want to keep growing with the industry. But the bad news is, most of the paradigms you have come to rely on will soon become obsolete as they don’t encompass voice interactions.

About Wijdan Rohail

A professional Web/Graphic Designer, working as Freelancer since 2000. Designing is my passion, blogging is my hobby.

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One comment

  1. That is going to be exciting when you can develop your own site and design online projects with voice only communication!

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