UX & Technology, UX Design

Innovations in Voice Design

Yuko Mitani

Yuko Mitani, UX Consultant

I had the opportunity to attend the Innovations in Voice Design at Amazon by Mobile UX London on October 24th.

This event was about “What’s happening in the world of voice” and Alexa skill case study and voice design process by experienced speakers. As we know, smart speaker market share is rapidly growing and many companies are investmenting a great deal into this market. Regarding the voicebot.ai, households in the UK use the most smart speakers than the rest of the EU. By 2022, sales are expected to be become around $45 billion for voice technology. “Mobile first” could become “Voice first” in the near future.

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Here is the main takeaway from the event!

People are emotional. We need to understand the users emotions and respond accordingly. The voice needs more EQ, not only the smart brain.

Sina Kahen, co-founder of TheVoiceCourse.co discussed the importance of emotional intelligence and how we can design. Voice experience needs emotional intelligence (EQ) and manage user’s expectations.To build natural language voice experience, EQ is very important to handle users expectations, which improves retention of the using skill as well. People are emotional. AI needs to have an emotional connection with users.

Build Alexa’s personality.

Ozlem Williams, product designer for Voice and Conversational UI at Babylon Health (Previously: Creative writing lead for Google Assistant TR) emphasised the importance of building Alexa’s personality and tone of voice. She talked through the process of the Alexa’s persona development. As a UX consultant, I used to build a users or customers persona but it was new to me to build Alexa’s persona, which is very fascinating to me. If the skill has a unique voice tone and personality make it more approachable for the users. Personality enable to provide a consistent UX and build a trust. In addition, After setting the personality of a skill, creating a guideline to help all team members keep consistency.


My interest in AI goes back to my childhood. The movie “A.I.” came out in 2001, I was so into it and watched 3 times in the cinema. At the time, I did not think it was going to happen in 50 years, and that the concept would remain in the movie world. And here people are developing a device that recognizes human emotions. This raises a very important matter; privacy. Smart speaker is everywhere as well as the privacy concerns surrounding it. We need to protect users’ data, privacy and security, which is the biggest challenge within the rapidly growing smart speaker market.

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