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Your First Voice App – Hillary Long, Citro Digital – Voice Tech Podcast ep.016

Hillary Long Citro Digital

Episode description

Hillary Long is the General Manager and Partner at CITRO Digital, a digital marketing agency, based in Allentown, PA, United States. Hillary takes us through the design and build process of their first voice app, the ‘Naughty or Nice Quiz’ for children. As an experienced technologist that’s new to voice development, Hillary shares her experience from ‘in the trenches’, and the lessons her team learned.

We discuss content creation for a voice application, including the importance of iteration and beta testing, especially when working with children! Hillary shares her strategy for leveraging existing content held in a headless CMS, and how this was integrated with her voice application. We also cover the Alexa freetime program for Alexa kids devices, the Jovo cross platform framework for fast deployment to both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and the significant differences between the release processes on both platforms.

Hillary also tells us about the creative ideas her team used to market their new voice app, including a competition for an Otterbox Google Assistant cover for kids, which you can enter if you’re quick. It’s a fun and relaxed interview that’s packed with useful information for new and experienced voice developers alike. Have a listen and let me know what you think!

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Episode transcript

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welcome to the voice Tech podcast join me Tom Robinson in conversation with the world’s leading voice technology expert discover the latest product tools and technique and learn to build the boys out to the Future the first lesson would be make sure you’re solving a problem the second lesson would be don’t give up but also really interact with the technology and make sure you have a thorough understanding of how people utilize

hello welcome back today’s episode is cold your first voice app and what you have my conversation with experience technologist but Rose have you come up to the voice industry Hillary long the general manager and partner at citro digital digital marketing agency based in Allentown Pennsylvania United States

7 today’s conversation you’re going to have all about the naughty or nice quiz available now on both the Alexa and Google system platforms the naughty or nice quiz was made by citro digital release as a test of their ability to be able to build a release that first voice scale and it was designed to be something fun something creative I am released in time for Christmas of course I thought of the change in direction of the company from a digital marketing agency Focus solely on web and mobile the one that can also handle all that voice search voice application projects as well so this is my first voice project active because she’s an experience technologist but this is the first time that she’s actually taking part in The Voice project and so it would take 6 to remind me of the lessons learned during the bus for I enter into voice I’m she discusses concentration strategy for a voice application the importance of the attraction in the beat the testing cycle

especially when working with children she she tells us about her strategy that underpins this project which is ready to the make a contender exist on a Content management system at CMS available to voice applications she introduces us to the Alexa free time program which is allows people uses with either an Alexa kids. Or Alexa kids device to use the scale without enabling it first this kid was upset belt on the jovo Crock-Pot form framework I’m so that they could quickly releases scale to both be Alexa on the Google system Platforms in time for Christmas I’m so she totally bad about the the benefits of using our system and we also covered that the differences between the release prices between Amazon Alexa and Google assistant and I was significant differences as well have fun and even managed to squeeze in some creative ideas for a mocking her hiney voice app as well get in front of people before the holiday season

does a really fun relaxed conversation with Hilary at the end as well look out for the device giveaway citro digital giving away Auto boxes which are basically covers for the Google Assistant that turn into a like a Mickey Mouse head I’m so yeah look out for that the end of the show if you do like the show then do please consider leaving a review on iTunes you’ve been listening for a while now and you like what you have. You can come pick me up or just going to voice chat podcast. Com iTunes I takes 30 seconds you can just leave it with you in a comment I really appreciate it because that house other people find the show if you really like to show you can even consider becoming a patron donating special is $1 a month just go to voicetechpodcast.com / donate

okay so in other news I release some learning resources so it’s very pleasant to today’s episode in fact if you’re thinking about building a voice assistant scale application Google action I even a Siri app that says it’s enabled with with Siri cat then I encourage you to check out some of these udemy courses that I’ve am I published on my website that basically I’ve been taking a selection of the best online courses that help you learn to Belle voice applications for Alexa Google Assistant Siri how does he want to chat box on this one on JoJo is well we have to do is go to voicetechpodcast.com / courses I’ve basically selected for the best courses on udemy for each of those platforms I’m each of them takes around 3 to 10 hours to complete so you could easily complete a whole course over the Christmas holidays and I thought you were on voice typing that time

on my page that says details of course reviews syllabus details except for the price because his wife and written by industry leaders is why I was real practical experience designing and building the voice technology you didn’t like that very high quality training from from experts in the field and the closest do I select a roasted very fresh as well that they have a Alaska updated day of right now it’s in December 2018 I’m so you know you’re getting that the bright lights at night so I told you to come and have a look right now on udemy that’s a Christmas promotion going on as well so we’ll the courses I would choose from at the same price though any around $11 I’m so while they are affiliate links and I got some more walls after you click it doesn’t really it doesn’t cost you any more than normal and so I can take a look out.com slash courses

