An important part of consulting (and creative work in general) is not burning hours on the presentation of the work, but focusing on the content. But as we all know, presentation matters.

You gotta find balance.

二兎を追う者は一兎をも得ず。
One who chases after two hares won’t catch even one.

Photo by Martin Andrle on Unsplash
  1. Play spa music in the bathroom for your guest
  2. Handsfree timer for face masks
  3. Protect your home (learn more about Alexa Guard)
  4. Walkie talkie (for those that have multiple smart speakers)
  5. Playing surprise music for someone in a different room
  6. Get a compliment (say: Alexa, flatter me)
  7. Read kindle books or audiobooks on audible
  8. Learn proper spelling or if something really is a word (scrabble players)
  9. Guided meditation to stay calm
  10. Find your phone! (say: Alexa, find my phone)

There are always times when we don’t know what the right next step is, don’t have the answer, or get stuck. The direction forward isn’t clear. So, how do we deal with this ambiguity? How can we get more comfortable with being uncomfortable?

After all, the job of a designer is to help create the future which is, by definition, uncertain. We’re all used to being praised for knowing the right answer. Yet as designers, that’s almost never possible. We’re consistently facing ambiguity in our work. Some of us may have imposter syndrome. Others have dunning Kruger effect. …

Behind the Scenes of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Voice technologies are one of the big opportunities for brands. But lovable and voice are not yet synonymous. Maybe you see an opportunity or a problem to solve, how do you make the experience lovable?

There are two key aspects to building lovable experiences. The first is that it’s built with love, the second is that it’s built to be loved.

I’ll share with you how we partnered together with Encyclopaedia Britannica to embrace this new technology and create a lovable Alexa skill and Google Home action, Guardians of History.

What Is Guardians of History?

Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Guardians of History, is an interactive voice-activated adventure…

3 Key Takeaways and Highlights

The conference definitely confirmed one thing, voice is a space that is rapidly evolving. It’s amazing how far the tech has come but it’s no where near what it will ultimately be. After a week in Newark with global thought leaders in the space, I wanted to share what I learned. The Modev put on an amazing event. Here are three takeaways after a day of workshops and three full days of sessions, introductions, conversations, and moderating a panel at VOICE Summit 2019 last week:

1. It’s still early

As we all know, voice is delicate. Without thoughtful design experiences easily break. And…

To create and deliver a good product, you must have a vision.

WWDC 2019 showed that Apple is still struggling with the vision for Siri.

Don’t get me wrong; small improvements to voice experiences are necessary and can be powerful. And Apple is making some notable improvements to Siri this fall. But unlike Amazon and Google, Apple didn’t have any big, jaw dropping announcements around Siri or the HomePod. They did share 8 cool new things you’ll be able to do with Siri soon:

  1. Siri is getting a new voice entirely generated by software (no more audio slices)
  2. Apple is…

The more we use voice assistants and the smarter they get, the more we will see screens as frustrating. It’s a natural part of innovation and the evolution of tech. What seems novel at one point, later seems cumbersome.

Getting the news is an example of this. We’ve used a range of methods to stay up to date with the news. From the television to apps to physical papers, each method has unique benefits and downsides. Television allows you to multi-task and apps allow you to get the news when it best suits you. Voice enables both of these benefits.

Voice, while it is an exciting space, can also be daunting. You’ve heard it said, “voice is the future”. I believe that to be true. Voice is frictionless and fast. We speak over 3 times faster than we can type. And technology and artificial intelligence capabilities continue to rapidly improve.

Why businesses are cautious to embrace voice, however, doesn’t escape me. As Bradley Metrock put it in his latest post on HBR, “Much like the web back in the ’90s, voice represents a vast blue ocean of possibilities and potential.” From UX design we’ve learned that infinite possibilities and…

Raika Sarkett

VUI Designer for Alexa @Amazon and UX Mentor with @trydesignlab. All about data informed design, emerging tech, AI, bots, and building @braverytraining.

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