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Your detailed guide through the voice-first revolution. Turning you into an epic voice user experience designer, developer or all-round, clued-up voice-head. Whether you're an individual, an agency, a brand or a newbie, we'll help you take advantage of the biggest shift in user behaviour since the smartphone.

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All about conversation design with PullString's Oren Jacob (Jul 16th, 2018)



This week, we speak to conversation design master, Oren Jacob, about what it takes to create successful conversations with technology.

There are so many complexities in human conversation. When creating an Alexa Skill or Google Assistant Action, most designers try to mimic human conversation. Google itself has taken steps in this direction with the fabricated ‘mm hmm’ moments with Google Duplex.

But does all of this have an actual impact on the user experience? Does it make it better or worse? ...

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How to translate your Alexa Skill or Google Assistant Action with Maaike Dufour (Jul 9th, 2018)

Translating your Alexa Skill or Google Assistant Action is about more than translating the words in your script. It's about translating the user experience. Maaike Dufour calls this 'transcreating' and she joins us this week to show us how it's done.




Why should you translate your Alexa Skill or Google Assistant Action?

The world is getting smaller. Technology has enabled us to reach and connect with people from every corner of the earth with ease.

Take this podcast for example. It’s listened to ...

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How I built the world's best chatbot with Steve Worswick (Jul 2nd, 2018)

We speak to the creator of the world’s best chatbot about how to design Loabner prize-winning conversational experiences.

Steve Worswick is the creator of Mitsuku, the general conversation chatbot that has won the Loabner prizefor the last two year’s straight.

13 years in the making, Mitsuku passed the Turing testand convinced a panel of judges that it’s human over the course of a 20 minute conversation, two years in a row, to be crowned the world’s best chatbot and conversational agent.

It's fe...

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Helping brands bridge the gap with Witlingo's Brielle Nickoloff and Luciana Morais (Jun 25th, 2018)

This week, we're finding out how brands can get started and enter the voice first world of smart speakers and digital assistants.

Me and Dustin Coates are joined by one of the top US voice first agencies, Witlingo. We speak with two Lead VUX designers, Luciana Morias and Brielle Nickoloff, about how your brand can bridge the gap over to voice.




In this episode

Brielle and Luciana share how they guide brands through the process of discovering their voice and establishing a voice first presence.

We ...

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All about Speakeasy AI with the Fresh Prince of AI, Frank Schneider (Jun 18th, 2018)

This week, me and Dustin are speaking with the Fresh Prince of AI, Frank Schneider, about how Speakeasy AI aims to deliver the promise of AI in voice (that’s a lot of AI’s).

How many people truly understand what their customers are asking for? Whether it’s in your Alexa Skill, your chatbot or in your IVR, you can’t hope to serve the needs of your users or customers if you don’t understand what they’re trying to do or ask.


Understanding is the most important first step you can take

Once you truly...

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All about Alpha Voice with Bryan Colligan (Jun 11th, 2018)

This week, we’re finding out how content creators can have their podcasts and YouTube content indexed and searchable on voice, with Bryan Colligan of Alpha Voice.

With the podcast industry thriving and more people listening to podcasts than ever, more brands are starting to launch their own podcasts. Podcasts are a perfect fit for devices like the Echo and Google Home because they provide ambient entertainment, similar to the widely popular relaxation sounds skills.

Two problems face podcast an...

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Voice analytics and Dashbot with Arte Merritt (Jun 4th, 2018)

This week, we’re getting deep into voice analytics and will help you learn more about how you can understand the performance of your voice first experience.

One of the biggest benefits that technology has given us is the ability to understand. To understand whether our latest PPC campaign had an impact on sales. To understand whether our new website increased our leads. To understand whether our pricing tweak made a difference on click through rates. To understand whether our foray into Facebo...

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All about Pindrop, VUI design and VUI tuning with Simonie Wilson (May 28th, 2018)

This week, we take a look at the similarities between VUI design for IVR and VUI design for voice assistants. We also explain what VUI tuning is and why it’s important, whilst giving you some tips on how you can tune your voice user interface. We also discuss PinDrop and voice first security.


In this episode

We speak to one of the world’s expert VUI practitioners, Simonie Wilson, to get under the hood of Passport and figure out what it is, how it works, why it’s needed and how you can use it to...

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All about BotTalk and how to run a voice first discovery workshop with Andrey Esaulov (May 21st, 2018)

This week, we’re digging into how you can create an Alexa Skill using BotTalk and we give you a template for running a voice first discovery workshop, with SmartHaus Technologies CEO and BotTalk co-founder, Andrey Esaulov.

We discuss the importance of starting with a solid use case and how imperative it is to base your voice app on a real-world scenario that’ll add value to your users.

What turns an average voice experience into an EPIC voice experience? Send us your answers and you could featu...

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All about voice search with the SEO Oracle, Dr. Pete (May 14th, 2018)

Dr. Pete, Marketing Scientist at Moz, and world-leading SEO oracle, tells all about the voice search landscape, and how you can rank for searches on digital assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.


This is a jam-packed episode with deep, deep insights, advice and guidance on all things voice search related. We'll give you practical ways to compete to be the answer that’s read out in voice first searches, as well as some notions on the current and potential future benefit that could b...

