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The Power of Voice Search (Part 1)

September 25, 2019 - Stephan Salt

I went to a design conference and a few years ago and never had the opportunity to express my feelings about Voice search and power it has on our society.

Have you ever heard of Voice Search?

In its basic form Voice search is something that allows a user of a product to simply use their voice to command a device to search the internet or interact with an application.

But in the broader sense voice search is using keywords query information available on the internet. Instead of typing queries into a search box you just state them into a voice-activated device.

Voice Search flow chart Fifteen Design

Using your voice to search involves you to be very interactive. It takes several interactions to make the system you are using to better understand the questions that have been asked of it. This is normally what you would do to guess someone’s personality, asking them questions in the right way will give you a better understanding of the person.

Searching without typing allows for greater accessibility without having to lift a thumb. There are many search bots out there however there are 3 main ones that dominate the market.

  • Apple – Siri
  • Google – Home
  • Amazon – Echo

Input into these machines is known as automatic speech recognition and for the output, it gives you the text-speech. In many cases, a device that uses this would have to be awoken by using trigger words.

Once these words have been spoken aloud then the device will be fully reactive in listening out for what you’re asking it to do. Depending on the device and the output skills the device will return the results, all of this can be done without the device having a screen.

Amazon Echo Fifteen Design

So now we know how it works and what voice search is all about, why is the market so caught up on them? Plus, what are these companies (knowing full well they could be listening to us) wanting the public to buy into it?

Convenience is the main draw. It’s easier to ask for information if you’re lounging on the couch or preparing dinner. According to Hitwise (a leading marketing company providing data on visitor trends and search behaviour), nearly 60% of the searches are now performed on a mobile device.

Like I’ve mentioned before, using this kind of technology can get information quicker, a definite perk in this fast-paced society. You’re also able to get reminders added, make calls, write messages via dictation, and even ask Alexa to play your top tracks.

With users becoming more aware of this, it’s not a wonder how people have found voice searching or voice typing easier to use than physical typing.

What’s more, this will only increase in popularity. I think voice search is the next step in the technology evolution. It’s a small one, but it’s massive at the same time so knowing how it all works within UX and SEO can be very beneficial for any digital campaign.

Google Home Mini Fifteen Design

There are many reasons why voice searching technology is such a pioneering piece of digital development. This allows people who are not capable of using a computer to communicate with others faster. It also helps us to communicate with others when there is a language barrier – what I mean is that we can simply ask a device “how do you say “hello” in German?” It should reply with “Hallo, or Guten Tag”.

Other important ways in which it’s something that you might need to spend some time thinking about this market is that more and more people will be able to access more content quicker and be able to shop, browse, buy and even sell through your business using the power of their voice.

Next time I will delve deeper into this matter and look at why search using a voice can do wonders for your business.

At Fifteen we are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with your audience. Contact us now for concerns be they design, digital or development. Our specialist digital marketing team are on hand to offer award-winning expertise.

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