Voxable’s Pivot to Product
Over five years ago, Matt Buck and I started Voxable. We were such early adopters of voice and chat technology that when we began we were working with an early smart speaker called Ubi. Setting up and using our first voice app made us feel like wizards and want to bring that sense of magic to others. And so, our agency was born.
Throughout the years, we’ve worked with everyone from early-stage startups to Fortune 10 companies. We’ve completed end-to-end projects and consulted on conversational strategy, design, and development. We’ve traveled the world to give talks about our process and even created an online course to democratize our approach. We’ve learned a lot, but the three biggest takeaways are:
- Design is essential to creating good voice and chat apps.
- Enterprise companies now realize the importance of design and are hiring conversation designers and agencies to improve their voice and chat apps.
- There are no good tools for voice and chat app design.
The fact that 1 in 4 adults in the United States owns a smart speaker today and the voice industry is projected to be a $31.8 billion market by 2025, yet there are no good tools for voice and chat app design is mind-boggling to us. The lack of appropriate design tooling undoubtedly contributes to the poor user experience associated with this tech across the board. However, despite the numerous lackluster apps on the market, demand for voice and chat increases. Can you imagine the potential for this space if the experiences were better?
As more traditional UX designers transition to conversation design roles within enterprise companies, they’re realizing they have to use no less than three different tools to script, diagram, and test their designs. It’s inefficient, and the inefficiency is magnified when the designers try to collaborate with teammates like other designers, copywriters, researchers, product managers, developers, and stakeholders.
Many of us working on this technology have been waiting for an all-in-one conversation design tool, but keep getting tools focused on implementation. Implementation tools are great for designers attempting to prototype channel-specific designs without a developer, but they can be limiting. They don’t foster the open-ended thinking and exploration a designer requires to create better experiences and push the bounds of what’s possible. The best example I can give is: a conversation designer using an implementation tool is like a web designer using Squarespace to create a website. The result may be good for specific use cases, but it’s different than if the designer was able to unleash their creativity with a tool like Figma or InVision.
So, tired of waiting, Matt and I decided to build the all-in-one voice and chat app design tool ourselves. Combining our own development and design experience with a good bit of user research, we defined the design tool functionality most important to our users.
Script - Writing voice and chat content shouldn’t be cumbersome. Our users can compose scripts and define important data, speech, audio, and multimodal elements within those scripts. Users can represent logic without having to actually implement it.
Diagram - Creating flow diagrams is essential when documenting conversation designs. Our users can see the entire conversational flow prior to app development, which leads to better decisions about functionality and the app’s roadmap.
Test - Experiencing a voice or chat interaction during the design process is vital when building conversational apps. Our users can immediately preview their designs on device or in browser, which helps improve usability and save valuable development time.
Collaborate - Building voice and chat apps is a collective effort. Our users can share scripts, add comments, and manage feedback, which is the collaborative environment they need to move projects forward efficiently.
With our tool, you can script, diagram, test, and collaborate on conversation designs all in one place. If you’re interested in being one of Voxable’s first users, sign up for the beta here. We’re excited to share this new chapter of our business with you and will do our best to keep you in the loop along the way!