voice first strategy

Does voice first suck? And is it stuck? With Bret Kinsella, John Kelvie and Ahmed Bouzid

Does voice first suck? And is it stuck? With Bret Kinsella, John Kelvie and Ahmed Bouzid 1800 1200 Kane Simms

Join three of the voice AI industry’s leading minds to debate whether voice is living up to its promise and what should happen next. read more

A voice design workshop blueprint for Alexa skill building

A voice design workshop blueprint for Alexa skill building 1800 1200 Kane Simms

Voice design can be a challenge for those who’ve never done it. Designing an Alexa skill is completely different to designing a website or app.

In this video, we run through a blueprint for a voice design workshop that you can use with your team or clients to find a use case, design, prototype and test a voice app. read more

The 3 pillars of voice first success with RAIN’s Will Hall and Jason Herndon

The 3 pillars of voice first success with RAIN’s Will Hall and Jason Herndon 1800 1200 Kane Simms

This week, we’re speaking to RAIN agency’s Will Hall and Jason Herndon about how their three pillars of: strategy, creativity and technology, are leading the world’s biggest brands to voice first success.

In this episode: voice strategy, creative prowess and technological genius

In this episode, RAIN’s Executive Creative Director, Will Hall, and VP, Engineering, Jason Herndon guide us through the practicalities of how they shape voice strategies and implement voice first solutions for the world’s biggest brands.

Whether you’re a brand, a designer or developer, this episode will help you understand how and where to start.

It’ll give you things to consider and help you align voice first initiatives with core business drivers.

It’ll show you what you can expect from working with (or at) a voice first agency and give you some examples of how industry-leading brands are approaching voice.

It’ll also present some of the challenges you’ll face and maybe even challenge your own thinking on whether your organisation is set-up for success, including showing you why ‘systems thinking’ is so important.

You’ll understand how to hone-in on use cases that provide value.

You’ll learn how to structure a voice first project; the skills and resources you’ll need and who needs to be involved, as well as the process of going from nothing to implementing a world-leading voice experience.

It’ll show you tools that you can use for design and development, as well as guide you on the value of testing early.

It’ll also give you some ideas on how far ahead you should plan your roadmap and cover why a crawl, walk, run approach is most appropriate.

As ever, we go deep into all of the above and more – this episode is a longer one than usual, and it’s densely packed with nothing but insights.

Our guests

Will Hall is the Executive Creative Director at RAIN. Will has worked on countless projects for global brands and blends the strategy and creative sides of projects together, making sure that the strategic aims of clients are brought to fruition with the appropriate creative.

Jason Herndon, VP, Engineering at RAIN, has worked with the world’s largest brands on technical architecture and development and, at RAIN, is responsible for turning big ideas into reality.

About RAIN

RAIN has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands on some of the most headline grabbing Alexa Skills.

Campbells Kitchen and Tide were two of the first branded Alexa Skills and are still cited today as pioneering examples of how valuable voice can be for brands.

The Warner Brothers’ Dunkirk interactive story, which we discussed in our episode on voice games with Florian Hollandt, pushed the boundaries on what’s possible on the Alexa platform and brought movie-like sound design and scripting to the voice first world.

RAIN help brands big and small figure out the strategic value in bringing voice to your business and guide brands through the creation, implementation, promotion and development of voice first experiences.

Where to listen


  • Visit the RAIN.agency website (the newsletter link is at the top on the home page)
  • Check out RAIN’s development framework, Voxa
  • Get in touch with RAIN or require about a project: hello@rain.agency

Helping brands bridge the gap with Witlingo’s Brielle Nickoloff and Luciana Morais

Helping brands bridge the gap with Witlingo’s Brielle Nickoloff and Luciana Morais 1800 1200 Kane Simms

This week, we’re finding out how brands can get started and enter the voice first world of smart speakers and digital assistants. read more

All about BotTalk and how to run a voice first discovery workshop with Andrey Esaulov

All about BotTalk and how to run a voice first discovery workshop with Andrey Esaulov 1800 1200 Kane Simms

This week, we’re digging into how you can create an Alexa Skill using BotTalk and we give you a template for running a voice first discovery workshop, with SmartHaus Technologies CEO and BotTalk co-founder, Andrey Esaulov. read more

All about voice search with the Oracle, Dr. Pete Myers

All about voice search with the Oracle, Dr. Pete Myers 1800 1200 Kane Simms

Dr. Pete, Marketing Scientist at Moz, and world-leading SEO oracle, tells all about the voice search landscape, and how you can rank for searches on digital assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

This is a jam-packed episode with deep, deep insights, advice and guidance on all things voice search related. We’ll give you practical ways to compete to be the answer that’s read out in voice first searches, as well as some notions on the current and potential future benefit that could bring.

Voice search

There are all kinds of stats around voice search, which we’ve touched upon before.

With more people using their voice to search, how will that affect search marketers, content creators and brands?

What’s the difference between a voice search and a typed search?

Is there anything you can do to appear in voice search results?

We speak to one of the search industry’s top sources of SEO knowledge, Dr. Pete, to find out.

