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Author: Kane Simms

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Learn how to implement voice first strategy and create world-class voice experiences with VUX World. Every week, we speak to industry thought leaders and practitioners on the three core pillars of voice: strategy, design and development. We share the deep details of how they do what they do, so that you can do what you do, better.
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This week, Dustin and Kane chat with Nico Acosta, Director of Product and Engineering at Twilio, about how companies are approaching multi-channel conversational strategies.Presented byIf you're using things like Lucid Charts and Microsoft Visio to design your conversational experiences in, you should check out BotMock. Those tools are business process mapping tools, are limited and will disrupt your rapid prototyping capability. BotMock is a purpose-built conversational design tool that'll have you rapidly prototyping and testing in no time.Check it out for freeIn this episodeWe chat to Nico Acosta about how he's observing companies approach their conversational strategy using Twilio's Autopilot platform. This builds on the episode with Elaine Lee where we spoke about Autopilot from a design perspective. This time, we're zooming out and looking at how Autopilot can fuel your whole conversational strategy across all channels.Nico has a fresh perspective on technology architecture, building on conversations we've had with Matt Hartman and Charlie Cadbury and providing detail on how to actually build once and deploy across all conversational channels, including voice assistants, chat bots and phone lines.We discuss some of the parallels and similarities between IVR design and development compared to voice assistant creation, and how the IVR, voice assistant and chatbot industries are converging.Nico also shares some insights into the kind of use cases that are working well, including a chat bot that automatically generates a website for a small business based on a short conversation. Nico also shares his dream application of Twilio Autopilot, which is all about obliterating being put 'on hold' when calling a company.LinksFollow Nico on TwitterCheck out AutopilotBecome an expert conversation designerThe Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.
In this episode, we discuss the Siri announcements from WWDC19, the Alexa announcements from reMARS and the Future of Voice Commerce report.WWDC AnnouncementsAlexa ConversationsAlexa Cross-Skill ScenariosThe Future of Voice Commerce report
After being published in the Harvard Business Review with the article, How voice could change the way we shop, Kane gives a high level overview of the piece in a presentation to those who attended the General Assembly event, Voice Commerce: the future of shopping?
What we discuss in this episodeMeet the expert: voice search and discovery with Dustin Coates:LondonSan FranciscoSeattleGoogle Assistant:What's new with Google Assistant? Announcements from I/O19Google Assistant passes 1m actionsAbout the interactive canvasHow to templates for Google AssistantSchema mark up for how to tutorialsSchema mark up for FAQsApp actions for Google AssistantGoogle Assistant for smart homeMini appsGoogle Pixel 3a and 3aXLEverything elseMicrosoft's voice report 2019Delete Alexa recordingsEcho Show 5Become an expert conversation designerThe Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.
We're honoured to be joined by Amazon Alexa Chief Evangelist, Dave Isbitski, to discuss the conversations that he's having at C-Suite level about how brands should be approaching voice and where it's all heading.Become an expert conversation designerThe Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.In this episodeDave Isbitski is the Chief Evangelist at Amazon Alexa and spends his days touring the world speaking and educating brands on why they should be adopting a voice strategy and how they can do it.We chat to Dave about what he's observing at Chief Exec level within brands across different industries and how he's advising brands to approach voice. We also look at the bigger picture, where voice is heading and what brands can do today to put themselves in prime position tomorrow.This is a key episode for digital and innovation leaders and C-Suite execs as you'll hear first hand from Amazon on how you should be thinking about and approaching voice in your company. From visioning and scene setting to resourcing, planning and scaling. You'll also hear about the opportunities that are waiting for you once you start down this path.It's also an important episode for anyone working at agency level, as you'll see some of the techniques Dave uses to sell voice to big companies and understand where the technology and user behaviour is heading.We dive into details on:Voice in the enterpriseShort and long term roadmap planningThe similarities between voice now and mobile thenHow to get users to discover your skillsConversation designRelationship buildingThe future of voice and how to plan for itLots of you sent your questions in for us to ask Dave, which we do at the end and Dave shares plenty of tips for designers, developers, agencies and creators in this space.Thanks to everyone who sent their questions in, it was a great way to end the show.LinksDave's details: thedavedev.comDave Isbitski on TwitterVote and propose Alexa features: alexa.uservoice.comDave's podcast: alexadevchat.comRecent podcast appearancesHear Dave discuss the evolution of Alexa on VoicebotAbout Dave, his role and Alexa in Canada on Alexa in CanadaDave on what's changed in voice on Voice Summit
This week, we're finding out how Ruby Steel and Will Merrill made Alexa more accessible for Susan as part of BBC 2's Big Life Fix.Become an expert conversation designerThe Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.In this episodeVoice first devices such as smart speakers are often touted as accessible. That's one of the main reasons voice assistants are forecast to grow in adoption and usage over the next 5 years. Voice is the new interface.Whether you're a child, an elderly person or if you have a disability of some kind, voice is here to enable to you interact with technology and connect with those around you.However, as you'll find out in this episode, there are some fundamental accessibility problems with smart speakers. Having to download the app in order to onboard, for example. Even the design of smart speakers themselves can be intimidating for some.As part of the BBC 2 Big Life Fix in the UK, Ruby Steel and Will Merrill of Smart Design Worldwide looked to address these problems for Susan.Susan has MS and requires round the clock care. Even things like changing the TV channel are a challenge for Susan and Smart Design Worldwide looked to change that.Through creating a custom build, 3D printed casing in the shape of an owl, this 'accessibility jacket' made Alexa less intimidating. Inside, were two Echos. One for Susan to address, and that one talked to the other. Why? You'll find out in today's episode.There are also plenty of insights into how to make your voice experiences more accessible. Some of which, like the use of small nested menus, go against the grain of current VUI design thinking.Prepare to be inspired and challenged.Linkshttps://smartdesignworldwide.comSmart Design Worldwide on TwitterSmart Design Worldwide on MediumRuby Steel in Big Life Fix