I posted on a page on the the best books to to Let It Go voice applications I started with just just one around up for the best books on that conversation and I was going to research topic this right person into the design of voice applications in at 1 that’s very well known in fact I thought she got us episode coming up on that but basically conversation analysis balls are the size of 10 taking I knows I have a choice of words into my kid fact the action taken by the user I had to talk book on that list it’s cool talk the science of conversation by Elizabeth dokko I was just been released like I said I’m coming up and it is with Elizabeth but if you’re looking for a Christmas present then head over to voicetechpodcast.com books and pick up pick up Elizabeth book or one of the other ones left that I’ll be publishing more round up some of the best books on different subjects that does a particular topic but you have in mind that you want to know

more about the night and then just drop me a line on on Twitter or email and I’ll be happy to do the research into that Hillary long

so I’m here with Hillary long the general manager and partner at citro digital a digital marketing agency based in Allentown Pennsylvania citro just released the naughty or nice quiz an application on Alexa and on Google assistant and it’s very timely because their Christmas is just around the corner so welcome to the show

wow thank you so much for having me today we are very excited to be a part of the show I believe just made your first foray into the into the void space I creating this new naughty or nice quiz kind of his approval comes out to his other way to to learn how to learn the ropes I’m so I think how your experience is Super Bowl event to a lot of people trying now moving from our Mobile in that weld to the voice wild as hell yeah I’m really excited to hear about your experiences and lessons you’ve learned along the way

absolutely we are glad to share but before we do can you just give us information about you’ll backgrounds and wait wait while you’re from in a bit about the company in and the team is well solutely so I grew up in Southeastern Massachusetts actually a small town called Plymouth most people will probably be familiar but that as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday are there you know it’s one of the biggest days of the year but I have always had a Fascination for storytelling news writing reading so that let me down a path to become a part of the communication space I went to school for journalism at Penn State and I’m continued in a crafting passing away to develop content there and moved into the world of digital about 11 years ago so I’ve spent a majority of my professional career

working on and web development search engine optimization some other digital marketing efforts marketing Automation and I really have a well-rounded holistic view of of digital marketing in the space that were in so I would say that over time I have learned that there’s a meter Chef happening in marketing being a marketer today is extremely challenging technology is outpacing our ability to sometimes keep up as marketers so we you know set set a goal that we really wanted to put together a company that would help provide solutions for customers that are at a Crossroads between marketing and technology so that’s a big movement that’s happening in our space so we really want to enable our customers to be able to be Savvy on the technology side to use technology

help make marketing easier on how to make marketing smarter so that’s really as an agency one of one of our main goals are tagline is both Brave and Brilliant so we really do want to always bring those three aspects to every project that we do on his company we are a small but growing team so there are currently eight of us we are split between developers and that would include any front-end visual design as well as content on the content marketing side we have a team that works really hard together everybody respects both sides of the process so that’s something that I think is very very unique to us and something that we’ve worked very hard on Austin & company’s you see development and content and design kind of butting heads but we really find ways to leverage each other

where is unique skill sets and talents and bring it all together to just really solve problems because at the end of the day if we can solve problems at our clients are having on it’s a good experience for us and a good experience for okay so do I get this comes under the demotic binder then the marketing technology you’re saying that the role of them up to these days just made a lot more difficult or Islam or, at least by the introduction of all these new technologies voice in particular I should businesses pay attention to to voice assistance right now in and how is that change things for the monkey toes challenge right now with boys in something that we’ve been having a lot of discussions around is that it’s really in its infancy so there may be a lot of listeners who are very familiar and intimate with voice but as it trickles down into a medium sized business you know maybe maybe at a healthcare business or somebody at that medium medium level I voice is definitely in

