One day conference with workshops.

Which session was your favorite?

Topic: Voice Assistants Have Arrived: beyond smart speakers, to phones and smart displays – by Peter Hodgson from Google.

I learned some fun facts of Voice Assistant from Peter’s presentation:

  1. The importance of designing multi-modal conversation: Google Voice Assistant will be available on 500+ devices by the end of . Since it functions across multiple contexts including phones, cars, speakers, it faces unique design challenges.
  2. Not many people currently use voice assistants at work, people prefer to use it when feeling socially comfortable and secured.
  3. 70% of voice assistant requests Google received are in natural language.
  4. “How can I help you ?” should be the default conversational model of voice assistant: it shows user available choices and the screen is the output of user-computer conversation. Such as:

If a user asks: “Find me a restaurant”.

Voice assistant would reply as: “Here are five restaurants nearby, which one do you prefer?”

Slides from Peter Hodgson

5. Cross Surface Interaction Model: Interaction Distance decreases from “Voice only” to “Intermodal” to “Visual only”. For example, you can commend your Google Home from distance by yelling. However, you mostly operate your by touching the phone screen.

Slides from Peter Hodgson

6. You can not force users to adopt “Voice only” interaction method. Users should always be provided with “touch option” if needed.

7. Anatomy of the voice assistant response UI: For example: “Suggestion chips” makes it possible for users to input info by “touch the buttons”. A smart voice assistant will predict the things users want to input during the next steps and provide the content as “Suggestion chips”.

Slides from Peter Hodgson

8. Voice assistant should optimize the information across channels. Voice assistant should only read the most relevant information out to the user and display the rest information for the user to consume. For example, if a user asks “When is the Black Sheep cafe open?”, Google voice assistance will only read out the open time today “5–9:30 pm”, instead of the full schedule.

Further reading: Conversation design guide rules by Google.

How was your Workshop experience?

Topic: Designing for smart homes — Envision scenarios and concepts occurring in the future smart home. 
I collaborated with another 3 designers to work on “smart couch” concept design and it was fun!

Working on the “smart couch” concept with a group at the workshop

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