Giving Voice to Your Voice Designs

10 hours over 4 segments

  • Our virtual workshops are designed with you in mind. They combine lecture, discussion, exercises, and office hours—spread out over multiple sessions—so you can learn and engage without feeling drained by the end of the day.

    Who’s teaching and what they’ll cover

    cheryl platz headshot

    Giving Voice to Your Voice Designs

    with Cheryl Platz
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    Designing for voice interaction can be an intimidating concept for a generation of designers trained primarily in visual principles and patterns. But there’s a greater need for voice designers than there are folks experienced in voice design. Join us and see how the skills you already have can translate to this evolving design specialty. In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of voice design and apply those skills to plan your own voice app or skill.

    What you’ll learn

    Participants will walk away with an understanding of the history of voice design, the technology behind today’s natural language systems, a framework of constraints and guidelines for successful voice designs, and experience with the key deliverables generated during the voice design process.


    • STATE OF THE ART: A brief history of voice user interface technology.
    • LANGUAGE BEHIND NATURAL LANGUAGE: A glossary of voice user interface design, including detailed definitions of key concepts specific to VUI. We dive deeper into the various stages of audio processing that translate a customer’s speech into a signal the designer can work with.
    • SITUATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: We walk through a number of the constraints and design pivots commonly applied to voice designs, like the importance of acoustic uniqueness and the appropriate use of grammars vs. natural language systems.
    • BASIC GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESSFUL VOICE DESIGN: We walk through seven guidelines for voice design in detail: important considerations like reincorporation, brevity and earcons along with process guidelines like audio storyboarding.
    • DELIVERING A VOICE DESIGN: The end-to-end design process is transformed from a visually-focused process to an IA and content-focused process. New deliverables are proposed as we walk through a sample skill and see the deliverables created step-by-step.

    About the instructor

    Cheryl Platz is an internationally-renowned interaction designer best known for her work on a wide variety of emerging technologies and products – including Amazon’s Alexa voice platform and the Echo Look, Microsoft’s Cortana and the Azure platform, and groundbreaking early titles for the Nintendo DS. Her professional passions include natural user interfaces, design for constraint and complexity, systems design, and storytelling for product design.

    Cheryl’s past employers include Microsoft, Amazon, Electronic Arts, Griptonite Games, MAYA Design and Disney Parks. Cheryl is currently a Principal UX Designer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focused on improving digital collaboration. In her spare time, as owner of design education firm Ideaplatz, LLC, she travels the world sharing her experience designing for new technology (and applying improvisation to design) with other technologists.

    Cheryl holds a degree in computer science and human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to her design work, