How Companies Are Screwing Their Voice Interfaces

Personal use cases

I have a particular use case, one that has probably driven my adoption of voice interfaces. I recently had a baby. As I feed my little girl, I tend to have both hands occupied but not much to do for the next 20 minutes. I find myself interacting with Alexa during those moments.

Interface frustrations

I do have several frustrations; things I know will go away with time, but that isn’t quite there yet. There is an evident chasm between the Alexa interface design and that of most other skills (Alexa apps). And it’s very frustrating. For most skills, you need to be very strict with the way you trigger them. This adds friction that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Thoughts on conversational design patterns

While conversational interfaces cover a wide range of new apps, it’s crucial to differentiate text-based interfaces from their voice counterparts. Text-based ones, while sharing some traits, are inherently different.

Moving into the future

The speed at which a user gets used to the new interfaces is breathtaking. Not only it’s easy to engage with them; they create dependency in no time.

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Alex Barrera

Alex Barrera


Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.