The other day I was in the backyard planting window boxes while my boyfriend was off having lunch with one of his daughters. I went inside and on my way back out, accidentally kicked the backdoor closed, heard a sickening “click,” and suddenly found myself locked out. I checked the front door – locked too. And then I realized in addition to locking myself out I also left my phone inside. This left me with the prospect of being stuck outside for quite a while until Larry finished his nice lunch and drove his daughter home. What’s a woman to do? Call on Alexa.
Standing on my tippy toes I yelled through the kitchen window to Alexa and asked her to call Larry. She quickly complied, I was able to relay the news of my stupidity, and not long after my knight in shining armor saved me from myself and let me in the house. But my real hero was my Echo Dot with Alexa. While she normally gives me the news in the morning, plays my favorite music and shares weather updates, on that day she also saved me from myself.
This experience got me thinking about voice assistants and how they are impacting our work. As you no doubt know, voice assistants have been gaining traction rapidly in the US and globally, and the way they have changed and will continue to change our behavior is very interesting. A few tidbits about smart speakers in the US:
I could go on and on with other points but will stop here and just let the scale of smart speakers seep in for a moment. And that largely ignores the assistants available on our smart phones that are with us almost 24/7, it seems.
From a marketing perspective there is no doubt a need to think about how to bring your brand experience to life through a voice assistant. There is also a real challenge in creating a meaningful voice app – based on a study by UXmatters 63% of users have experienced problems with a third party app. The good news is that many of the same principles used in digital user experience design apply to creating a successful voice experience, such as:
And like with all digital experiences, don’t forget to establish good tracking and use the insights from the analytics to help refine the app to make it even better.
One thing is clear – voice works best with simplicity. And sophisticated simplicity is often the most deceptively difficult thing to achieve. If you’re looking to grab some of that $40 billion market share, you need great UX expertise. Have your Alexa call our Alexa – it will be a conversation worth having.
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