1st Edition

Practical Speech User Interface Design

By James R. Lewis Copyright 2011
    344 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.

    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!


    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