What is it:
Erica is the voice assistant for enterprise.
Launching it without affecting the overall user experience.
Understanding the problem:
I have decided to make a research first in order to fully understand the voice assistant technologies.
With all the insight from this research, I was able to compare all the features in the competition with requirements from the business unit. After the research, I developed a user journey map for Erica to better understand the functionality.
Ideate and sketch:
The technology we had at that moment was not as real time as the competition so if the query was longer than a certain period of time, we had to send the package first and continue talking after the system was ready again. I kept pushing the limitations of the what could be achieved with voice recognition but we were licensing the technology from another company and not all my requests were answered. I had to move forward with what I had in order to keep the ball moving.
Design and prototype:
I also had to think about a logo for the project. I wanted to use the letter "E" somewhere in the logo and I ended with using it as part of the grille on the microphone. The headphone also emphasized the listening experience visually. I then applied a circular animation to the logo to indicate that it is hearing you as you speak.
With a good understanding of "what" it should do, I investigated "how" next. I explored possible ways to launch Erica without interrupting any other features available on Android.
Possible launch interactions key findings:
• Keeping the home button pressed opens up the recent apps in Android OS v4 on some devices. Keeping the home button pressed opens up the Google Now in Android OS v5 and v6.
• Tapping the home button once or twice will make you leave the app you are working on.
• There is no physical button that shares the same location on our all devices.
• Swiping from top is revealing the notifications. We can integrate ERICA into notifications.
• Swiping from left or right may be confusing if the UI has a navigation drawer.
• Swiping from bottom seems to be another way to launch ERICA.
With all this insight, I have decided to launch it from the bottom with a flick gesture. The development team also achieved to add "Hey Erica" command so we were able to offer more than one way to launch it. I then created the high fidelity wireframes and I decided to place the Erica button towards the bottom of the screen in the thumb safe zone to make it easier to interact with.
We decided to include this feature to help people with accents so they could teach Erica their pronunciation of words. I came up with the idea to have gamification in here so that the users would be willing to come back and play with this feature. I experimented with revealing the logo visually as you move further in the process but in the end we decided to keep it simple and use green color as the main visual indicator.
The team also explored the possibility of having this feature integrated into our customers' own systems, like an add-on feature. The systems with Erica installed/enabled would have a badge to show that. I created a simple branding guide to help apply Erica brand to existing systems.
With all these features, Erica started to look like a full package solution that could be helpful to our customers in the enterprise for various tasks, such as finding their way or checking the stock levels in a warehouse. Unfortunately, the project has been canceled in favour of using standard voice assistants.