New Frontier so the idea of how to use it how to adopt it how to use it to solve problems out of there currently having that they never imagined could be solved without a visual component I think this is a huge and tremendous opportunity one thing that were looking to do to help our marketing Partners in a very efficient way is we’re looking to make their content available across as many different devices and channels as possible creating content is a very challenging aspect of any marketing department it’s where majority of the friction lies within any of the projects that we do especially on the web development side so we can get clients to start creating my content I’m using it across multiple devices you know and utilizing boys and understanding that there is an application that is brand new to them out of self

I think that that’s kind of the path were looking a forward you need to you need to be at the brand weather uses on and as we know voices the fastest is it up to tadka in history so I’m yeah it actually makes sense that you too. Your clients be on the on the voice that phone as soon as possible as well we’re going to get into the details of like what it takes to build one of these voice apps for we do have an example of what we can carry through that the rest of the show that took about that the boys something that you just you just said about been naughty or nice quiz I’m going to tell somebody about the quiz what it does and and white belt at very inspired to build our first choice application release of concept as you had said one thing that made this challenging is that we didn’t actually have a problem that we needed to solve so as a team of problem solvers we were really coming up as for my creator

single and developing something that you know isn’t necessarily something that anybody is looking for some really our goal was to create an application that kids and families could use throughout the holidays that would just provide some sort of interaction interaction that was a different experience that maybe they have never had and you know we were also inspired by our children in our own lives who use the Alexa use the Google home actually a conversations with these devices and it’s really fascinating to watch and to see I’m it’s a whole different type of interaction so our application is a quiz it is a quiz that you can play on the content is dynamic asked children are different questions about other behaviors during that day so have you brushed your teeth you know choose between choose between I’m doing something good and doing something bad but will you choose and so it was a really long time to get here we have been work

on it for the past 6 months are we actually started with several other ideas that you know as we get into this we can discuss why those ideas didn’t pan out because that was an important part of the learning process but in the end we wound up with this this wonderful quiz that I think will really help reinforce positive behaviors we’ve been seeing that happening as we receive videos from our children and their families and feedback because they really think that they’re talking to you no Santa or an owl for somebody that potentially will spread this message I think that’s kind of that text message section going on they were told they would get coal and you know it turned into like an all-out you know sort of turtles turtle temper tantrum

some instances which is which is not a bad thing you know sorry I’m like Rambo it I’m like rambling out of that you can be telling kids are going to get coal for Christmas without backing up

we built in a system that will weigh the answers so you’ll be given 6 questions on there either yes or no or they’re more like a situational analysis where you say you know choose between good and bad and if they get enough. Sore nose and actually will tell them there’s potential for cold to be coming up over the holiday. Solutely so so if you if you make the right choices and you say yes and you and he picked the right path and it’ll tell you that you know very good job you’ve you’ve been wonderful this year you can look forward to it you know what her for Holiday otherwise you know you better start paying attention but it’s in a very positive way so we’ve actually received feedback that we have children that are playing it on a daily basis we actually received a wonderful he back that said my child wants to play it first thing in the morning because at that point they haven’t done anything bad yet

flashlight and I’m like feather outsmarting actually just had the Opera. For Alexa free time which is really fantastic and something we’re very proud of that means that anyone who’s using Alexa kids dot or Alexa kids device can actually use it without enabling it and say it with the specific kids kids devices supposed to the consent is implied because he’s giving you a kid’s one of these devices so they can and I both like it they can use it but if it’s not and I don’t just a device then the parents have to go through some extra that’s about right through the questions and they have identified the app is being safe or children so that is something that we’re very proud of I would have to make some revisions just so everybody’s aware you cannot say poop emoji in the Alexa kids store so that was a question we had to I remove but we’re very proud of. That means our

application will be available to more children have to go to the app and an authorized old kids scales I think I was just a setting to turn able old kids go that wasn’t specifically for that for that 100 profit was how to call to pay on the lights right when I can’t allow and it took me to the Gwinnett like a general settings page where I just said unable kids scales which I seem to apply to old kids scales is is that right or do you do it on a pustule basis

you can do it on a personal basis that’s what we’ve been asking people to do all that is how we have been directing them you will need to put in a credit card if you don’t have one. Attached are there is no cost for the app it’s just a part of the Alexa functionality we’ve actually found that we’re heading a little bit of resistance with the Alexa device that was not anticipated we are having a much higher adoption adoption rate with the Google home users on Google home and 200 on Alexa or app has been out for about a week and a half so pretty happy with that quick adoption rate the expected we thought if we could head up thousand by this week we would be in good shape but we’ve already doubled our goal so we’re very happy with that Google to Alexa

