The BBC has had great success with smart speaker applications in radio, news and children’s content. In 2018 the BBC delivered close to 20 million news briefings across Google, Amazon and Apple’s voice assistants.
In BBC R&D, we’ve spent the last few years exploring rich media voice experiences. We’ve published interactive stories The Inspection Chamber and The Unfortunates, design guidelines and user experience studies. We’ve discovered that creating high-quality voice applications and interactive media for smart speakers contains a tough set of challenges, which require new kinds of teams and sets of skills.
We’ve also seen a new type of role appear - the conversation designer – which contains elements of a product manager, audio producer, writer and user experience designer. A conversation designer needs to be able to design and script a voice app, but also to manage and deliver the product. It’s a demanding job!
In the face of all these knotty problems, we wanted to bring a panel of experts together to outline some of their fundamental challenges in designing for voice and share their top tips for success. So in February 2019, we invited a number of British voice producers to a workshop to discuss the challenges of creating voice applications for existing smart speaker platforms.
We’ve written a detailed report (downloadable above) from this workshop which is full of best practice tips on how to design rich-media content for conversational assistants. If you are creating a voice skill or application which goes beyond basic one-shot commands, we hope that the report can help you.
This publication is part of the Internet Research and Future Services section