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VUI Design: Four Cardinal Sins

Here are the following items which I can say unequivocally that you should never, ever, ever do.

  • “Our menu options have changed.”

The problem is that enterprises put this prompt in their system and leave it there for six months. You may, in fact, use this prompt if (and only if) the following conditions apply: (1) You have a high volume of repeat callers, and by repeat callers I mean people who call back every week. (2) Your menu options have changed dramatically, not just a tiny tweak. (3) You leave the prompt up for only 2 weeks, maximum. Everybody else: Do not use.

  • “Please listen carefully to the following choices.”

Nobody listens. Telling them to listen won’t help. Instead, craft your menu items so they are falling-off-a-log easy. And cut that prompt

  • “Sorry, I didn’t get that.”

This prompt came into vogue during the era where people were trying to make VUI designs have personality. In fact, we succeeded. And that personality was: irritating. Instead, just leave this prompt off. A simple reprompt will get the message across and keep the call flow moving forward.

  • “Your call is important to us.”

No. Just no. That’s all.

Sigh. You want an actual reason besides "I said so?" Ok! Think about all the times, that you, as a caller, have called into a company and have heard that prompt.

I'll wait.

Did you ever believe that prompt?


Case closed!

This was originally published on the blog of my employer,

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