voice strategy

Do you HAVE to design a persona for for your voice app?

Do you HAVE to design a persona for for your voice app? 1920 1080 VUX World

When creating a voice app, such as an Alexa skill or Google Assistant action, do you always need to design a brand persona?

Sonic branding and sound design are having a resurgence given the rapid increase in smart speaker sales. Brands are how having to answer the question: what does my brand sound like?

Creating a persona that is the audible embodiment of your brand is usually step 1 of the voice design and strategy process, but do you need to do it all of the time?

In this video, we look at the Utility to Affinity scale, shared with us on the VUX World podcast by Nick Carey of Potato, San Francisco and debate whether a persona is always needed.

We balance the argument with thoughts from Wally Brill and Cathy Pearl of Google, as well as Clifford Nass, author of Wired for Speech.

Voice strategy: short and long term planning

Voice strategy: short and long term planning 1800 1200 VUX World

When it comes to creating a voice strategy, you need a short term plan and a long term plan.

These are the words of Amazon Alexa’s Chief Evangelist, Dave Isbitski, who joined us on the VUX World podcast to discuss how Amazon are advising brands on voice strategy.

In the short term, you’ll be looking to establish a presence on the common voice assistant platforms like Alexa and Google Assistant. You should look to get started by finding a single use case that adds value to both your end user and your business.

That in and of itself can take time. You’ll go through the same motions as you’d go through with any other project. From discovery and feasibility to design and prototyping to production and implementation.

The difference with a voice strategy is that there are a number of fundamentals you’ll need to have in place first, such as figuring out what your brand sounds like.

In the long term, there’ll be things you’d like to do that Alexa or Google Assistant doesn’t support today. Also, the more you embrace voice, the more you’ll start moving towards having voice as an interface to your business across every touchpoint, rather than a presence on a platform. And to get there, it’ll take a shift in strategy, skills, resources, tools and priorities. That takes time.

So start small, crawl before you walk, but have your eyes on the bigger picture.

Voice strategy advice with Amazon Alexa Chief Evangelist, Dave Isbitski

Voice strategy advice with Amazon Alexa Chief Evangelist, Dave Isbitski 1800 1200 VUX World

We’re honoured to be joined by Amazon Alexa Chief Evangelist, Dave Isbitski, to discuss the conversations that he’s having at C-Suite level about how brands should be approaching voice and where it’s all heading. read more

Voice first sneaker drop with Nike and bridging the voice and social gap with Unilever with Nick Rovisa and Matt Lang

Voice first sneaker drop with Nike and bridging the voice and social gap with Unilever with Nick Rovisa and Matt Lang 1800 1200 VUX World

We’re capping off RAIN week in style by diving deep into two epic case studies from Nike and Unilever, as well as developing some new thinking on viral voice, with Nick Rovisa and Matt Lang. read more

How we approach voice with Fortune 100 companies and the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill with Greg Hedges

How we approach voice with Fortune 100 companies and the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill with Greg Hedges 1800 1200 VUX World

Greg Hedges, VP Emerging Experiences at RAIN agency, shares the secrets of how RAIN approach voice with Fortune 100 companies and talks us through how they built the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill for DreamWorks. read more

4 ways to take your voice strategy to the next level

4 ways to take your voice strategy to the next level 1800 1200 VUX World

Since starting VUX World in February 2018, things in the voice assistant industry have changed. At the last MUXL London Meet-up, Design for Voice, I presented 4 things that have moved forward and gave 4 pointers for you to take into consideration when working on your voice strategy and voice first projects. read more

A voice design workshop blueprint for Alexa skill building

A voice design workshop blueprint for Alexa skill building 1800 1200 VUX World

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

Meet Uma, the enterprise voice assistant, with Stephen Milner and Marcus Finley

Meet Uma, the enterprise voice assistant, with Stephen Milner and Marcus Finley 1800 1200 VUX World


Today, we’re joined by Ammi Systems CEO, Stephen Milner, and CTO, Marcus Finlay, to discuss voice in the enterprise and how their new voice assistant, Uma, is set to revolutionise productivity at work. 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 VUX World

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

Links

  • 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

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 VUX World

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.

Links

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