Become an expert conversation designerThe Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.In this episodeIn part 2 of RAIN week, we're joined by Nick Rovisa, Director, Business Development, and Matt Lang, Strategy Director. The guys share their learnings on the voice industry, including how different clients perceive price i.e. how much should a voice project cost, as well as whether to think about voice from a content or app perspective.We dive deep into the work the team did with Nike in using Google Assistant to launch a new pair of sneakers at the half time interval during a televised Celtics v Lakers basketball game. We look at how the project came about, the lead times, the technical necessities of handling substantial transient traffic and the results of the project on sales.We discuss how through working with Unilever and a selection of influencers, RAIN were able to achieve a 10% conversion rate of newsletter sign ups via the Alexa skill they built. The Unilever project was a 7 week pilot with a selection of influencers in an attempt to bridge the social and voice landscape. We discuss how this new medium caused confusion with influencer licensing and how to get around that, as well as the results of the pilot and what it takes to sustain a content heavy voice experience.We discuss how to measure success and how, for some, starting to gather data to develop understanding is a better option than setting KPIs. We cover how to sell, without selling or being too overly salesy (that's a word).Finally, we chat about what's missing in voice: virality (that's another word). This includes developing our thinking on how to make experiences spread and whether to plumb voice into the mobile and social ecosystem in order to help discoverability.LinksRAINVisit the RAIN websiteSubscribe to the RAIN newsletter (scroll to bottom)RAIN on TwitterRAIN on InstaContactEmail RAIN Things we discussedAdoption, growth and in-skill purchases with Nick SchwabEverything is a remix by Kirby Ferguson
The Conversational Academy is a fantastic online course that'll teach you the ins and outs of conversation design. Prepare yourself for the UX role of the future and enrol on the course today. VUX World listeners will save $100 when you enrol at conversationalacademy.com.Welcome to RAIN weekThis week is RAIN week. We've got two huge episodes featuring the industry-leading and ground-breaking RAIN Agency.RAIN are a dedicated voice agency and have worked with 23 of the Fortune 100 companies on voice projects. From Nike to Unilever, Campbells to Tide creating experiences from utility to leisure to kids and even product launches.In this episodeIn this first episode with RAIN, we're joined by VP Emerging Experiences, Greg Hedges, to discuss how RAIN approach voice with the Fortune 100 and we get into detail on how they built the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill for DreamWorks and Amazon.We share some detail on what's changed in voice since RAIN pivoted in 2015 to focus exclusively on voice. We discuss how brands have moved from more tactical thinking to more strategic and how voice is something that is beginning to impact businesses, rather than be a nice marketing tick box. We also discuss how voice has changed ownership within brands, moving away from the research and innovation teams and moving into the hands of marketing.Greg shares how RAIN has changed and adapted over the years, how the tools they use have improved, how they built using the VOXA framework and he shares some of the secret sauce RAIN use to track and analyse their voice experiences using Google Analytics.We also dive deep into the Kung Fu Panda Alexa skill and discuss some of the technical detail in how it came to be, how RAIN approached the project and what Greg learned from a technical, design and strategic perspective.LinksRAINVisit the RAIN websiteSubscribe to the RAIN newsletter (scroll to bottom)RAIN on TwitterRAIN on InstaContactEmail Greg Email RAINThings we discussedKung Fu Panda Alexa skillThe VOXA frameworkLucid chartsVUI design best practice when designing for kids with Paul JacksonWill Hall and Jason Herndon of RAIN on VUX World 
Kane Simms and Dustin Coates are joined by Elaine Lee, Principal Product Designer at Twilio, to discuss the ins and outs of Twilio's Autopilot bot builder and how you can build trust with users through dialogue design.Voice-Connected Home 2019, Cologne, GermanyThe Voice-Connected Home 2019 conference dives into all this and more with an incredible line up of speakers from brands like Amazon Alexa, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, BBC, BMW, Vodaphone and plenty more.Save 30% on tickets with promo code VuxVoice.Find out moreLearn the art of conversation design with the Conversational Academy online course.LinksFollow Elaine on LinkedInFollow Elaine on Medium Check out Autopilot on the Twilio websiteRead the documentation for Autopilot 
Why do all skills start with 'Welcome to xyz'? Is an 'assistant' the right mental model for voice experiences? Mark Webster of Adobe XD joins us to tackle some of the biggest challenges in voice and discusses how design can play a role in solving them.Voice-Connected Home conference in Cologne, Germany on May 7th-8th. Save 30% on tickets with promo code VuxVoice.Learn the art of conversation design with the Conversational Academy online course.Take some time out with the Moment PebbleAbout Mark WebsterMark Webster is Director of Product at Adobe, focusing on voice integration for Adobe XD. He is also responsible for driving product strategy for emerging technologies within XD. Mark joined Adobe through the acquisition of the company he founded, Sayspring, which offers a design and prototyping platform for voice interfaces.Prior to Sayspring, Mark was Director of Product for Groupon, focusing on entertainment and events. He landed at Groupon after SideTour, an e-commerce marketplace for local activities he co-founded, was acquired by Groupon in September 2013. Mark started his career with a five-year stretch at the National Basketball Association, where he worked in Creative Services.LinksFollow Mark on TwitterRead Mark's posts on MediumCheck out Adobe XDFollow Adobe XD on TwitterListen to Hans Van Dam discuss conversational design techniquesListen to Pulse Labs discuss situational design
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