what’s going on that I didn’t have a theory

yeah so actually I definitely have it. I think that there is a quicker adoption in the US right now of the Google home devices that’s something that I’ve been reading and following for a while or something. We learn. The voice I’m at the summer was the age difference between how the two function I think Google in the u.s. is something that people use so frequently and are comfortable with I’m just not shocked to see the device picking up steam using our app specifically on Google is much easier you don’t have to enable anything you don’t have to jump through any Hoops you can just simply use it on Alexa it’s a little bit more difficult you have to take some actions to unable to scale and I think about is definitely a difference that may be changing the wait at work were interacting with these devices scale

naughty no fun at play that it is not it’s not solving out you know bunny need an immediate pressing need is kind of an Impulse to things like yeah let’s have a go if there’s like three or four steps of alternate Lee and I have to enter a credit card number and everything else that’s why I don’t forget it into the demo can come here at

nice quiz

welcome to the naughty or nice quiz are you ready to find out if you’ve been good or bad this year


okay let’s get started just answer these questions honestly to find out if you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list do you like Christmas music

do you enjoy helping your parents decorate for Christmas do you put out cookies for Santa


when your parents reading a bedtime story are you happy or grumpy happy

would you rather ride on Santa’s sleigh or Tinkerbell from him

Brian Sanchez play

sorry did you say ride on this lady or take a bell Ryan

sorry slay

sorry did you seem rather put out cookies for Santa or eat the cookies for Santa

sorry did you say put out the cookies or eat the cookies put out the cookies

you’ve been a superstar this year you go out of your way to help your family and friends keep up the nice work

so she’s got the answer she was looking for but she comes back for a second opinion


or nice quiz

welcome to the naughty or nice quiz are you ready to find out if you’ve been good or bad this year

okay let’s get started just answer these questions honestly to find out if you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list do you believe in Christmas magic

do you enjoy winter time

would you rather build a snowman or have a snowball fight

the Snowman

do you like building blanket for yes

do you enjoy helping your parents decorate for Christmas

do you like Christmas music

looks like you made the cut this year and made it to the nice list keep spreading holiday cheer and helping those around you and you’re sure to stay here you just had the the demo of of the naughty or nice quiz down to the design to go prices then and so could you could you just woke up breathing that the prices that you took in Newark New Jersey this past summer like I said we left pretty inspired we started with just wanting to come up with a frequently asked questions about Santa we thought that kids had definite burning questions they wanted to know everything about him so we had a Christmas in July party here at our office will you put on a Christmas tree and fun lights and bake holiday cookies and for a whole day we sat around and developed all of these frequently asked questions

that we thought for sure tildren wanted to know so after we we did that we went ahead and we actually started the building process so we were able to build out beta using the frequently asked questions and we soon found that there were many many challenges a lot of the challenges that we first experienced came in the actual content writing process as far as how to position content so that as somebody ask the question it would be picked up properly we ran into many many challenges there many challenges in the difference of of languages and words and phrases and that was something bad enough in deciding all the different ways someone could say one particular thing it is that right what will they call the example I cancel it

we were looking for resources on that and there wasn’t a lot of information out there we really couldn’t find anybody or any any published information that would help guide us through that process so a lot of it was out trying and failing on our own we got through building that part of it and then it came to naming it when we went to name it we have to change the name multiple time one of the challenges yeah one of the challenges we ran into on the Alexa device specifically was that if you had multiple apps enables on your Alexa device and they were named similarly Alexa really couldn’t make a decision as far as what app you were asking for so that became a challenge for us we finally did get that FAQ product into beta and all the first thing we found was that kid’s the really really the only thing kids want to know about Santa’s where he goes to the bathroom so all right

are 300 questions really ended up being a total flop and I would say that I’m very proud of my team for the fact that they didn’t give up all that we kind of met that challenge head-on and said geez you know what else could we do with this we have this great content how can we use it how can we make it interactive so we ended up spending a lot of time playing other games are talking to people who actually were using the devices in their home in a kind of backing up and going back through the through the marketing aspect of it to say you know who are users what are they doing and it was it was interesting because we’re so used to doing that on the marketing side and we’re so used to doing it on the web on the web development side and we just kind of like skipped that stuff you were so excited like Ohio first into this problem you solved the problem between

