What is a Voice User Interface? In this piece, you’ll get the definition, a few voice examples, and learn about some of the best VUI devices available. With many VUI device options on the market, voice user interface design has become important. I’ll give you a few tips for that as well. 

The Switch to Voice User Interface

Each decade we have seen a new form of interaction between human and computer. If I go a little bit back in time, we were using mouse and keyboard to communicate or to talk with a computer. Then we started using touchscreen laptops and smartphones where there is no need for a keyboard or mouse to interact with a device. Nowadays, laptops and computers have inbuilt VUI to communicate with a computer. You can even design experiences for these devices using tools like Botsociety.

Why VUI?

Voice User Interface allows a user to interact with computer or mobile or other electronic devices through speech or voice commands. Voice or speech is an input/output for any VUI device. VUI is an interface of any speech recognition applications. Many Voice User Interface devices and voice examples are available on the market.

Amazon Alexa, Echo Dot, Google Home, Google Mini, Siri, Cortana, and the Google Assistant are the examples of VUI devices which take voice /speech as an input and returns in the same manner. People use VUI device in their daily life one or another way.

When did VUI begin?

The difference between a VUI and Artificial Intelli, in general, was blurred until some time ago. Factors that contributed to the field can be traced to recent advancements in speech-to-text and text-to-speech technologies, together with advancements in Natural Language Processing and cloud services as a whole. Moreover, the quick adoption of voice-only devices like Alexa and Google Home consolidated the concept. Once millions of people are able to interact with a computer with their voice, the idea of the voice being an interface – a VUI – became mainstream.

Voice Examples using the Alexa Tool 

1. The Capital One skill allows you to check your credit card balance or make a payment when one is due. This is secure: The skill performs security checks and requires you to sign in using your username and password. Then, when you open the skill, you must provide a four-digit code to confirm your identity. Just be wary of who is around when using the skill — anyone who overhears you say your key can access your banking or credit card info just by asking Alexa.

You can design voice user interfaces of your own at Botsociety.io

2. You can use IFTTT to push additions to your Amazon To-do List to Google Calendar, or you can use the Quick Events skill. Say something like “Alexa, tell Quick Events to add go to the grocery store tomorrow at 6” to add an event to your calendar.

3. If you wear a Fitbit tracker on your wrist, you can enable the Fitbit skill. With this skill, you can ask Alexa about your progress or how you slept the night before. Before you can use the skill, however, you will need to link your Fitbit account by going to the skill page for Alexa and linking your account.

I have mentioned a few skills of Amazon Alexa here, but you can ask about the weather, education, population and many more things. You can even play games! Amazon Alexa device offers Akinator. It can read your mind and tell you what character you are thinking about, just by asking a few questions. Think of a real or fictional character and Akinator will try to guess who it is. This is one of the best games offered for Amazon Alexa. If you’re interested in creating your own Alexa skill, check out our paragraph on voice user interface design below.

VUI Device

You can collaborate on a VUI design just like this one over at Botsociety.io

Google Assistance(Android), Siri(Apple), Cortana(Microsoft) are available in smart device or laptop. Their functionality is almost the same as Amazon Alexa. While Google Home, Google Mini, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo are the devices available in the market.

Voice User Interface Design

Does VUI sound very exciting to you? If you enjoyed the voice examples, I’ll bet you’re looking to get started right away. Some of you may be experienced developers while others have recently interacted with a Google Home or Alexa device and are looking to build your own bot. Look no further! Enter Botsociety.

voice user interface design

Botsociety is a conversational design tool that offers support for everything from Facebook Messenger and slack bots, to Google Assistant and Alexa. With Botsociety, you can effortlessly create a voice user interface design that will be impactful and hold real value. You can preview the paths and different ways a conversation between users and the bot you wish to build will take place.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s piece. Be sure to leave all of your questions and comments below!

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Nikita Tank

Nikita Tank is a Frontend/Backend Chatbot Developer and Data Scientist.