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Voice assistant apps can go way beyond the quizzes and trivia games.
Being assistive by their nature, they can really help your customers achieve their goals in a fashion much closer to human conversation rather than soulless checkbox-select-type chore we got used to since the birth of websites.

To understand the capabilities of voice assistant apps take a look at this video presenting one of my projects called Hotel Finder. This example runs on Google Assistant which is natively available on all android phones (that’s in a region of 2 billion users).

User Experience

Note that during making this video I actually used a keyboard, not voice (it was late and I didn’t want to wake anyone up) Hotel Finder was designed to work across all media — smart speakers, phones, cars… even smart fridges! …


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Actions on Google — “Usage” section with some filters applied

Hello Google Actions and voice developers! I recently discovered some cool features in Actions on Google console, under the “Usage” section. Check out the video I below exploring filters that allow to get more in-depth data of voice app usage.

By playing around with these filters I discovered few things that I thought might be helpful to other developers who consider building an app for Google Assistant (and think about ways to monetise it too).

Review of usage statistics of Word Chain — Google Assistant word game https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000a90be99931

Observations

Looking at the analytics data of my game called Word Chain (which celebrates 2 years since release by the way!) …


Hey Google, let’s play a game!
Hey Google, let’s play a game!

Thinking about new ideas for a game for Google Assistant, I conducted a little research on the quality of games, currently available to users. All Actions on Google (voice apps, usually triggered by saying “Hey Google, talk to…”) can be found in this directory.

Hint: there’s a FREE download available at the end of this article.

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Access Actions directory on your smartphone by tapping the compass icon.

The Google Assistant directory provides a list of available Actions, with user rating, number of reviews, author of Action and some standard information like description, icons etc. There’s no data regarding actual usage… So for now, the combination of score and number of reviews must be sufficient enough to assess the quality of Actions. …


Over a year ago, seeing a rapid growth of popularity of voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Alexa, I started tapping into their development ecosystems.

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“Hey Google, ask Only One to set me up for a date”

Connecting people with voice assistant

Anyone who remembers the early days of mobile apps can see that there’s a pattern in how they mature over time along with the user adoption.

In the early days of app ecosystems there’s so much uncharted land to claim. It’s a risky business, as nobody tried to build anything on that land yet, but everyone around says it’s a good investment. …


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Ever since voice assistants became a mainstream app on smartphones and smart speakers, they prove to be very helpful in trivial situations.

“Hey Google, play some music”

“Okay Google, set a timer for 15 minutes”

“Hey Google, tell me a joke…”

If you’re one of the voice assistant users, you’ve probably also asked for help with some more complex tasks, such as booking a hotel, buying cinema tickets or help with cooking a dinner.

You might have tried to practice your small talk skills on the assistant too.

Sparking a conversation with an object that listens and responds is a human nature (there’s nothing wrong in talking to a dog, a teddy bear, neither a strange looking speaker). We adapt it, get used to its presence and eventually treat it as a family…


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Sprint book cover

Recently 6 members of our team were asked by our CEO to read a book called ‘Sprint — solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days’.

A book from three partners at Google Ventures describing a five-day process for solving tough problems, proven at more than one hundred companies.

As a User Experience specialist working in digital industry for over 12 years, a concept of rapid idea validation isn’t anything new. …


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For people to do business with you, they need to understand 3 things:

What you do, How you do it, and Why you do it.

Simple enough, yet, when articulated in that order it won’t work. Order matters a lot.

Why — How — What

In the age of instant access to information literally at our fingertips, showing off the features of your products or services, no matter how great they are, is just not enough. You must express the ‘Why’ of your business first. If you don’t know the purpose, or if your business never really established it — you may find yourself in big trouble. …


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Sandy Carter and Kathy Klotz-Guest at SXSW2019

Take innovation, 2 brilliant speakers and mix that with enterprise experience and a large portion of comedy humour — and you have a talk that not only inspires you, but makes you want to take action immediately.

That’s my impression of the SXSW2019 talk: Digital Transformation, AI and an Innovation Mindset, presented by Sandy Carter, VP from Amazon Web Services and Kathy Klotz-Guest, author & Founder of Keeping it Human.

If you have a spare moment (well, hour to be precise) the full-length talk is available on official SXSW website: https://schedule.sxsw.com/2019/events/PP85304

But if you only have 3 minutes, carry on reading. I tried to squeeze the essence of the talk that made the biggest impact on me, from the point of view of creative technologist, innovator and digital transformationist. …


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Recently, being immersed in a lot of “voice” projects, I noticed that there’s a small, but very important misinterpretation in the understanding of what “voice” tech is all about.

The promise is for a magnificent AI algorithm, able to listen and respond to human queries, wrapped in a shell called a smart speaker. Apparently, it’s great for every brand to get involved and build something for “voice” — to boost sales and offer customers the best products. …


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With so much buzz around Voice User Interfaces (VUI), I decided to give it a go and experiment a little bit around it. The idea was to use Voice UI to accomplish something unusual, but accessible to a wide audience at the same time. So, as much as I love all the IoT experiments (such as this one), I had to give up on them, as they require hardware to play with.

It had to be something available online and the decision was made to use our company’s website as a playground.

If you just want to play with it and not read about how it’s made, skip to the bottom of this article now.

About

Marek Miś

Voice Assistants Enthusiast | Designer | Developer | Founder of Veeheister.com| Creative Technologist at Greenwood Campbell | https://marekmis.com/

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