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Harnessing the opportunities of voice technology


Cherie Chambers our user experience lead at WPN Chameleon tells you how to join the voice race and avoid falling at the first hurdles by making sure your brand's voice experiences are always meaningful for end users.

Voice personal assistants are a new exciting way for organisations to engage with their customers. A recent survey from Radiocentre suggests 40 percent of UK households will own a smart speaker in 2018.

Amazon - the market leader has sold millions of Amazon Echo devices and are enabling Alexa in TVs, cars and various other devices. Since April this year Google Home have seen a sharp growth in the sale of their devices and its predicted that by 2020 they will have a 50% share of this market.

Here at WPN Chameleon we have entered the wonderful world of voice technology with a particular focus on developing Amazon Alexa Skills for our charity clients. Skills are a bit like creating apps for mobile, but they are for voice enabled devices. They give organisations the ability to offer personalised services or information to their audiences and Google have developed their equivalent with Google ‘actions’. So the race is on for organisations to harness the opportunities these offer and we’ve been working with our clients to make sure that they are at the forefront of this.

When new tech comes into the mainstream consciousness, organisations can have a tendency to jump in head first. This can be a good thing as people experiment and everyone can benefit from the learnings. But in the meantime some expensive mistakes are made. Mobile apps are a great example of where it took a while for companies to work out where they really add value. This is where we come in.

With everything we design, we fundamentally believe in putting real user needs and motivations at the heart of the experience. We are helping our clients to apply this principle to developing meaningful voice experiences that will help them meet their objectives. When designing for voice there are also some unique things to consider. To support our clients with this we have developed a framework to help work through Alexa Skill ideas that maintain a user focus and includes considerations around things like:

Voice assistants are appearing in more and places like mobile phones and cars... Where will people be when they are using your skill? What time of day do you expect them to be using it and what frame of mind might they be in? Considering these things will help you put yourself in the users’ shoes and result in better ideas and designs.

How often do you expect people to use your skill? Is it a one off action linked to a campaign or can it become something they will engage with regularly?

How are you going to make the sure the skill is delivered in the right tone of voice? What type of language will people expect for the information or service you’re providing? What design techniques can be used to make the experience feel more impactful and authentic?

To get a copy of our Alexa skills framework email us at hello@wpnchameleon.co.uk.

We are also offering clients personalised workshops to explore the opportunities of using Alexa for their organisation. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.

Cherie Chambers is the User Experience Lead at WPN Chameleon. Cherie leads on creating user centred digital and voice experiences for our clients.

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