it’s not easy and a lot of our own sort of internal and challenges and and and the whole thing was that we were learning this new technology and as a company that generally has a lot of visuals involved in what we do it was extremely challenging to make that transition and say how we bleed people with our voice to a place where they have this experience we we know how to build a web experience we’re really great at that we know how to build a social experience we know how to build you know an experience on a mobile application but how do we get people to have this experience with just using her voice it just listening so we went back to the drawing board we ended up coming up with the book the quiz we thought that would be really fun keep it short keep it simple you know after that they’re good or bad because this is the time of year that they really want to make sure that they’re good because they want all of the presents so this actually just came out of my team they said hi we think we have we have a solution

and they ran with it and so on the building side one of the early decisions we made was we wanted to make sure this was cross-device so we could spend a lot of our time focusing on Alexa we were seeing these reports coming out that Google was really starting to grow on its user base so we made the early decision that we were going to use a framework that would allow us to fill out the application on on both devices using one code base so that was something that allowed us to move very quickly and with that the Java framework what was it was it that these or something else that the price at this interesting story of science that you started with dark at the FAQ idea what just like it could ask for anything that’s okay I don’t understand you you refine that to that the quiz idea which is more

structured Q&A so you were defining of what it is that you know they were going to respond to her as opposed to something more at the end it’s you restricted to the domain of things that they could say by today and then I guess that comes inside Okay so

okay listen is listen up if you’re thinking about building your first voice application then now the time to put your plans into action I’ve done the hard way so you don’t have to and research my selection of the best online courses Atlanta belt voice applications

head over to voicetechpodcast.com courses why you find the best Alexa courses the best Google actions causes the best Siri courses even the best chatbot development courses East Coast takes between 3 and 10 hours to complete so you can easily complete whenever the Christmas holiday have felt your invoice out because I selected also very fresh so you know you’re getting the latest techniques all the courses around udemy which has a Christmas promotion going on at the moment so many courses are running around $11 for a limited time

to go check out voicetechpodcast.com courses and start building your first voice out today

now let’s get back to this amazing episode

Oh and before it we got tonight I want to talk to her children involved so I children became involved as we got closer to the beta and really after we realize that our initial idea was just not going to pan out one thing that we always joke about here because of something we run up against especially on the visual development side is that there’s there’s a funny episode of Silicon Valley that we always refer to and which they are I don’t know if you’re launching the a product and one of them says you know I don’t understand why this isn’t working I sent I sent out a beta test like I had all these users to access and they’re all sitting around and they say I could you send it to and he’s like all of my engineer

we kinda kind of weather the same thing we were all testing internally we’re having our adult friends test it on but it wasn’t until we really started to pull children into the process that we saw that we’re kind of the magic of what we had created it was it was really wonderful and actually we started to understand the difference and even the age groups of the children that were interacting with the device so we found that some of our questions were too complicated for a user between the ages of for insects and some of them are just kind of too easy for the older user but overall we came up with a nice Dynamic Max at keep both of those audiences engaged and so that was something that we learned through the beta testing and that was absolutely crucial eye thing to know how we got a final product but very briefly how did you run the the feedback sessions with the kids I must have been interesting

we put them in rooms actually just kind of one of us was standing there and watch them interact with it of course they always have their parent or adults there as well but it was very interesting that when they would when they would get a question and which are they were about to lie by they would often look at their parents and their parent would say tell the truth so it was yes absolutely was it was a very interesting but we just kind of said to them you know what do you want to play this game and it’s going to tell you if you’re on the good or bad list or the naughty or nice list and they would stay up there we said yes and it was it was just very easy I mean obviously they want to know where they went they didn’t know in advance what my apps going to say anything if you don’t tell him to kidnap you been naughty or you just getting coal for Christmas I said they cover

absolutely I think we just you know we were very clear that we built this to make sure that I always call it clean and wallet so there was nothing I found those poor children I’m on there and then what we are experiencing between between Alexa and I’m Google Nike I know we’ve talked about that the traction need had sense but in times of Doubt she’d building folda Tupac poems was that was there a big difference or because you’re using what’s a good time. Guest account on to it to drive on the cross platform then because you use your building on one card Dyson and pushing out to do both of those platforms was that much of a difference would you still have to the bad the idiosyncrasies to be platform in mind as as you would design

