Any IVR experts in the house?

30 Apr 2009 - 11:50am
5 years ago
9 replies
1622 reads
jet
2008

I'm doing a really quick, one-off project for a class involving
interactive voice response (IVR) systems. What I'm looking for is
detailes on one or two really bad IVR systems, or maybe a study pointing
out the N most egregious flaws of IVR systems.

So far g5/Y! isn't getting me anything meaty, just obvious
customer-relations things like, "don't apologize for doing something you
shouldn't do. I'm wondering if maybe there's some IVR-speak that I
should be using in my searches, or if this tech goes by some other name
that I should be searching for.

If you (collective) have any advice/pointers, I'd appreciate them. (And
if you reply off-list I will consolidate responses into a single post or
two.)

thx,
--jet

--
J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09

design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

Comments

30 Apr 2009 - 12:51pm
Juan Lanus
2005

Yes: Roxana Meites!She does it with Avaya, for example :-)
--
Juan Lanus

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:50, j. eric townsend <jet at flatline.net> wrote:

> I'm doing a really quick, one-off project for a class involving interactive
> voice response (IVR) systems. What I'm looking for is detailes on one or
> two really bad IVR systems, or maybe a study pointing out the N most
> egregious flaws of IVR systems.
>
> So far g5/Y! isn't getting me anything meaty, just obvious
> customer-relations things like, "don't apologize for doing something you
> shouldn't do. I'm wondering if maybe there's some IVR-speak that I should
> be using in my searches, or if this tech goes by some other name that I
> should be searching for.
>
> If you (collective) have any advice/pointers, I'd appreciate them. (And if
> you reply off-list I will consolidate responses into a single post or two.)
>
> thx,
> --jet
>
>
> --
> J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09
>
> design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
> PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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>

30 Apr 2009 - 1:22pm
Caroline Jarrett
2007

Jet asked for: advice/pointers on IVR

Best resource I know of is the chapter on IVR, "Designing Usable Voice User
Interfaces", in "HCI Beyond the GUI" (edited by Phil Kortum).

It's by Susan L. Hura who truly is an expert in the IVR space. Her business
is SpeechUsability and she's got a selection of papers at:
http://speechusability.com/?page_id=13

Note: the Kortum book is a hefty, academic tome that is thoroughly
referenced.

Best
Caroline Jarrett
www.formsthatwork.com
"Forms that work: Designing web forms for usability".

30 Apr 2009 - 1:34pm
jet
2008

Thanks for all the replies so far... My deadline is Tue am, but I'll
continue to collect replies after that.

Caroline Jarrett wrote:
> Jet asked for: advice/pointers on IVR
>
> Best resource I know of is the chapter on IVR, "Designing Usable Voice User
> Interfaces", in "HCI Beyond the GUI" (edited by Phil Kortum).
>
> It's by Susan L. Hura who truly is an expert in the IVR space. Her business
> is SpeechUsability and she's got a selection of papers at:
> http://speechusability.com/?page_id=13
>
> Note: the Kortum book is a hefty, academic tome that is thoroughly
> referenced.
>
> Best
> Caroline Jarrett
> www.formsthatwork.com
> "Forms that work: Designing web forms for usability".
>
>
>
>
>

--
J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09

design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

30 Apr 2009 - 1:41pm
Angel Marquez
2008

http://www.paulhibbitts.com/usability-ucd-links.html#Audio

I worked at a place that worked closely with lexicons and asked a lot of
questions during that project.

All I remember off hand was that the lead engineer said I could always get
100% doing playstation karaoke by humming the songs rather than singing
them.

I think the link above may not be exactly what you are looking for; but, it
is a step back starting point. All kinds of good leads on his site.

1 May 2009 - 1:05am
Morten Just
2008

A discussion about application personas (as opposed to user personas)
touched IVRs earlier this year on my blog
http://blog.genstart.dk/2008/11/25/what-would-reality-do/#comment-216751

I googled up some extracts from the mentioned book
http://blog.genstart.dk/2008/12/12/bringing-web-apps-to-life-with-application-personas/

and found it on Google Books
http://books.google.dk/books?id=PI_n2EcJfT0C&pg=PA98&lpg=PA98&source=web&ots=qQRv15P5f6&sig=oc883RhnwqikRlSQFI0JDtLL0qU&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA96,M1

Hope this helps,
Morten

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:50 PM, j.eric townsend <jet at flatline.net> wrote:

> I'm doing a really quick, one-off project for a class involving
> interactive voice response (IVR) systems. What I'm looking for is
> detailes on one or two really bad IVR systems, or maybe a study pointing
> out the N most egregious flaws of IVR systems.
>
> So far g5/Y! isn't getting me anything meaty, just obvious
> customer-relations things like, "don't apologize for doing something you
> shouldn't do. I'm wondering if maybe there's some IVR-speak that I
> should be using in my searches, or if this tech goes by some other name
> that I should be searching for.
>
> If you (collective) have any advice/pointers, I'd appreciate them. (And
> if you reply off-list I will consolidate responses into a single post or
> two.)
>
> thx,
> --jet
>
>
> --
> J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09
>
> design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
> PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Reply to this thread at ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=41631
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Best,
Morten Just
+45 26 999 891
Sent from København, Hovedstaden, Danmark

1 May 2009 - 2:40am
jstanford
2003

Noel's story of that horrible IVR reminded me of an IVR usability study we
ran a few years ago which actually made someone cry and made another user
slam down the phone and say she couldn't take it anymore.

