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The fears and cheers of voice assistants

Presented by:

Inés Campanella Casas

Voice-activated helpers (VAs), such as Siri and Alexa, have boomed in the past years. It's estimated that more than 200 millions homes worldwide count on voice technology to play music, schedule appointments, look up information and help with everyday chores, among others, just listening to our voice.

 As our relationship with VAs grows increasingly intimate, questions arise on how we can design speakers that truly attend to users' needs and concerns.  Is there a pay-off between the comfort VAs provide and the privacy loss users face? Where can we draw the line? How can we enhance UX and help users navigate their way through VAs and find what they are looking for, dialogue-wise?

We had a chat with users and non-users to uncover drivers and barriers to engage with VAs at home. As a result, we set guidelines to design the ideal VA considering type of relationship, decision-making capabilities and context-based use.



January 2021