Getting deep into voice search

In this episode, we’re discussing the differences between voice search on mobile, voice first search on smart speakers and typed search.

We discuss the absence of search engine results pages (SERPs) in a voice first environment and increased competition for the singularity: the top spot in voice search.

We chat about the search landscape, the effect voice is having on search, changing user behaviour and expectations, new search use cases and multi modal implications, challenges and opportunities.

We get into detail about how voice search works on devices such as Google Assistant and Google Home. This includes debating Google’s knowledge graph and it’s advantages and disadvantages in a voice first context.

We look at the practicalities of serving search results via voice. This touches on the different types of search results, such as featured snippets, and how voice handles different data formats such as tables. We get into detail about the different types of featured snippets available and how each translate to work (or not work) on voice.

We discuss Dr. Pete’s work and studies in the voice first space including his piece ‘What I learned from 1,000 voice searches‘ and what he found.

We wrap up with some practical tips that you can use right now to start preparing for the influx of voice searches that’ll be hitting the air waves soon and help you start to rank in a voice first environment.

Our Guest

Dr Pete Myers, the SEO oracle featuring on VUX world to discuss voice searchDr. Pete Myers (a.k.a Dr. Pete a.k.a. the Oracle) is the Marketing Scientist at Moz, the SEO giant and search industry leader.

Dr. Pete has been an influential search marketer since 2012 and has spent years studying Google’s search algorithm, advising clients and the SEO industry on best practice and guiding the industry into the future.

His research and writing on the topic has been helping brands keep on top of the search space, improve their rankings and business performance and has helped keep Moz at the top of the industry.

Moz has been at the top of the SEO chain since 2004 and is trusted by the whole SEO industry as the place to go for SEO tooling, insights and practical guidance.


Where to listen

All about Voysis and the GUI to VUI transition with Brian Colcord

All about Voysis and the GUI to VUI transition with Brian Colcord 1800 1200 Kane Simms

Today we’re taking a close look at the Voysis platform and discussing transitioning from GUI to VUI design with VP of Design, Brian Colcord.

We’ve covered plenty of voice first design and development on this podcast. Well, that’s what the podcast is, so we’re bound to! Most of what we’ve discussed has largely been voice assistant or smart speaker-focused. We haven’t covered a huge amount of voice first application in the browser and on mobile, until now.

Mic check

You’ll have noticed the little mic symbol popping up on a number of websites lately. It’s in the Google search bar, it’s on websites such as EchoSim and Spotify are trialing it too. When you press that mic symbol, it enables your mic on whatever device you’re using and lets you speak your search term.

Next time you see that mic, you could be looking at the entry point to Voysis.

On a lot of websites, that search may well just use the website’s standard search tool to perform the search. With Voysis, its engine will perform the search for you using its voice tech stack.

That means that you can perform more elaborate searches that most search engines would struggle with. For example:

“Show me Nike Air Max trainers, size 8, in black, under $150”

Most search engines would freak out at this, but not Voysis. That’s what it does.

Of course, it’s more than an ecommerce search tool, as we’ll find out during this episode.

In this episode

We discuss how approaches to new technology seem to wrongly follow a reincarnation route. Turning print into web by using the same principles that govern print. Turning online into mobile by using the same principles that govern the web. Then taking the practices and principles of GUI and transferring that to VUI. We touch on why moving you app to voice is the wrong approach.

We also discuss:

  • Voysis – what it is and what it does
  • Getting sophisticated with searches
  • Designing purely for voice vs multi modal
  • The challenge of ecommerce with a zero UI
  • The nuance between the GUI assistant and voice only assistants
  • How multi modal voice experiences can help the shopping experience
  • Making the transition from GUI to VUI
  • The similarities between moving from web to mobile and from mobile to voice – (when moving to mobile, you had to think about gestures and smaller screens)
  • Error states and points of delight
  • The difference between designing for voice and designing for a screen
  • Testing for voice
  • Understand voice first ergonomics

Our Guest

Brian Colcord, VP of Design at Voysis, is a world-leading designer, cool, calm and collected speaker and passionate sneaker head.

After designing the early versions of the JoinMe brand markings and UI, he was recruited by LogMeIn and went on to be one of the first designers to work on the Apple Watch prior to its release.

Brian has made the transition from GUI to VUI design and shares with us his passion for voice, how he made the transition, what he learned and how you can do it too.

About Voysis

Voysis is a Dublin-based voice technology company that believes voice interactions can be as natural as human ones and are working intently to give brands the capability to have natural language interactions with customers.


Check out the Voysis website
Follow Voysis on Twitter
Read the Voysis blog
Join Brian on LinkedIn
Follow Brian on Twitter
Listen to the AI in industry podcast with Voysis CEO, Peter Cahill
Read Brian’s post, You’re already a voice designer, you just don’t know it yet

Where to listen

The REAL reasons why voice will be HUGE for brands

The REAL reasons why voice will be HUGE for brands 1800 1200 Kane Simms

Let’s take a close look at the real reasons why voice will be huge for brands.  read more