The test involved asking Walmart employees to call an IVR for a well known
investment company and attempt to change the allocation of the mutual funds
in their 401k.

A few things to keep in mind in this crazy study:

1) Most employees that Walmart provided for the study were not aware that
Walmart even provided them with a 401k and had no idea what a mutual fund
is...nonetheless understand "reallocating their mutual funds"

2) The IVR was ridiculous. It confirmed everything three or four times for
no reason making you start doubting your sanity.

3) At the beginning of the interaction, if you chose Path A, this process
might take you 5 minutes. If you chose Path B, you feasibly could still
complete the task but it would take you a minimum of half an hour. It turned
out Path A and Path B did basically the same thing...Path B just did it in a
convoluted crazy fashion. And, initially Path B presented itself as more
appealing.

4) People using the IVR were presumably looking at a statement from the
investment firm for the 401k. However, the IVR used language that did not
match anything written on the statement resulting in mass confusion.

----
You can only imagine the madness that ensued in this study. Let's just say
that the by the end the day the client couldn't watch the train wreck
anymore.

Although I am sure you can draw your own conclusions from this exercise,
here are a few key points:

- If your users is going to be looking at artifacts while using your IVR,
review the artifacts and make sure you are using the exact same language

- Be very clear about each path in the IVR and do not create strange
meandering longcuts to entrap users

- Although confirmations are good for natural language interfaces
especially, do not overconfirm -- you offend your user's sanity.

- When designing the system, keep in mind the knowledge level of your users
and ask yourself if this is really an appropriate use of IVR for your target
audience

1 May 2009 - 8:49am
Greg Petroff
2004

One thing that may help in building IVR's is better tools to do it.

Check this out: http://www.twilio.com/

Super disruptive as anyone can now build telephony with simple web
dev skills, and it scales.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=41631

1 May 2009 - 9:55am
Harry Brignull
2004

I've used voxeo to build IVR prototypes in the past. Free hosting, and you
can dial into a US number (with a PIN). It was very easy to make a push
button IVR in VXML. Voice activation also looked a bit easier than you'd
expect...

http://evolution.voxeo.com/

Twillo's mark up language looks pretty impressive, never tried it myself
though...

--
Dr. Harry Brignull
User Experience Consultant
http://www.90percentofeverything.com

On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 8:49 AM, greg <greg.petroff at sap.com> wrote:

> One thing that may help in building IVR's is better tools to do it.
>
> Check this out: http://www.twilio.com/
>
> Super disruptive as anyone can now build telephony with simple web
> dev skills, and it scales.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=41631
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 May 2009 - 1:45pm
Gabriel Reynaga
2009

Hello IxDa,

A few days ago there was a discussion regarding IVR. I forwarded it to my
friend Michael Halley COO of www.logictree.com a company that specializes in
IVR technologies, he replied with some links if any of them help.

----Original Message-----
From: Michael Halley
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 2:09 PM
To: gabriel
Cc: Larry Baldwin
Subject: RE: [IxDA Discuss] Any IVR experts in the house?

There's quite a lot of useful stuff at:

http://www.gethuman.com/

http://www.speechtechmag.com/

http://www.vuidesign.net/

http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/

http://www.asrnews.com/

Thanks,
Michael

---Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Juan Lanus
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 1:51 PM
To: j. eric townsend; Roxana Meites
Cc: IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Any IVR experts in the house?

Yes: Roxana Meites!She does it with Avaya, for example :-)
--
Juan Lanus

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:50, j. eric townsend <jet at flatline.net>
wrote:

> I'm doing a really quick, one-off project for a class involving
> interactive voice response (IVR) systems. What I'm looking for is
> detailes on one or two really bad IVR systems, or maybe a study
> pointing out the N most egregious flaws of IVR systems.
>
> So far g5/Y! isn't getting me anything meaty, just obvious
> customer-relations things like, "don't apologize for doing something
> you shouldn't do. I'm wondering if maybe there's some IVR-speak that
> I should be using in my searches, or if this tech goes by some other
> name that I should be searching for.
>
> If you (collective) have any advice/pointers, I'd appreciate them.
> (And if you reply off-list I will consolidate responses into a single
> post or two.)
>
> thx,
> --jet
>
>
> --
> J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09
>
> design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
> PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org Unsubscribe
> ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe List Guidelines
> ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines List Help
> .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
________________________________________________________________
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UX Staffing Consultant
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gabriel at bestica.com
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