now actually there wasn’t that much of a difference at all it was very very simple and N Easy for us to build a cross. Org so are the major challenges or differences we saw it actually came when we were trying to publish the applications when we were trying to receive approval to promote the applications that’s where things became a little more challenging and the rules became a little more a little more fuzzy so I think that I think you know as far as the building part was concerned we were okay there but on discoverability aspect we ran into out challenges

so I’m on the Amazon side you have to get permission to use you know any Amazon collateral prior to to using it so we have to go through that process which was time-consuming actually me my images will say that sound effects of a lot of the application to an Amazon smile and pain on because we wanted to make sure we were also doing something positive with this launch and giving back and we ran into some challenges they’re just getting approvals and going through that process so I would say to anybody who’s planning on releasing any sort of application through Amazon just make sure you give yourself enough time on the Promotional and on the market on to account for that that was something that became a little bit sticky at the end I’m on the Google sign it was super easy so they were very quick. I got back to us very quickly the approval to get in

Google The Google store I’ll call it happened pretty quickly Amazon went into way more detail they were very picky about the questions they’re very picky about I’m making sure that it was appropriate for children like I said we could not use the word poop emoji we could not reference yellow snow yeah there were a few things that they made us remove an absolutely fine I really want this fat to be effective so that was more in the promotion side on the development side one choice that we made early on was to make sure that we were utilizing Amazon web services actually host host the application and that really was so that we didn’t have to go through the vigorous Security checks that bold Amazon and Google have in place so if you host or skill you know code outside of Amazon web services you have to go through the amazon security

process which is very time-consuming and you know for this self-promotional sort of application that we built we didn’t feel that it was necessary to do that on the client side hurt discussions were having we will have to build it up you know outside of of that so at least now we are very familiar with the process and Shoreline security probably saying these things if you’re if you’re hosting outside of the Amazon know the Google that environment but you avoided all about by just using iwi and what was your experience with Joe then tell me about that

it was great we found a very easy to use like I said we have web developers here and they found it easier to utilize that then we have previously thought that framework would be so overall we had a very positive experience. The one thing I’ve had is that because that that playing catch up with the the main features of Google and Amazon if you want the absolute cutting-edge stuff you’re not going to get it straight away on Debbie have to wait for them to implement at I’m by cussing in your case that wasn’t that wasn’t restriction anyway

doubts that was enough for what we’re building right now so we didn’t have any issues with that it was easy to use but interesting that you bring that up because I was we were looking for service system I see a mass that would allow us to edit content we did run into some issues there as far as a Content Management Systems being all ready for that sort of challenge so that was something that we didn’t anticipate running into

I’m to handle some of the request that we had two out of content and make the content logical so we were looking for a Content management system all that would allow our continent or static content on the Fly for the and so we ended up choosing content. Lucia mouse that allows us to have quick access to the actual application and it was interesting because we have started working in a headless content management system what does that mean by so I can talk to multiple devices in channel so that sort of where all this is going on the web side that was one of the decision-making factors for us as an agency to get involved in voice because

as we know that our content can live on a headless CMS and feed voice device I can feed a website I can feed a mobile application so that was very crucial to us even starting down this path

Sobe I had already been working with kentico Cloud which is our preferred headless CMS for this project we wanted to try another of a CMS so he is on the phone so we already were working with audit I post system and that the coast of the development process is why what other results is to do to Define helpful I’m thinking but so videos to take out your team up to Spade or if you sent them on any training courses or 20 events what was the prices light to to build your own the team to to build this side this post office.

shark so we have been 100% focused on voice for almost this year as far as all of our discussions we did attend the voice Summit and Newark New Jersey this was a wonderful conference it was 3 days long it was jam-packed 825 sessions for developers as well as marketers it was an absolutely fantastic experience we learned more than we could handle in those 3 days since we are very very active I’m on Twitter following a lot of different people who are sort of leaders on the on the boys side we consume many many articles and logs and your podcast of course as well as a few others I’m so it is a constant part of our dialogue it is a constant part of every conversation that we have it really does

is sort of the direction that we’re taking my company in right now to the other project so used to working on on on web and mobile

so I would say that while the base skills and knowledge are the same time so you have to call the person and you have content writers I would say if using a different part of your brain all that you maybe have an exercise. So the idea of I’m not having that visual aspect to drive people and engage people is a challenge we actually did have our visual designers sit in on all of these sessions because they understand user experience so that was very important I would say that it really came down to a whole new way of thinking a whole new way of

