Voice User Interface in smart homes

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VUI (Voice User Interface) connects people and technology. Any voice contact can be described as VUI whether that is asking Siri for the weather, telling her to call a friend, or playing music via Amazon Echo.

VUI is, without a doubt, a part of our usual everyday routine, and we are only now becoming aware of that.

Personalized voice interface helps users to start an automated service or process via voice command. In return, they get precise and speedy information that help users achieve their goals.

Voice assistants have to learn how to deliver data to help the user to get the right information. The entire conversation has to be planned so the assistant can always get the command, and the user will always get an answer.

What's common for design and VUI

As a product designer, my job is to take care of user experience and to optimize the product, so it's easier and more intuitive to use. Those are the main reasons why I wanted to discuss the VUI - voice user interface.

UX design aims to deliver precise and quick information. It's the same with designing the voice interface. Yup, it's true. You can also design the voice too!

The main aspects that VUI designers need to focus on:

  • Conduct research to understand your users. Designers need to understand the entire communication process between the system and the terminal device from the beginning to the end.
  • Take responsibility for making the product prototype and prototype description, describing the interaction between the system and the user.
  • It's necessary to detailly describe the interactive process between the system and the users. It's essential to analyze the data so you can spot the issues quickly. Also, we all need to continuously work on improving the system, because at the end of the day, we will have new data that will help us to understand the system-user relationship.

The benefits of VUI usage and the biggest design challenges

Along with voice commands, the biggest perk of VUI is that all magic happens via just one controller, i.e., via the app on your phone or tablet. So, in order to users to intuitively use the app, the interface needs to be adjusted to their habits. The second challenge is to display all that info on such a small screen.

Smart homes

A smart home uses devices connected to the internet so they can automatize and track systems in one house. By tracking system and processes in one home, users can control how much power they use, how can they save money on heating, and control and monitor the security systems. With VUI, we can control appliances and systems in our home and send commands from any location. Using this technology, people control sprinkler systems and room temperature via their mobile app.

A new study from Juniper Research, the world's biggest center for research and forecasting for digital technology, predicts that by 2023 a total number of 8 billion voice assistants will be fully in use. They will be mostly used for smart TVs, smart speakers, and of course, in smart homes.

By the end of 2018 the total number of 2,5 billion of voice assistants was used around the globe.

The analyst and researcher James Moar who works in Juniper Research on the research and forecasting of innovations in the field of mobile phones and other devices, says that smart TVs and smart displays will be especially important in the future. Their visual contact is something that smart speakers still don't have, and that's the only thing they need to become absolutely perfect.

City Expert and smart homes

City Expert is a leading real estate agency on the market, that embraces new technologies and stays ahead of innovations. The company's vision is to use technology to improve and simplify the user experience. The future of voice design is here and in the same way City Expert changes the way people search and buy new homes, the voice assistants will change the way they live in them.