Article

Oliver Bailey
Oliver Bailey 26 July 2018
Categories Technology

Time to get your brand’s voice heard?

THE use of voice activated virtual assistants has rocketed in UK homes this year. The latest figures claim 1 in 10 Brits now own at least one device – but consumers using these devices to engage with brands? We asked them.

After conducting a poll of more than 1,000 smart speaker owners, we created this useful infographic to illustrate some of the key findings.

Our research also raised interesting questions in terms of whether we think brands should be doing more to engage with consumers via their voice devices.  

To a certain extent, Voice technology is in the same sort of space as the App store was ten years ago. It’s all a bit Wild West. There’s lots of gaming going on and experimentation.

Code Computerlove’s The Higher Lower Game, which is an App Store-topping game based on Google search data, is one such experimentation – developed using an Alexa Skill to help the team explore Voice UI. Developing The Higher Lower Game provided some useful insights into the challenges of moving into this space.

As voice assistant usage continues to rise, brands will need to look at their voice strategies and design digital experiences that are created to not only be found using this technology but that are worth engaging with.

But approach with caution. As soon as a brand new shiny piece of tech comes along, lots of companies can’t resist the urge to ‘want one of those’. It doesn’t matter if they need it or not – it’s corporate FOMO.

So prior to investing hundreds of pounds in developing for voice technology, it is important to check that the technology is there to achieve what you’re trying to deliver to the business. Role playing and mapping out the potential UX, using the tried and tested Post-Its on the wall techniques, can quickly identify that the end product is achievable with the current technology and will actually provide a return on investment.

Don’t get carried away with the idea of creating a conversation – a bit of playfulness can work, but remember this is still a simple command/response tool right now.

Think about the space your user will be in and the task you’re helping them accomplish – is voice genuinely a better way of them getting the job done than typing / swiping / clicking?

If you’re building an Alexa Skill, there’s probably nowhere better to start than Amazon’s own guide:

voice_infographic_master.jpg

The full results are available on request. For more about the survey findings see our blog.

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