Although speech is the most natural form of communication between humans, most people find using speech to communicate with machines anything but natural. Drawing from psychology, human-computer interaction, linguistics, and communication theory, Practical Speech User Interface Design provides a comprehensive yet concise survey of practical speech user interface (SUI) design. It offers practice-based and research-based guidance on how to design effective, efficient, and pleasant speech applications that people can really use.
Focusing on the design of speech user interfaces for IVR applications, the book covers speech technologies including speech recognition and production, ten key concepts in human language and communication, and a survey of self-service technologies. The author, a leading human factors engineer with extensive experience in research, innovation and design of products with speech interfaces that are used worldwide, covers both high- and low-level decisions and includes Voice XML code examples. To help articulate the rationale behind various SUI design guidelines, he includes a number of detailed discussions of the applicable research.
The techniques for designing usable SUIs are not obvious, and to be effective, must be informed by a combination of critically interpreted scientific research and leading design practices. The blend of scholarship and practical experience found in this book establishes research-based leading practices for the design of usable speech user interfaces for interactive voice response applications.
Table of Contents
Foundations of Speech User Interface Design
A Focus on Research-Based Design Guidance
Organization of this Book
Key Concepts in Human Language and Communication
Implicit Linguistic Knowledge
Timing and Turntaking
Social Considerations in Conversation
Technology Acceptance and Readiness
Satisfaction with and Adoption of SSTs
Relationship of IVR to Other SSTs
Waiting for Service
Consequences of Forced Use of SSTs
The Importance of Speech User Interface Design
User Acceptance of Speech IVR Applications
Location on the "Hype Cycle"
The Disciplines of SUI Design and the SUI Design Team
The Consumers of SUI Design
Major SUI Objectives
The Components of SUI Usability
The Power of the SUI
Speech User Interface Development Methodology
Sample Design Documents
Getting Started: High-Level Design Decisions
Choosing the Barge-In Style
Selecting Recorded Prompts or Synthesized Speech
SUI Personality and Persona
Deciding Whether to Use Audio Formatting
Using Simple or Complex Speech Recognition
Adopting a Concise or Verbose Prompt Style
Allowing Only Speech Input or Speech plus Touchtone
Choosing a Set of Global Navigation Commands
Deciding Whether to Use Human Agents in the Deployed System
Choosing a Help Mode or Self-Revealing Contextual Help
Getting Specific: Low-Level Design Decisions
Avoiding Poor Practices in Introductions
Getting the Right Timing
Constructing Appropriate Menus and Prompts
Tips for Voice Spelling
Confirming User Input
From "Hello World" to "The Planets": Prototyping SUI Designs with VoiceXML
Sample 1: Hello World!
Some VoiceXML Concepts
Sample 2: Hello Worlds
Sample 3. Adding More Complex Features to Hello Worlds
Sample 4. Even More Features
Using Breaks to Fine-Tune Timing
Using an Application Root Document
I Appreciate Your Patience
Please Hold for the Next Available Research
Thanks for Reading, Goodbye!
James R. Lewis is a Senior Human Factors Engineer with IBM Software Group in Delray Beach, Florida.
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"Whether you are a scholar looking to study various aspects related to the use of speech recognition technology in interactive systems or a practitioner working on designing and implementing interactive speech recognition technology, Lewis’s book is definitely your starting point. It can also be used as a companion while implementing speech technologies."
—Avi Parush, ergonomics in design, July 2013