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Voice: User Interface Design [Paperback]

Michael H. Cohen , James P. Giangola , Jennifer Balogh

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Price: 33.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Feb 2004 0321185765 978-0321185761 1

This book is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to voice user interface (VUI) design. The VUI is perhaps the most critical factor in the success of any automated speech recognition (ASR) system, determining whether the user experience will be satisfying or frustrating, or even whether the customer will remain one. This book describes a practical methodology for creating an effective VUI design. The methodology is scientifically based on principles in linguistics, psychology, and language technology, and is illustrated here by examples drawn from the authors' work at Nuance Communications, the market leader in ASR development and deployment.

The book begins with an overview of VUI design issues and a description of the technology. The authors then introduce the major phases of their methodology. They first show how to specify requirements and make high-level design decisions during the definition phase. They next cover, in great detail, the design phase, with clear explanations and demonstrations of each design principle and its real-world applications. Finally, they examine problems unique to VUI design in system development, testing, and tuning. Key principles are illustrated with a running sample application.

A companion Web site provides audio clips for each example: www.VUIDesign.org

The cover photograph depicts the first ASR system, Radio Rex: a toy dog who sits in his house until the sound of his name calls him out. Produced in 1911, Rex was among the few commercial successes in earlier days of speech recognition. Voice User Interface Design reveals the design principles and practices that produce commercial success in an era when effective ASRs are not toys but competitive necessities.




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From the Back Cover

This book is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to voice user interface (VUI) design. The VUI is perhaps the most critical factor in the success of any automated speech recognition (ASR) system, determining whether the user experience will be satisfying or frustrating, or even whether the customer will remain one. This book describes a practical methodology for creating an effective VUI design. The methodology is scientifically based on principles in linguistics, psychology, and language technology, and is illustrated here by examples drawn from the authors' work at Nuance Communications, the market leader in ASR development and deployment.

The book begins with an overview of VUI design issues and a description of the technology. The authors then introduce the major phases of their methodology. They first show how to specify requirements and make high-level design decisions during the definition phase. They next cover, in great detail, the design phase, with clear explanations and demonstrations of each design principle and its real-world applications. Finally, they examine problems unique to VUI design in system development, testing, and tuning. Key principles are illustrated with a running sample application.

A companion Web site provides audio clips for each example: www.VUIDesign.org

The cover photograph depicts the first ASR system, Radio Rex: a toy dog who sits in his house until the sound of his name calls him out. Produced in 1911, Rex was among the few commercial successes in earlier days of speech recognition. Voice User Interface Design reveals the design principles and practices that produce commercial success in an era when effective ASRs are not toys but competitive necessities.



About the Author

Michael Cohen is the cofounder of Nuance Communications. He has played a variety of roles at Nuance, including creation of the Professional Services organization and the Dialog Research and Development group. Michael is a popular speaker and a consulting professor at Stanford University. He has published more than seventy papers, holds eight patents.

James Giangola is an industrial linguist, who designs, researches, and mentors others in creating VUIs that reflect the linguistic features and principles that shape everyday, human-to-human conversations. An innovator in prompt-writing and dialog design, James has ten years of experience teaching languages and linguistics, and maintains a consulting practice.

Jennifer Balogh is a speech consultant at Nuance Communications, where she designs and evaluates interfaces for spoken language systems. She also conducts research on dialog design techniques and holds several patents. Jennifer is a university lecturer and frequent contributor to conferences and journals.



0321185765AB11172003

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive 8 Jun 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book describes a methodology and gives pieces of advice for developing speech applications. The focus is on telephony applications. The book is based on the experience of the authors in developing such applications at Nuance.
The book is organized into four parts:
1. Introduction
2. Requirement gathering
3. Detailed design
4. Development and Tuning
Each part starts with a description of the general principles guiding the development of a speech application. They end with an "applied" example showing how these principles are used in a real application.
The introduction provides an overview of speech technology and an overview of the methodology (requirements, detailed design, development/tuning) used to develop a speech application. This methodology is used as a guide for the rest of the book.
The requirement gathering part covers meeting with the company that wants to deploy the speech application and getting information from them. The same kind of information as for other software projects is required: business case, target customers, environment integration, scope of the system, etc. Two interesting additions to the usual process are:
1. Specifying the persona. How should the system be perceived (serious, funny, etc.)? This will impact the prompts, the selection of the voice actor, and the design of the dialog flow.
2. Specifying the type of interaction: system directed or user directed. The former relies on grammars. The latter relies on SLM and robust parsing. This has a huge influence on design and realization.
The detailed design phase is concerned with designing the dialog flow, the prompts and the grammars. The authors put an emphasis in developing systems that (1) sound good and (2) are efficient. Sounding good means developing prompts that abide to spoken language rules (by opposition to written language) and paying attention to prosody. The sections on prompt design and prosody are very informative. Efficiency is ensured by making the dialog flow nicely. Techniques include thinking in terms of user scenarios, providing shortcuts to common tasks, educating users about efficient ways of using the system. Efficiency is also improved by helping users to recover from errors efficiently. Techniques here include quick confirmation strategies, providing help prompts, and providing access to main menu/operator.
The development and tuning part focuses mainly on tuning grammars and working with the voice actor. Tuning the grammar is done to ensure appropriate coverage while maintaining good recognition accuracy. Tuning must be based on real data since it is difficult to predict how people will use the system. Working with the voice actor is an important part of the system development. The authors give pieces of advice on how to have successful recording sessions.
The book has a nice balance of general principles and pieces of advice that can be directly applied. Compared to Kotelly's book, it has a more in-depth coverage of the topics. Compared to Balentine's book it provides a broader view of the development process as well as more detailed explanations of the principles behind the recommendations. On the minus side, the book is solely based on the experience of the authors. Although this experience is extensive, it seems that parts of the book are somewhat biased (e.g., SLM vs. grammar-based speech recognition, high focus on personas). It is not always clear when the numbers given in the books are based on real experience and when they are invented by the authors for the mock application. Some of the pieces of advice may also be difficult to directly apply in practice, since they depend on using vendor tools.
In my opinion this book should be required reading for developers of telephony applications and providers of platforms for speech application development.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal reference book for UI. 30 Oct 2005
By J. D. Bartolomei - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is probably the most useful book about UI design for speech applications I've seen, very sensible and straight forward, with the right amount of attention given to a good range of topics.

I hate the term 'VUI' because it sounds silly when you say it. Apart from that, this book's a great source for UI workers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Super helpful and interesting to read 3 Jan 2014
By Tarah K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helped me with my job, and the clear, lightly-humorous writing style also made it non-painful to get through. Bonus! The information was organized very well, too.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 22 Jun 2007
By Hans-Peter Hutter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the best book I have seen so far on design of voice user interfaces with a lot of sound examples and pratical advices.
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