The summer of Voice UX

CitizenLiteracy and SpeakUnique logos
Working with CitizenLiteracy and SpeakUnique over the summer of voice

I worked on two interesting projects over the last two months. To my surprise, both services operate in the area of voice technology. This is uncommon in my practice; as much as we often hear about the ‘voice being the future of UX’, the technology is still in its infancy. When talking about it, most professionals think about Alexa or Siri implementations. Useful, but with their limitations. Two projects that I worked on lately use voice differently. To be able to influence their development was a privilege.

Voice for learning

CitizenLiteracy is an app designed to help adult speakers of English learn to read and write. As statistics point out, 15% of UK’s population struggles with these basic skills. The app is built around the unique programme of lessons developed by the City of Glasgow College and its partners. The challenge of optimising the app was significant. How to build an interface for someone who can’t read? I engaged in an expert review and ideation exercises to offer recommendations for improvement. Focusing on accessibility and inclusion, I worked with the CitizenLiteracy team to provide them with not only immediate solutions to their problem β€” but a framework for future development. They now understand basic User Experience methods that can allow them to take the idea even further.

As time goes by, our collectively developed ideas should surface in improved app versions. 

Check CitizenLiteracy out and keep an eye on their moves. A beautiful initiative run by forward-thinking people. 

Speech synthesis with SpeakUnique

I’ve heard about SpeakUnique from my dear friends at Euan’s Guide. This innovative service uses AI to generate authentic synthetic voice from samples provided by the user. As such, it is an incredible assistive technology that would benefit anyone who’s gradually losing their voice. My task was to improve the coherence of the journey between the SpeakUnique’s website and their app. I also offered recommendations for improvement to the app itself, to bring it in line with accessibility and usability standards. The voice synthesis engine does an incredible job, and listening to my computer-generated voice is something I’ll never forget.

I am sure that the technology and service developed by SpeakUnique will improve the quality of many lives. 

Here’s what Alice Smith, the CEO of SpeakUnique says about our experience of working together:

Wojtek came very highly recommended from a number of people who I spoke to when looking to commission a UX review of our website and app, and he definitely lives up to his reputation! Wojtek took the time to understand our product, our users and our current user journey. His review and suggestions were both thorough and thoughtful; his findings were presented to the team in a clear and detailed manner, meaning that all his comments came with an explanation and suggested solution. We really enjoyed working with Wojtek and look forward to working with him again in the future.

Alice Smith, SpeakUnique CEO

Visit the SpeakUnique websiteΒ to learn more about what they do. It’s hard to amaze me nowadays β€” but they did it, and I am still impressed.Β 

What a summer! πŸ™‚