I don’t even know how to say it was just it’s like so radically different what did you try to do try something that is always what the weather Mobile. Just didn’t want the toll invoice for instance

you know I think it was really cutting out of that visual piece was was the most challenging part so much of you know how we build a website really is focused on content first so that part’s no different the voice application is absolutely content first but then we have that visual aid that helps derive the content so when you take that away and you lie on just what you hear and not what you see I think it just changed the way that we even structured are content in the way that we raised our content when you have visual aids you you may not have to be as descriptive but when your chest listening it really changes what you’re saying I need to find language to describe things that you’re saying but if your old saying the same thing so you can know this guy that but when you talk about things that you’re hearing how you have to come it’s a lot more ambiguous and you have to enter the the uses mind a little bit more

imagine thickening of the way that I can interpret these things and another thing I had was that when working on a project so anything to do it sound have to Define them as previous guess the answer to find that the language with what you’re going to describe and the things they are discussing all the things that you’re designing and that’s not as clearly defined for the voice and audio is it is for the visuals and so I imagine just within your team discussing your ID or your various ideas in and then trying to describe all that the user is experiencing what you want you to experience would be ya be more challenging but you don’t have that common language to do it to do so

what would we do baby that things that was out but what did you do to it before we were even ready to test so we actually stood up as doves instance and tested utterances and different questions right from the start that was one of the first things that we started doing and that gave us a real Clearview I’m in into into how the device worked we thought we knew how it works we thought we understood it we thought we all use you know use these devices we see them being used but until he started in putting the content and really listening back kind of felt like we were operating in the dark

absolutely the people designing that these products have less experience using the mobile we’ve been in a more than a decade now typing and I’ve taken in typing so I’m all right so then I took him out content creation before in the end the CMS not the whitest or that the content and deliver it to a different channel is what my voice but what about the actual creation of the consonant sound how did you actually I did not seem right the things that you may know you would you thought would be engaging and then how did you get right on that placed on the that they use a feedback and of the focus of the kids Exedra

so we sort of went back to how you would write sentences as children and how you would diagram a sentence and kind of understanding that you can use multiple words to mean the same thing I became you know pretty crucial to the overall content writing a process one of the challenging part was that we would I write a question and maybe we had it saying you know something with the word too but Alexa would pick it up as to the number not to TL on my way to throw the entire question off so we really had to go through and test every question thoroughly not just from the listening side but also how we were entering the content into the system so we really really learned a lot through that process and then on the flip side I once we have that you know that aspect figure it out it really

down to how we were matching answers to the questions because we ran into some challenges where I may answer it one way and you answered another way on somebody else answers of the third way so we had to be really broad with I’m how we match the answers to the questions and that was something that you know it’s just an iteration it was just a learning process it was just a matter of testing testing and testing again it wasn’t until we all went home I think it was one weekend and I said everybody this weekend bring home Alexa bring a Google home you know if you don’t have them in your house and I we all brought the devices home and we all tested and we kept in the error log of all the testing that we were doing so it was feeding our slack Channel and all these errors were coming through and we’re looking at them and that’s when we really started to identify the content problems that we were having it wasn’t the functionality it was in the technology it was the content

going to have to release that you just got all these things okay that makes sense alright I’m moving on to that the marketing side of it then once you’ve got the scale you’ve done all that the beta testing you pretty sure that what sanding and you said it was the right to be straightforward set to release a tone on Google at least each other tomorrow when I was in the WhatsApp and Christmas is leaving cuz this is my seasonal products as well what was planning on this podcast about what kind of things have you done to you know what side from some of the traditional methods like sending out press releases I’m contacting different Publications one thing that we choose to do early on was partner with some nonprofits because we thought you know what if we’re going to get visibility and reach with this application and it’s really something that we built that we’re proud of that you know was was a way for us to learn how can we best help out of

add a non-profit so we actually had an internal vote we chose 3 nonprofit organizations and two part of our promotion is when people share app we’re going to have a boat at the end for a nonprofit that will actually actually develop an Amazon smile campaign for them so we thought that was a really nice tie in it and a really nice way to kind of do something nice in the holiday season support or nonprofits I’m in also help sort of grow the awareness of the application the second thing that we’re doing in this launches tomorrow is we’re rolling out a contest an entry for to Amazon kid devices and two Google home devices and the very awesome Otterbox that is a Mickey Mouse so if you haven’t seen that you can check it out on our site or I’ll just Google Mickey Mouse OtterBox for Google home it’s adorable so we’re going to be giving away for devices

