In the month of February 2019 I attended Voice Design Course for 6 weeks, conducted by UX Academy and thought of sharing my experience I had with this conversational design course, so it can help someone who is interested to take this course out there.

     I always try to keep myself updated and learn emerging technologies. In recent times, I started hearing about the VUI, AR/VR, AI. Voice user interfaces are something which we already started using in our daily life like Siri, Alexa and Google search, so it has grabbed my interest to learn more about this.

     I have come across this course on UX Academy, and as far as I’m aware, this is the only community who is doing the short-term courses on Voice, based in London. I thought to enrol for this course and see what difference I can bring in the Voice design by learning more about it.

     Prior to the beginning of the Voice Design course:

     Few weeks before the start date of the UX training, I was sent some resources to go through so to get some idea about what is Voice Design, which was really helpful.

      During the Voice Design course:

     On the first day of the course, we were introduced to Stratis Valachis a Senior UX Designer for Aviva Digital Garage and he has taken us through his experience, range of concepts we are going to learn in this course, and we were introduced to Goncalo Andrade a Lead UX Designer who is very good at development skills, he was there to help us if we got any questions. We also have Zara Nowell, a user experience designer from Aviva who taught us about the prototyping and testing skills.
The content that’s been presented in the course along with the examples is very clear and informative.

     We were a group of 12 people in the class who are into UX design, UX research and visual designers.

     They had divided us into 3 individual teams which involves a UX researcher, UX and a visual designer.

     A Slack channel has been created and all the team members were added to it. This helped us a lot in communicating with the tutors and getting the answer on time.

     We have used Google Docs to upload our research findings, sample dialogs. Tutors used to spend a lot of time in going through each group’s notes on Google docs and commenting with their suggestions, this kind of communication from the tutors is massively helpful. Tutors are always there for us to guide through our challenges.

     Each team contains were assigned to come up with a problem/use case, and a solution based on the user research and the personas to create an Alexa Skill.

     My team has come up with an idea about the cooking related quiz with kids, we have allocated the responsibilities among ourselves.

     Initially, we have come up with lots of complex ideas for the skill, but we were guided and challenged by the tutors asking about different scenarios to make us realise few of our ideas may not work within the timelines and the development capabilities we have; hence we were suggested to work on one simple idea rather multiple.

     I should say, we had a great team, someone who is very good at what they are doing. UX researcher in our team helped us to find valuable insights from the customers and she managed to do the user testing with kids of various ages. We shared our responsibilities in completing the tasks and getting ready to present Amazon next month.

     The course content starts from Voice user interfaces inception to current trends. As apart of the best practices, they taught us about basic human to human conversation techniques which is very useful to define the experiences, interaction design patterns, examples, flows, creating prototyping, user testing using the prototype, visual design guidance for the multi-modal (devices with Screens) Alexa devices and the fundamentals of the Skill development.

     Final words about UX Academy:

     I strongly recommend going for this course who is interested to learn about Voice Design.

     Great content, great tutors. It is a lot to take in within the 6 weeks, so you need to put some extra hours’ time to keep yourself up to speed, it is a bit hard part for me considering my other work commitments.

     The process from the course enrolment to the presentation of the project to Amazon, which is the final step of the course is going as planned. You can find the details on their website about the course contents covering the 6 weeks course.

     Looking forward to present our skill to Amazon sometime in May 2019, hope they will like our idea. Compared to the last few years, the Voice Design community is growing, lots of talks and seminars happening in London.

     Check Eventbrite or follow MUXL on social media about the latest talks on VUI.

     Recently, I’ve been to one of the Voice Design events arranged by MUXL
in Amazon offices, London. The talk is very informative and helpful. One of the presenters mentioned, there are lot of Alexa developers available in the market, but there is a scarcity of the Voice Designers, so guys it is the time to learn about this and work on some interesting project on this emerging technology.

      About UX Academy Courses:

     UX Academy runs evening and in-person UX training courses in Central London around UX, Voice & AR Design (Augmented Reality).
For more information on the ux design courses they are offering check out their website –www.myuxacademy.com

Want to learn more about the UX Academy courses- Click Here: https://myuxacademy.com/courses/designing-for-voice-alexa/

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