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All about Voysis and the GUI to VUI transition with Brian Colcord (May 7th, 2018)

We’ve covered plenty of voice first designand developmenton this podcast. Well, that’s what the podcast is, so we’re bound to! Most of what we’ve discussed has largely been voice assistant or smart speaker-focused. We haven’t covered a huge amount of voice first application in the browser and on mobile, until now.


Mic check

You’ll have noticed the little mic symbol popping up on a number of websites lately. It’s in the Google search bar, it’s on websites such as EchoSim and Spotify are trialing...

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All about voice first games with Florian Hollandt (Apr 30th, 2018)

Voice first games are one of the most popular Amazon Alexa skill categories. So what type of voice games are available? And how do you create them? We speak to game developer and reviewer, Florian Hollandt, to find out.


Games are helping Alexa take off. According to Voicebot.ai, Alexa Skill games are the second most popular skill categorybehind smart home skills. Amazon has been encouraging the development of games, too. We've seen the Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids recently and I'd say it’s mor...

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Turning Alexa for Business into a business with Bob Stolzberg (Apr 23rd, 2018)

Today, we’re following the story of the inspirational Bob Stolzberg of VoiceXP, and giving you some deep insights into how you can turn Alexa for Business into a business.


In this episode, Dustin and I are getting into the detail of how VoiceXP came to be, how Bob almost made $14,500 profit from his first Alexa Skill, why voice is such a big opportunity and how he turned Alexa for Business into a business.


We’re also discussing the features that come with Amazon Alexa for Business and some exam...

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How people REALLY use Amazon Alexa with Martin Porcheron (Apr 16th, 2018)

Today, we’re discussing the findings of Martin Porcheron’s study, ‘Voice interfaces in everyday life’. We uncover insights into how people actually use Amazon Alexa in the home. We find unique user behaviour, new technology challenges and understand what it all means for voice UX designers, developers and brands.


Voice interfaces in everyday life

Imagine if you could eaves drop into someone's house and listen to how they interact with their Amazon Echo. Imagine, whenever someone said “Alexa”, y...

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Tackling the challenges of discoverability and monetisation on Amazon Alexa with Jo Jaquinta (Apr 9th, 2018)

Today, we're getting deep into the biggest challenges facing designers and developers on the Alexa platform: being discovered and making money. And who better to take us through it, than one of the most experienced developers on the voice scene, Jo 'the Oracle' Jaquinta.


Speak to anyone who's serious about voice first development and they'll tell you the two biggest challenges facing the voice first world right now are skill discoverability and monetisation. Vasili Shynkarenka of Storyline men...

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My first 30 days as a VUI designer with Ilana Shalowitz and Brian Bauman (Apr 2nd, 2018)

Today, we’re getting into detail about what it’s like to be a full-time VUI designer. We’re discussing the details of the role, the day to day duties and the skillsets that are important to succeed in designing voice user interfaces.

The role of a VUI designer has been around for a while, but it’s not so common. However, with the rise of voice as an access point for controlling technology, this is one of the roles of the future.


If you’re planning for that future and are considering seeking wor...

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Voice first user research with Konstantin Samoylov and Adam Banks (Mar 26th, 2018)

We’re talking to ex-Googlers, Konstantin Samoylov and Adam Banks, about their findings from conducting research on voice assistants at Google and their approach to building world-leading UX labs.

This episode is a whirlwind of insights, practical advice and engaging anecdotes that cover the width and breadth of user research and user behaviour in the voice first and voice assistant space. It’s littered with examples of user behaviour found when researching voice at Google and peppered with gui...

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Hearing voices: a strategic view of the voice space with Matt Hartman (Mar 19th, 2018)

This week, Dustin and I are joined by Matt Hartman, partner at Betaworks, curator of the Hearing Voices newsletter and creator of the Wiffy Alexa Skill.


In this episode, we’re discussing:


  • All about Betaworks
  • A strategic vision for voice
  • Changing user behaviour
  • On-demand interfaces
  • Friction and psychological friction
  • How context influences your design interface
  • The 2 types of companies that’ll get built on voice platforms
  • Differences between GUI and VUI design
  • Voice camp
  • The Wiffy Alexa Skill
  • Lessons lear...

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All about Mycroft with Joshua Montgomery, Steve Penrod and Derick Schweppe (Mar 12th, 2018)

This week, we’re joined by the Mycroft AI team, and we’re getting deep into designing and developing on the open source alternative to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

If you’ve tried creating voice apps on platforms such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, then you’ll do doubt be familiar with their current limitations. Push notifications, monetisation and all-round flexibility generally leave plenty to be desired.

What if there was an alternative? A platform that really did let you create...

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How to create an Alexa Skill without coding with Vasili Shynkarenka (Mar 5th, 2018)

But first, let's welcome co-host; Dustin Coates

We're joined in this episode by our new co-host, Dustin Coates. Dustin is the author of Voice Applications for Alexa and Google Assistant and has been involved in the voice scene since day 1. With extensive experience in software engineering, deep knowledge of Alexa and Google Assistant development and an immense passion for voice, Dustin brings a new perspective and different angles of questioning that, not only technical folk, but non-tech peop...

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