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Adobe XD, the company’s platform for designing and prototyping user interfaces and experiences, is adding support for a different kind of application to its lineup: voice apps. Those could be applications that are purely voice-based — maybe for Alexa or Google Home — or mobile apps that also take voice input.
The voice experience is powered by Sayspring, which Adobe acquired earlier this year. As Sayspring’s founder and former CEO Mark Webster told me, the team has been working on integrating these features into XD since he joined the company.
Designers - Apps - XD - Voice - Triggers
To support designers who are building these apps, XD now includes voice triggers and speech playback. That user experience is tightly integrated with the rest of XD and in a demo I saw ahead of today’s reveal, building voice apps didn’t look all that different from prototyping any other kind of app in XD.
To make the user experience realistic, XD can now trigger speech playback when it hears a specific word or phrase. This isn’t a fully featured natural language understanding system, of course, since the idea here is only to mock-up what the user experience would look like.
Voice - Webster - Platform - Amazon - Alexa
“Voice is weird,” Webster told me. “It’s both a platform like Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, but also a form of interaction […] Our starting point has been to treat it as a form of interaction — and how do we give designers access to the medium of voice and speech in order to create all kinds of experiences. A huge use case for that would be designing for platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.”
And these days, with the advent of smart displays from Google and its partners, as well as the Amazon Echo Show, these platforms are also becoming increasingly visual. As...
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