- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (February 12, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321185765
- ISBN-13: 978-0321185761
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Voice User Interface Design
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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.
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Top customer reviews
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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.
The book is organized into four parts:
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 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.