April 27, 2018

Bottom Line: 

(1) Most technical SpeechTEK conference ever!

(2) Consequently - it was very useful to me as a professional (and inspirational!). 

(3) "Conversational" is the word of the day and it's only going to get bigger.

Musings:  In nature, the intersection of two ecosystems is a very fertile place: The shoreline, the edge of a pond, the place where hills begin.  Creatures from both ecosystems are able to inhabit this borderland.  This means that there are twice the opportunities for different kinds of creatures to mate, cross-pollinate, and maybe even eat each other.    In a sense, SpeechTEK has always been a bit of a "borderlands."  (Hopefully without the predation!)  Technical people, industry practitioners, consultants and customers are all there.   Every year there is a perpetual discussion about what SpeechTEK is - is it a place to buy and sell? To connect? Or is it more of an professional forum, to share knowledge? 

I think some o...

February 22, 2018

So I'm pretty excited about this year's SpeechTEK Conference.  I'm speaking at two sessions.  My first one, "Power Users of Voice: Voice in the Home," will have some interesting research on advanced users of our favorite little gadgets, personal voice user assistants.  I'm also teaching a SpeechTEK University session on "Strategizing Customer Experiences for Speech" which will take a top level look at the current state of the speech industry and how your organization might want to build a strategy around voice. 

AND, if you're coming, I have an extra $100 conference discount you can use!  This is on top of any other conference discount you might have.  So, for example, right now, the Early Bird $200 discount is running (up until March 8th, 2018), so you can stack discount codes for a total of $300 off. Just enter CRV18 at the link http://www.speechtek.com/2018/Register.aspx

Hope to see you there!

February 21, 2018

Metrics, metrics, metrics.  I've been working in the call center space for a number of years. If there's one thing that call centers do a lot of, it's measure stuff.  Agents get measured on talk time.  Call centers get measured on queue times.  And then of course we move into the more generalized realm of customer experience.  In this area there are three metrics that are by far and away the most common ones: CSAT (customer satisfaction), NPS (net promoter score) and CEI (customer effort index).  Of the three, the first two are far and way the most common, and NPS is one that you will see all over the industry.

To catch you up to speed: NPS is based on one question: "How likely are you to recommend XYZ to a friend or colleague?" The participant is asked to respond using an 11 point scale. The results are then segmented into Detractors (scores 0 to 6) , Passive respondents (7-8), and Supporters (9-10).  It's a super-common metric and is used all over a wide varie...

January 29, 2018

I'm really looking forward to Avaya ENGAGE this year!  We'll be helping out at a session on Customer Journey Mapping today at 5pm with Laura Bassett, Director of Marketing, Customer and Team Engagement Solutions.  Pretty excited to get out there and discuss how to improve customer experience!

December 11, 2017

People, gather around and let me tell you why Tom Thumb delivery customer experience, although basic and non-flashy, completely kicks butt.

I’ll confess I have an ulterior motive. I’ve been telling everybody I know about how freakin' awesome Tom Thumb grocery delivery is, because I don’t want it to go away.

Why? Because I am the ultimate lazy delivery customer. I noticed the other day on my Amazon profile that I have been a customer since 1998. (Whaaaat!? Say, do I get a 20-year anniversary present next year? 20 years is platinum, Jeff. Just sayin.’)

I have tried Amazon PrimeNow grocery delivery, I tried Peapod back when it existed, and I’ve investigated every grocery delivery service out there as it comes online.

Because deliveries, in general, are awesome. Who doesn’t want someone to carry the cat litter up the front walk?

Of them all, Tom Thumb rocks the absolute most.

Let’s unpack:

First, selection. When I want groceries, the vast majority of the time I just want ordinary stuff. Sure, or...

November 30, 2017

So I saw an ad on Facebook for this new Kickstarter. It’s called Car Wink. The concept’s pretty cool. It’s basically a tiny LED screen to hang on the back of your car. The idea is to facilitate communication with other motorists. It’s got various emojis you can display, along with words. The device is controlled with your voice, so you can use it while driving.

The use case is pretty clever. You’re on the road and construction up ahead is blocking your lane. A nice driver behind you gives you a space and lets you merge. You want to thank the driver, so you give Car Wink a voice command. Something like: “Car Wink. Thank you.” The little device displays an emoticon, like a thumbs up and the word “Thanks.”

Basic Concept: I like it! This is a novel and fun new use of voice. And, I’m all about getting more civil with your fellow drivers. Two thumbs up.

But, as always, the devil is in the details. How is this getting built? Let’s see…

Technical Details: After some digging around on the Kickstart...

November 29, 2017

You're in luck!

I'm going to do a beta test of my new Voice User Interface Design class I am working on.  I'm looking for about 10 people who are interested in learning about VUI design.  You must be willing to commit to all four class sessions (three hours each) and give me feedback on the class design.  The class is a 101 class targeted at junior designers and/or people who are transitioning into UX careers and are interested in learning more about VUI design to see if that is something they would like to do. 

Right now I am thinking four dates in January, in the evening, tentatively Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31.  I'm going to do it remote (you must be willing to install WebEx).  So you can be anywhere but I am in the Central time zone.   If this sounds like something you'd like to get involved with, please send me a private message and describe your background and level of interest.  You can also email me at crispin_reedy@yahoo.com. Thanks! Also please forward to junior designer...

October 5, 2017

Disclaimer: This opinion is personal and in no way represents my employer. :)

So I haven’t written much lately because, well, busy. However. I have been trying to keep tabs on the Amazon vs. Google voice-based personal assistant contest. (Alexa in this corner, OK Google in that corner, GO!) You can read all about my efforts to order a pizza via voice assistant in my most recent Big Design Conference presentation on my Slideshare … let’s just say it was entertaining.

I don’t have a horse in this race (not working for either Amazon or Google), but since I do work in the voice interface field, I’m very interested in the future of voice. Who will be “the winner?” I go back and forth pretty regularly as I look at the two companies and their approach. So of course, when I saw that Amazon had announced a new product for Echo, the Echo Look, on their page, I was intrigued.

Here’s part of the blurb:

Using just your voice, easily take full-length photos and short videos with a hands-free camera that...

May 2, 2017

I'm excited to be a part of UXPA's series of webinars this year!


How can chatbots learn from existing VUI design? What makes these new interfaces different, and how are they similar? Where do the Alexas and Siris come into the mix? We’ll discuss text-based vs. voice-based conversational user interfaces, and the landscape of Conversational User Interfaces, now and into the future.

Get more information and sign up here!

April 29, 2017

Spring 2017 brought another successful SpeechTEK back to Washington DC, although we were (yet again) too late to see the famous cherry blossoms. (Hint hint: Make next year’s conference a bit earlier!).

But, beautiful blossoms aside, if you couldn’t attend, there were a few highlights worth sharing.

  • Chatbots and Conversational Interfaces continue to be hot topics. The plethora of chatbot tools and platforms means that this technology has been put into the hands of a lot of people. Has this resulted in a lot of poor chatbot experiences? Possibly so. However, is this a real problem, or are the useless and poorly designed ones simply going to die out?

    • I conducted a “flash poll” at my Sunrise Session “Chatbots vs. Voicebots.” I asked participants “How many of you have done a proof of concept or a prototype with a chatbot?” Virtually the whole room raised their handsNext question: “How many of you have done a production deployment with a chatbot?” Crickets. But, is this a side...

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