focus of this month's issue is human factors considerations
for VoiceXML applications. Getting the user interface
of a voice-enabled application right is a difficult
and time-consuming task. Our three feature articles
this month are intended to help you appreciate the major
challenges of writing a usable voice application, and
at the same time offer detailed and systematic suggestions
on how to go about the task.
first article entitled Human
Factors and Voice Applications is written by Ed
Halpern. Drawing on his many years of experience
designing user interfaces, Ed first identifies the defining
characteristics of "good user experience"
and then proceeds to describe the core concepts behind
the user centered design methodology. The article concludes
with a discussion on dealing with application complexity
and error handling.
second feature article is written by Mike
Farley and is entitled User-Centered
Design for VoiceXML Applications. Mike presents
the details of user centered design (UCD) as applied
within the context of VoiceXML applications. The article
provides specific suggestions on topics such as mental
models, designing and testing good prompts, and error
Byrne wraps up our human factors discussion with
an interesting article entitled Turning
GUIs into VUIs: Dialog Design Principles For Making
Web Applications Accessible By Telephone. The article
contrasts the design of voice user interfaces (VUIs)
to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). The inclusion of
a number of audio clips illustrating the good and the
bad, help bring to light the rather subtle issues one
has to be concerned with when designing voice applications.
month in the First
Words column, Rob
Marchand introduces us to the dynamic generation
of VoiceXML documents using web server technologies.
In this area, authoring VoiceXML application has a lot
in common with developing HTML-based web applications.
regular columnist Jeff Kunins has taken a one month
hiatus from his Speak
& Listen column, so this month you'll have to
put up with yours truly. I've answered several of your
questions ranging from how to call your VoiceXML app
with a telephone to a question on internationalization
support in the VoiceXML language. As always, if
you have a VoiceXML-related question you'd like addressed
in a future column, send us email at email@example.com.
Editor-in-Chief, VoiceXML Review
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