and when you enter to win the device you can also pick a nonprofit that you think we should I continue to help with our marketing efforts and 29th so that’s the case for Google device box is a case for the Google home and it looks like a Mickey Mouse giving away some of those people into that competition a page that has a form and they can just simply enter the contest on Twitter you are at citro underscore digital where I said where I see you on social people know

we are on Facebook so you can find us citro digital is our name on Facebook where citro underscore digital on Instagram and on Saturday at all on LinkedIn before we wrap up what was some of the the big lessons that you’ve learned over the side of the coast of this festive what projects and I know that you’ll you’ll definitely be applying to your next project

the first lesson would be make sure you’re solving a problem and make sure you have a clear understanding of the problem that you’re solving the second lesson would be I don’t give up

even when it gets really talk but also really interact with the technology and make sure you have a thorough understanding of how people utilize it I think that was Keith what’s on the horizon of the next 6 months and what kinds of the project side view on the pipeline in ecology in a number of different ways on Fox one of the most interesting request that we have received multiple times now is ways for people to remove some of the printing of information that they do and moving it to to a voice application so we’re actually exploring multi

ways that we can be back on 10 and feed the data that they’re already creating offer content in a management system that they can easily at it and and feed it on to voice devices whether they’re the Alexa for business device that’s private and you know you invite your users or more wide audience but that’s the number one request regarding right now you know it’s I recreate this book or this pamphlet or this information and by the time we printed it’s out of date but we need people to have access to it and it’s too much to manage on our website but we know that if we put devices in the hands of our clients or we know our clients have these devices they can easily get the information so we’re looking to move into the multimodal effective voice I were playing with that right now just to make sure we have a thorough understanding of how to create an application that has the visuals were so used to and you know we’re really we’re really looking for opportunities

to help clients that have challenges that they’ve never been able to solve that maybe you know these these tools will help solve for them otherwise I can people find out more about citro digital online

so our website is secure digital. Com and if you have at home page you’ll see a big banner right now for the naughty or nice hat so you can check it out there the first time on Google and I like to talk phones thanks, Showtime

okay so you just had from Hillary long the general manager and partner at citro digital a digital marketing agency based in Allentown Pennsylvania United States is Hillary I talk about the recessive gene F S Voice app about how is she how to challenge her initial assumptions based on the results of the beat the testing with the children and it just underlines they so important to the beat the test early and often that’s a refined the idea you never get it right in the first shot at the end of the process of releasing skills into production on that both the Alexa and Google Assistant platforms wasn’t necessarily smooth sailing at least not in that in the case of Alexa I’m so you have to eat leave ample time for as well but it was great to have the kids using the scale as the best time I’ve had two children using a voice assistant as brilliant see how to engage they were and how I’m not sure if they took to it although I’m sure I could hear them looking at that parents

they were answering the questions

and I I congratulate Henry and I came on on F S Voice app and I really look forward to seeing what they release next I just got to visit the citro digital website citro digital. Com to enter the competition to win the Mickey Mouse cover for Google assistant and go ahead and unable to you know she was nice quiz I thought your kids to play with in the Christmas special for today I hope you enjoyed listening as always you can find a show tonight for drinks the results is makes me the episode voicetechpodcast.com

if you’d like to follow Hillary’s example and enter the world of voice application development that you can do so I with the help of a number of online courses which I’ve put on the site out of the tube voicetechpodcast.com courses to find the best courses for Amazon Alexa development Google Assistant Development building apps for iOS 12 with sirikit and even the best tablet development courses all the courses are currently on promotion and you can pick one up for as little as $11 to head over to voicetechpodcast.com / courses and start building your voice today I don’t forget to subscribe and your favorite app and if you’re feeling generous I leave me review on iTunes at voicetechpodcast.com iTunes

let’s just have one friend or colleague about this episode and if you’d like to join the other patrons and keeping the show out free I just got out of work Tech podcast. Comes to donate I’ll be back soon with another episode Abbott until then I’ll give you a heist call Robinson thank you for listening to the voice chat podcast

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