StrategyDesignVoice technology: Why Adobe says marketers should focus on user design

Voice technology: Why Adobe says marketers should focus on user design

“Marketers and designers alike need to be targeted in their approach: focusing on their audience’s needs first," says Adobe voice expert Mark Webster, commenting on their recent survey on the rise of voice technology and what marketers should know about using it.

Voice technology is on the rise but do we know how we should approach it as marketers? What do users want and how can we improve their experience?

There are more people using voice technology year-over-year. Alexa, Siri, and other voice assistants are making our lives easier, from home to cars and TVs. Adobe has published a survey looking at the latest trends in voice technology and what users really think of it. We’ve also talked to Adobe’s voice expert, Mark Webster, Director of Product of Adobe, to learn more about these findings.

The rise of voice technology

There is an increased adoption rate to voice technologies over the past years and it also has to do with the maturity stage of the market towards voice assistants. It was estimated that there was an increase of 40% in the use of voice-enabled devices that reached more than 133 million smart speakers in the US in 2018.

One of the key reasons that we see this increased adoption rate is the fact that voice assistants are easy to use.

According to Adobe’s Voice Survey, 94% of users consider voice technology easy to use. Simplicity and convenience seem to be very important and they certainly contributed to the continued growth of voice technology.

We’ve asked Mark Webster, Director of Product of Adobe XD, to share his thoughts on the continued rise of voice technology and what the future could look like:

“Adoption of voice technology will only continue to grow and become a part of every digital experience. According to a recent survey by Adobe on voice interactions, almost all users (94 per cent) consider voice technology easy to use and improves their quality of life. However, users aren’t comfortable using voice technology for complex tasks. I don’t believe this is due to the medium of voice itself, but rather that most complex voice experiences have been poorly designed. As the creative community becomes more involved in driving voice forward, voice-driven user experiences will become easier to use and more convenient.”

Benefits of voice technology

voice technology, what are the biggest benefits for users

When designing a new campaign for voice assistants, it’s useful to remember as marketers what people think of voice technology.

Adobe’s survey found out that the main benefit for people who use voice technology are:

  • Using it hands-free
  • Saving time
  • Convenience
  • Ease of use

Moreover, they also feel that it’s not just about saving time, but also about improving their quality of life.

79% of the respondents think that voice technology contributes to their quality of life and it’s interesting to see that early adopters who use voice technology for more than a year are more likely to use voice commands for basic tasks, such as asking for directions while driving or making a phone call.

The importance of intuitive design

voice technology, what is the biggest challenge for users: consistent recognition of verbal commands

The biggest challenge for voice technology users seems to be voice recognition. 50% of the respondents find it their biggest challenge, with accuracy and privacy coming up next.

There seems to be more ground to cover to improve accuracy and it’s a concern among users that they don’t always see accurate responses to their commands.

What’s also interesting is that 56% of the respondents feel that the process of using voice technology is non-intuitive and needs to be seamless. Intuitive design can be key to even bigger success in the future for voice technology as it can encourage more people to use it on a daily basis.

It’s important for users to feel that they can trust the technology enough to apply it to additional uses and even to increase the frequency of them.

Voice technology is becoming more ubiquitous, which means it’s time both for designers and marketers to come up with experiences that make the most of the new medium. A human-like voice assistant doesn’t seem to be a priority for all users as 49% of them don’t think that voice technology should have human-like attributes like humor or sympathy.

Thus, brands should start thinking of the elements that could get their message stand out rather than designing content that is simply fun or creative. It’s also crucial to focus on the context of the use and when your audience is using voice assistants to improve their experience.

We’ve asked Mark Webster to share his thoughts on the importance of design for voice technology:

“When most people think of voice technology, they think of voice assistants like Alexa or Siri that are designed to seem human. However, consumers are split on whether or not voice technology should incorporate more human-like attributes. When designing, it is critical for designers to evaluate their users’ true needs. For example, a voice-enabled microwave probably doesn’t need human attributes. The way that Spotify has integrated voice technology into their search experience, without any concept of an assistant, is another good example of how voice can be used in a different way.”

What would make users increase their usage of voice technology?

voice technology, what are the top enhancements for current and future use

When thinking of voice technology and its future use, it’s useful to see what people think of it and what they’d like to see next. According to Adobe’s survey, 94% of respondents would like to see improved integration with other devices. Moreover, 44% would like a touch screen component to voice-activated devices.

In addition to these, 80% of users feel that they would use voice technology in a wider variety of tasks if there was a visual element to it.

Another interesting request from 83% of the respondents is having the screen to confirm the command to improve the user experience.

Thus, the key attributes that would make people increase their use of voice technology are:

  • Enhanced capabilities
  • Ensure security of information
  • Screen integration

It’s optimistic for brands interested in embracing voice technology that 59% of the respondents feel that voice technology will better meet their demands in 5 years as the design. Will continue to develop.

What should marketers keep in mind

All these findings can be very useful for marketers who are thinking of the best ways to bring the brands closer to their users through voice technology. Whether it’s advertising or creating relevant content, it’s important to understand your audience and the way they are using voice technology.

We couldn’t help but ask Adobe’s voice expert, Mark Webster, his thoughts on how marketers should approach voice technology:

“Marketers and designers, alike, need to be targeted in their approach — focusing on their audience’s needs first. Understanding who the user is and what environment they will be in while using voice will help determine when and where voice should be used. Brand experiences should be consistent across all touchpoints with a customer, whether it’s on a brand’s website, social media, or even product packaging. Voice should be used to help extend that consistent experience when it makes sense and shouldn’t be seen as something separate from everything else.”


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