A Developer’s Guide to Voice User Interface Design

2 min read
Oct 15, 2020

In the mid-2010s, people never thought voice user interfaces would surpass novelty status. It’s fun to ask Siri or Alexa about the weather but now mobile users rely on voice interfaces for shopping, organising schedules, finding something to watch, and even sending emails. Voice user interface, or VUI, is not just about showing off what an application can do. It’s now a vital tool in the move for more accessible, customisable experiences for your audience. If you’re developing an app, then a comprehensive VUI is necessary and crucial to how users maximise your app’s offerings. 

When Does Offering Voice User Interface Make Sense?

Your app might be in its early stages of development and VUI might seem optional. In fact, including a voice element to your app should be seen as a necessary step as you build-out your latest project. Voice user interface can work across devices, including phones, tablets, and smart TVs. All feature a specific sense of what voice commands do to enhance the experience of the app. Knowing what device you plan to target by deciding on a platform is very important. 

Experts in the application development industry know that desktop voice user interfaces are no longer the leading area for the technology. Now, more people use their mobile devices for just about everything. In many cases, a single user of mobile technology uses more than one device. For example, you might use a smartphone and a fitness tracker. Keeping in mind these intersections is crucial as you decide what sort of features to include in your voice user interface design. 

What Constraints Exist for Your VUI?

In any mobile app, constraints exist that limit how a user might effectively use certain elements of the application. For example, it’s great if a shopping app features voice search, but if the function takes too long to load because it requires active data usage, then users might skip the process altogether. Enough inoperable features and users simply won’t download the app at all. Apps that users love feature workable and functional features. So, in terms of your app and VUI, what’s going to work best?

How Will Users Interact with VUI?

A key component of constraints to your app’s VUI is the user experience. If you have an app that primarily works to inform users of different things like traffic or the news, then a conversational user experience isn’t necessary. Likewise, an app that provides technical functions like a scientific reference database or guides you through a library of content might require a specific language of operation with industry-specific words and phrases in its command bank. Likewise, iOS and Android differences can change how your app operates.

These predictions of what intricacies will let your app succeed can help you decide on the best operating system and lineup of features for your app’s VUI. It all comes down to who will use your app and why they’ll use it. If your core audience is people who simply want to interact with an app that mimics human conversation, then build your app to mirror a conversational and helpful experience. The distinct elements of why a user takes advantage of voice interfaces point you in the direction of what to offer. 

Maximise Voice User Interface for Your App

Mobile app development isn’t the same for every single app. It all depends on what your goal is with the development of the application. That’s sometimes hard to pinpoint on a technical level, which is why we’re here to help. VUI isn’t as commonplace as other mobile app features. However we can still guide you through what makes sense for your project and why vocal interfaces are so important in today’s mobile app marketplace. 

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