Voice Interaction Design

Crafting the New Conversational Speech Systems


  • Randy Harris, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

From the voice on the phone, to the voice on the computer, to the voice from the toaster, speech user interfaces are coming into the mainstream and are here to stay forever. Soundly anchored in HCI, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and social psychology, this supremely practical book is loaded with examples, how-to advice, and design templates. Drawing widely on decades of research—in lexicography, conversation analysis, computational linguistics, and social psychology—author Randy Allen Harris outlines the principles of how people use language interactively, and illustrates every aspect of design work.In the first part of the book, Harris provides a thorough conceptual basis of language in all its relevant aspects, from speech sounds to conversational principles. The second part takes you patiently through the entire process of designing an interactive speech system: from team building to user profiles, to agent design, scripting, and evaluation. This book provides interaction designers with the knowledge and strategies to craft language-based applications the way users will expect them to behave.
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User interface designers, usability engineers, and others responsible for voice/speech interaction systems for all types of products--including computer software and other products for sight-impaired users.


Book information

  • Published: December 2004
  • ISBN: 978-1-55860-768-2


"This is not simply a cookbook: Voice Interaction Design teaches craftsmanship through providing a broad and deep understanding of speech as well as exposure to the current state of voice interfaces. Harris's book offers invaluable insights for the thoughtful voice interface designer. " --Clifford Nass, Professor, Stanford University, Author of The Media Equation and Voice Activated: How Humans Are Wired for Speech and How Computers Will Speak With Us "This is that rare book in Human Computer Interaction we all hope for: the presentation of a practical design process for an emerging important area that is carefully developed out of supporting science. Harris's book offers a competitive edge for designers and a provocative framing of problems for researchers in language." --Stuart Card, PARC

Table of Contents

Introduction; Speech; Sound and meaning; Doing things with words; Conversation; Glue; Diction; Crafting voice interfaces; The team and the process; Users, Tasks; Building the discourse model; Agents; Dialogue matters; Scripting; Iterative evaluation; Conclusion-pursuing habitability; Glossary