5 tiny tests to decide if you need a voice app
Voice seems to be one of the most notable opportunities in the market. In the U.S. alone 24% of households own at least one smart speaker (Google/Amazon), which means 80 million potential users.
You’re probably looking at these stats and thinking, ”hmm… I should build a voice app”. Well, the truth is that voice can be an amazing fit for your application, but also a terrible one, depending on the use case or scenario.
So how can you evaluate it? I came up with a fun, easy way to do that whether you’re an Indie developer or representing an enterprise — A game!
Or even more specific — a personality quiz for your app.
Let’s take your use case and put it into several tests, in some tests it can earn points but it can also lose points for others.
- If passed the test, add (+) the number to your total sum
- If failed, subtract (-)
- You’ll find how much to add/subtract in the headline of each test
- In some tests, you can only earn points — those who don’t have a “-” sign in the headline
So let’s grab a piece of paper (or open the notepad) and get started!
#1 The friction test (+/- _ points)
This is the fundamental test for your use case, and it’s just about counting actions — it is that simple.
count the number of actions the user will have to do in a traditional UI. (Web/App)
Subtract (-) it with the number of actions it will have to do in a voice UI
Voice-based interfaces have one big possible advantage — the user can trigger a complex action with just *one* sentence.
For example, using a bank voice assistant:
“What was my balance from December 15′ not including any foreign currency?”
— “Your balance on December 15′ was 1,000,001$ ”
In a traditional UI (web) you would probably have to:
- Google your bank name and enter their website
- Log in to your account
- Choose the balance menu
- Page to December 2015
- Filter foreign currencies
Tiring. isn’t it?
So in a voice UI we counted 1 action, in the traditional UI total of 5 Actions!
In that case, it will be 5–1 = 4 extra actions (!)
- As I said, this is a crucial test so every extra action counts as 2 points!
- As it is the most fundamental test in the process, we’d count each action twice
- In our case, we’ll add 4*2 = 8 points.
To be more precise, measure the “happy path” of your app as well as the “error path” and compare both of them to a traditional UI.
Also, you give a different weight to longer actions such as searching, browsing and sorting, compared to shorter action.