Talk to Me – Going Beyond the Q&A in Your Future Automobile – Carrie Cunningham, PhD


OK. So I’m trying to get past
the Q&A of what we normally do in research, really
trying to push the boundaries with unusual UX questions to get
those extraordinary insights. So with Nuance Communications,
we are part of the DRIVE lab, and we do research on the
in-vehicle experience, specifically around voice
technology in the car. You learned a little bit
about voice earlier, right? But you can see here, we’re
in our driving simulator. We do surveys and other things. But other things we have
are questions, all the time. How do drivers envision their
virtual assistant’s appearance? And now, you could simply say,
OK, fine, just ask them that. Or we can get more creative. And instead, we had them draw
their virtual assistants. So we see that they personified
their virtual assistant, in this case, a woman
or this was a lockbox, and everything was
under high security, or somebody just had a
bunch of servers and said, no, that’s how voice works. So how smart should
a voice system be? One of the questions
we thought of was like, well,
OK what is smart? What does that even mean? How do you deal with that? So instead of asking how
smart the voice system is, we said, if our voice
system, in this case, Dragon, were a person, then what
kind of student would they be? And this person says,
they’d been an A student because your voice
system has wisdom. We also found that most people
thought they were 10th graders. How do drivers know where
they are in a voice process? This was a thing that I
thought about when you maybe are sending a text message
and doing navigation. Where are you? What have you been to? Where are you going? So we had them play
the game of life. Here, we actually
put them in the car and had them go to
different stops on their way to retirement, asking them,
hey, where are you here? Where are you going? Where do you need to go? And if there’s a fork in the
road, how do you get there? How does the voice
system tell you that? Another question
is, is Wake Up Word, Push To Talk, or
Just Talk the way to go and more
natural for drivers? Now, you’re saying,
wait, I don’t know. . Wake Up Word, right? In this case, we
use, hello, Dragon. We also have Push To Talk, which
is that button on your steering wheel or maybe on your
infotainment system. And then our own
technology, Just Talk, where you can just
simply talk and it’ll pick up what you’re saying. And in that case, we
thought, what’s more natural? So we asked people,
if you’re sitting with a passenger in
the seat, are you going at a tap on the shoulder? Are you going to yell at
them and say their name? Or you just going
to simply talk? And we found that
a lot of people just simply wanted to talk
to their infotainment system. How do drivers know what
is wrong with their car? We’ve all seen
that light come up and, like, oh, I don’t
know what to do about that. Well we wanted to make sure
other people felt that way too. So we had people come in, and
we had them look at their car and said, this is something
wrong with your car. You figure it out. And we see there that people
are trying in the manual, they’re looking at their
phones, they’re also checking under the hood. And we can really see
how people troubleshoot with their own cars. How do drivers respond when the
system doesn’t understand them? I think we’ve all been there. So in this case, when it
doesn’t understand them, people don’t know what
to do necessarily. So for this example, we
showed them this and said, try to get this
out of the system. And maybe they said, call Tony,
or find Tony, or contact Tony. In this case, there was
no Tony in the system. Tricky, tricky. And so what we found was that
people were really frustrated, saying things like,
well, I just thought there must not be a Tony, so
I’m going to go with Anthony. And so they come up creatively
that way, or spell out Tony– T-O-N-Y. But needless to say,
everybody was really mad after this experiment. So other things we ask
about in our research– but we do lots of things like
this where we actually just show them these vague examples. Another one I’ll have
coming up next is in French. I don’t know how many
of you speak French. All of our participants did not. So that was really
interesting to see how they would muddle through
this French phrase, right? In this case, I don’t think
we’re going to get to it. Oh. Yeah. OK. So here, how do drivers
ask for something that they can’t pronounce? So we can go on to the next. And this is that French phrase
that I was talking about, where it is a song,
but I can’t say it, and they couldn’t either. So a lot of people would go
through and go, por que tu– and try to figure
out how to say it. And maybe this is something
you’re familiar with. You maybe have a
navigation system and you don’t know
what that address says or the contact name and
you try to get through it. In this case, this
participant blew us away. They said, show me all the
songs with “encore” in the title because it was the
only word they knew. So I hope from all this talk
and from this whole night you really push the
boundaries and think outside of the box to get
those extraordinary insights. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

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