Designing for voice content

50 minutes

Voice interfaces are ubiquitous these days, whether we use them to turn on our lights when we get home, to order Hawaiian pizza on a weekend, or to pay our credit card bill. But while resources abound for voice interfaces that are transactional and aid users who want to perform typical operations on a website more efficiently, there is comparatively less content about informational voice interfaces that traffic in content. After all, completing tasks is only one aspect of a user’s set of interactions with an organization today; increasingly, acquiring content through voice is fast becoming a new reality for designers.

During the growth of the mobile web and content on mobile devices, we found that content could often become broken in that the bodies of content available on mobile applications could be minimal subsets of the colossal amount of content provided through websites. This often led to orphaned content and unhappy users, as well as the need to unify digital experiences around a common and shared source of truth for content. Many organizations today understand that a single, incorruptible rendition of content must be delivered to a widening array of devices, all with their own approaches to presenting that content.

Fortunately, thanks to the advent of content-first approaches and the foundation provided by structured content in many content management systems, voice content is realistic from a design standpoint. Nonetheless, there are important considerations from the perspectives of content strategy, information architecture, usability testing, accessibility, and content governance that need to be taken into account when designing for voice content rather than transactional operations.

In this session, we explore this rapidly emerging paradigm of voice interface design that goes well beyond its early trappings of ordering systems and points of sale to the true pinnacle of voice design: complete coverage of all the traditional offerings that websites tout, most important among them the content that is so key to our world today. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • What’s in a conversation?
  • Transactional versus informational voice interfaces
  • Web versus conversational content
  • Designing flows and language for voice content
  • Information architecture for voice content
  • Content auditing and content modeling
  • Usability testing in a voice content context
  • Why voice content enables better accessibility
  • Ask GeorgiaGov: A voice content case study
  • Epilogue: Where voice content is headed next

This session is ideal for designers, CMS decision-makers and practitioners, and editors, marketers, and developers who are interested in voice content and how to extend existing content management solutions to undergird compelling voice-driven content. No previous knowledge of any voice design best practices or web development is presumed, although some experience with web or interaction design will be helpful.

Takeaways for the talk are as follows:

  • Attendees will be able to apply best practices in content strategy for omnichannel contexts to their own content ecosystems in preparation for delivery channels including voice-driven content.
  • Attendees will immediately be able to begin designing for voice-driven content including user interface language and decision flows that are critical to voice-driven content interfaces.
  • Attendees will be able to idiomatically discuss and analyze key elements of voice-driven content such as content auditing, information architecture, voice usability testing, and how voice-driven content impacts accessibility outcomes.




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