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The Growing Popularity of Voice Activated Interfaces

July 24, 2021 |
Mobile Apps, Technology
Voice Activated Interfaces

The way we access information is transforming. We now make a demand or ask a question instead of typing it into Google. This means web design is adjusting to keep up with the universality of voice chatbots and virtual assistants. While voice-activated interfaces aren’t usual for most websites, this emerging trend isn’t going anywhere in the near future. We can only expect to see more and more websites integrating voice search as an option to traditional text search.

It was in 2011 when voice technology began to emerge. As Siri came to the scene, no one could have predicted that this unique innovation would become a key driver for the tech revolution. Today, a decade later, it’s estimated that every 25 percent of US adults owns a smart speaker. Digital Marketers forecast that nearly 92.3 percent of smartphone users will be using voice assistants by 2023. 

The key propeller for this shift towards voice user interfaces is ever-changing user demands. The overall awareness level has increased, and millennial consumers want a higher level of comfort now.

Benefits of Voice Activated Interfaces

Voice Activated Interfaces are Fast and Highly Efficient

Virtual UIs allow hands-free interactions that remove the need to press buttons or tap on the screen. For centuries, people have been creating and enhancing relationships through speech. Thus, technologies that enable customers to do the same are highly valued. Moreover, dictating text messages are proven to be faster than typing, even for expert texters. These hands-free interactions increase efficiency and save time in many cases.

Voice Activated Interfaces are Intuitive and Convenient

Quality VUIs have to provide an intuitive user flow, and innovations in the field of technology promise to continue increasing the intuitiveness of VUIs. Voice user interfaces need less cognitive effort from a user than graphical UIs. Additionally, everyone knows how to talk. So, VUI designers are generally better positioned than GUI designers who risk designing unintuitive menus and exposing users to the trouble of poor interface design. Probably, VUI creators won’t have to educate customers on how to use the technology. Rather, people can ask their voice assistant if they need help.

Voice is today’s vehicle for human-machine interactions. Still, there is a challenge in understanding the intent of users and responding appropriately to their commands. But a new lexicon of intuitive and commonly understood cues for voice control is emerging. It enables people to navigate between different AI systems intuitively.

More ‘Human’ Experiences and Empathy

Experiences with accurate speech recognition software guarantee a more human conversation. Today, consumers want personality in voice-based, man-machine interactions. On the one hand, they want a machine that understands, processes and expresses thoughts like their own. But, on the other hand, they want a machine that speaks in their native language and brings speed, efficiency, and natural aspects of human interactions. Combining the two allows recognizing personality in speech, including emotions, intentions, and features of the speech.

Tone and intonation play a significant role in communication, and voice-enabled technology has this advantage over other standard technology choices. By using voice, one can convey the tone of a message. When unable to understand the command, virtual assistants can reply in a user-friendly way so that users don’t feel frustrated. While, users are free to formulate commands as they want, and smart voice interfaces will react to the tone of the voice and choice of words.

Voice-enabled technologies allow for natural language interaction, allowing users to concentrate on the intended message and not bother about being mistaken or misrepresented.

Limitations to Using Voice Activated Interfaces

Public Spaces and Privacy is a Concern

The main difficulty with having a verbal interface is that users will land themselves in a position where they cannot speak openly—this could be due to physical reasons or privacy concerns. On mobile devices and computers, voice commands and voice-user interfaces can be used in different settings and contexts. But, it is a very unreasonable thing to do in public spaces. Sometimes, environmental noise or someone else talking next to the person using the assistant can restrict voice. It may result in errors in communication between a user and a voice assistant.

In addition, voice-activated interfaces make it harder to be private, both at the time of speaking and overall. It refers to voice assistants listening to their household 24/7, overhearing dictated and arriving messages, and monitoring more and more elements of our daily lives.

Some Users Are Not Comfortable Talking to a Computer

Another problem is that some people feel uncomfortable when they deal with VUIs. They may find it challenging to pick the right words to address assistants verbally or speak out loud. It is simply unnatural for them to speak to a machine. So, every slight recognition error from a computer or their inability to provide a computer with sufficient input information discourages these users from trying to perform tasks with voice interfaces. 

Some Users Prefer Texting

Yepp! That’s true. Voice user interfaces are becoming more and more common, but some people may still prefer texting as a method of communication. A graphical interface allows users to type with more accuracy than interaction with a voice UI. Sometimes, it may take less time to communicate using voice. Still, young users are more accustomed to multitasking. Some of the applications on their smart gadgets require manual navigation. Some behavioral factors also play when it comes to using voice UI. Therefore, people who prefer to communicate orally will find VUIs easier and more zestful.


Voice activated interfaces are at the heart of the new UI paradigm. Pro designers are always searching for innovative design techniques, and VUIs are a natural place to start. At the same time, speech-enabled interfaces powerfully bring users closer to the features and functions that businesses want them to experience. Although we have yet to bridge the gap between business requirements and the technical capabilities of speech interfaces, and do our best to create excellent experiences for our users.

Read more about optimizing your website’s voice search here.

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