Voice X Design Sprint – Maaike Coppens – Voice Tech Podcast ep.077

Maaike Coppens

Episode description

Design Sprint was greeted by Jake Knapp, and the idea is to build and test a prototype in only five days. A small team works for a week to rapidly progress from problem to tested solution, using a proven step-by-step checklist. Jake describes it as fast-forwarding into the future so you can see how customers react before you invest all the time and expense of building a real product.

The Design Sprint is a method that has been adopted across digital industries to make better product designs in a faster period of time. The sprint goes from a challenge to a prototype for users. The sprint has strength in the fact that it allows input from users from the very start, and the intense period of everyone working together inevitably results in success.

Maaike has been consulting in voice since the beginning. At the start there were challenges because no one knew how much artificial intelligence could do for voice technology. Next, everyone had diverse ideas and team alignment around projects was difficult. Not everyone had the same knowledge, and there was not enough user knowledge.

Because of these challenges, Maaike began to look at the methodology around team alignment and speed. That’s where Design Sprint came into play. Maaike Coppens began doing some Design Sprint and quickly saw it solved a lot of problems, but it did not solve the learning gap or learning gap for participants when it came to artificial intelligence.

The Voice X Design Sprint was borne of these different elements. It is platform-agnostic and takes into account all different variations and domains voice can be a part of. Voice X Design Sprint leverages what voice technology is about, so that people can not only understand with their mind what voice technology is about, what users are experiencing with their brand. Voice X embodies these things through serious plan, through role play.

Maaike describes the Voice X Design Sprint as having a triple-diamond structure, which means that the main elements are understanding the business expectation, the user, and the use case.  A team member will listen to all the research and all that has been brought into the sprint, and then will rolle play and embody all that they have heard and act as a user.

Next is the define phase, where you define which use case you will be tackling, and then you make plans for the rest of the sprint. Next is the “decide” phase in which the team decides how to move forward, the prototype, and then the making  of the prototype happens. Finally, there is the validation phase, where you test with users and validate or invalidate your idea.

It’s important to have a multidisciplinary team for several reasons. Every good design is a work of co-creation. Sprint team members are in touch with clients and the people who can actually build stuff. Without this, it can be a clumsy process moving forward. All sessions are recorded, with notes taken. Finally, voting takes place where the team votes on the best and most valuable solution for the customer.

A prototype can go from very low to very high fidelity. Low fidelity can be the script and sets of dialogue, or a prototyping tool, or the very beginning of a voice application. There’s also an analysis of the work done, and a clear roadmap, with tasks assigned to the team members.

With immersion a session will focus on how people ask questions, how do they really search for products. You need to go into a voice sprint with the research you have done, and ask how people actually ask questions. What questions are they asking that they are not getting answers to through today’s channels.

Quotes from the show

[07:16] Design Sprint is both good for companies, and for end users.

[13:28] Voice X Design Sprint is platform-agnostic.

[19:47] If you live in siloes what happens is that frustration comes about.

[28:00] The “understand” phase gets a lot of focus in the spring.

[59:36] We must ensure this complex thing is worth building.

Links from the show

About the author

Carl Robinson
Carl Robinson

Carl is the host of the Voice Tech Podcast. Since launching in April 2018, Carl has conducted scores of in-depth interviews with voice industry experts, building one of the most well known media brands in the voice AI space.

He also publishes Voice Chops Tuesday, the number 1 voice technology newsletter, enjoyed by thousands of voice tech fans each week.

Carl is a startup founder, product manager and data scientist, and recently presented a model for voice emotion conversion at ICASSP 2019.

To contact Carl, use the links in this box to send an email, tweet or message.

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