8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


Towards Best Practices for Speech User Interface Design

Bernhard Suhm

BBN Technologies, USA

Designing speech interfaces is difficult. Research on spoken language systems and commercial application development has created a body of speech interface design knowledge. However, this knowledge is not easily accessible to practitioners. Few experts understand both speech recognition and human factors well enough to avoid the pitfalls of speech interface design. To facilitate the design of better speech interfaces, this paper presents a methodology to compile design guidelines for various classes of speech interfaces. Such guidelines enable practitioners to employ discount usability engineering methods to speech interfaces, including obtaining guidance during early stages of design, and heuristic evaluation. To illustrate our methodology, we apply it to generate a short list of ten guidelines for telephone spoken dialog systems. We demonstrate the usefulness of the guidelines with examples from our consulting practice, applying each guideline to improve poorly designed prompts. We believe this methodology can facilitate compiling the growing body of design knowledge to best practices for important classes of speech interfaces.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Suhm, Bernhard (2003): "Towards best practices for speech user interface design", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 2217-2220.