That’s so Me!

Creating a voice experience application for the personality test, 16 Personalities.

Source: NormaticSpoon — WHO AM I? | 16 Personalities


There seems to be a strong fascination in personality tests among the general population. There’s a need to understand who we are and why we do the things the way we do. There are so many personality tests from Myer’s Briggs, Insights and my personal favorite, 16 Personalities. Many people take these quizzes but few go more into depth. This is unfortunate because many of these test provide additional guidance on how to strengthen and improve yourself based on your personality. There’s a quote that says,

“When you know yourself you are empowered, when you accept yourself you are invincible.”

When it comes to knowing and accepting yourself , it takes small and simple steps. 16 Personalities has a lot of material to help one “master their personality.” My hypothoesis is if we created a VUI to help break down all the content and turn it into small measurable goals, users would be able to get more insight and impact from their test results.

I started out with creating different use cases for the voice experience. Due to time, I chose to focus on uses cases for taking the test, creating and assessing a goal, and learning the insight of the day. I then began writing out scripts for each. As I started writing them, I began noticing some possible challenges. These challenges included:

  1. Coming up with an easy to use scale to use in the test
  2. Condensing information as to not overwhelm users
  3. The timing for users to respond to test statements and to assess their goals

Challenge #1

When you take the test online, their scale has 7different levels between agree to disagree. I needed to keep all these levels so users can get just as accurate of result on the VUI as they would online. I felt having a VUI list out a scale of “very agree, slightly agree, agree, etc” would be too overwhelming.

Example of scale used in online test.

I decided to go with a number scale instead. I went with a scale going from 0–6 as opposed to 1–7. I did this because it seemed more natural to have even numbers being the highest degree on each end. I made 0 disagree and 6 agree as this is a common set-up in surveys. 3 was then used as neutral. Having neutral be an odd number as opposed to even helped it naturally stand out. This is beneficial because users need to easily remember what neutral is as it needs to be avoided in test answers to get the best results.

In testing, the number scale was accepted by users but there were some additional adjustments needed in the instructions given and how statements were worded. The scale and the note of 3 being neutral needed to be put last. This is the end-focus principle which states the most important info needs to be listed last.

Final instruction prompt for test and previous iterations with notes on changes.

I also noticed testers were responding quicker to the positively worded statements as opposed to the negative ones. One tester even brought up how it’s more natural to agree or disagree with positive statements. This could easily be done without changing the accuracy of results.

Example of turning a negatively worded statement into a positively worded statement.

By moving the details on the scale to the end of the instructions and changing statements to use positive wording, it become more natural and easy for testers to respond.

Challenge #2

Once a user takes the test and gets their results, they can join the “Academy.” This is where they can learn how to develop their strengths and work on weaknesses. They have an e-book and a full on online curriculum. I chose to focus on taking the exercises in the e-book and adapting if for voice experience.


There was a lot of info given and I needed to find a way to condense this info so it could still be beneficial without being overwhelming. After the book goes over qualities of a personality, it then lists out activities and exercises you can use to develop those qualities. I decided to take these and turn them into a feature called “Goal of the Day.”

The challenge didn’t end there, I then needed to adapt the activities to be suitable for voice experience. After someone creates a goal, I decided to add an assessment they could do which isn’t offered in the book. This works more naturally in voice as the the system persona can guide a user through a meditation.

I created two paths for the assessment. I have the system persona check in on how the goal went first. If the user has a good response, the VUI will continue with the assessment.

Example of going through the normal assessment with previous iterations and notes.

If the user responds badly, the VUI will offer an exercise before the assessment.

Example of going through an exercise to help a user have more success with their goal and previous iterations and notes.

I wanted to include a path if a user didn’t have a good experience with their goal because the purpose is for them to have success. Sometimes goals take a few times to succeed in them but if you keep doing the same thing, your results won’t change. This is why it was important to include this alternate path to help users see where they may be going wrong and how to do better.

The goal and assessment had positive results during testing brought up another challenge.

Challenge #3

The last challenge was getting the right timing for users to come up with and assess their goals. Since the assessment was like a guided meditation, I didn’t want the user to have to tell the VUI to move onto the next prompt. I wanted to allow them to really reflect on their experience. I needed to come up with a length of time which wouldn’t be too long and not too short.


Through testing, the best amount of time to ponder was 30 seconds. Along with the timing, I needed to make the instructions more clear users didn’t need to respond but just ponder. This was easily fixed by changing the wording.


There aren’t any voice experience apps for the big personality tests as of right now. Creating a VUI for 16 Personalities helped provide some great insight into how to successfully create one. Some things to keep in mind are:

  1. Make sure the scale used in testing is easy to remember and natural to use. The scale should allow a user to get as accurate results as they would taking it online. Questions and statements may also need to be reworded to help it be easier to respond.
  2. By taking the exercises and activities and putting them into a voice experience allows for more opportunity. It allows for reflection and the possibility to collaborate with others.
  3. Using voice experience will allow users another way to access personality tests. Many people have crazy lives and it’s hard to find time to work on one’s self. By creating a VUI, users can now take personality tests and do activities while they’re making breakfast or driving.

Personality tests are a great candidate for VUI’s and hopefully more will begin creating their own.

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