Practical Speech User Interface Design  book cover
1st Edition

Practical Speech User Interface Design

ISBN 9781439815847
Published December 10, 2010 by CRC Press
344 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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

Speech Technologies

Speech Recognition
Speech Production
Speech Biometrics

Key Concepts in Human Language and Communication

Implicit Linguistic Knowledge
Conversational Discourse
Conversational Maxims
Discourse Markers
Timing and Turntaking
Social Considerations in Conversation

Self-Service Technologies

Service Science
Call Centers
Technology Acceptance and Readiness
Satisfaction with and Adoption of SSTs
Relationship of IVR to Other SSTs
Waiting for Service
Service Recovery
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

Concept Phase
Requirements Phase
Design Phase
Development Phase
Test Phase
Deployment Phase
Tuning Phase
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

Creating Introductions
Avoiding Poor Practices in Introductions
Getting the Right Timing
Designing Dialogs
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

Final Words

I Appreciate Your Patience
Please Hold for the Next Available Research
Thanks for Reading, Goodbye!

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James R. Lewis is a Senior Human Factors Engineer with IBM Software Group in Delray Beach, Florida.


"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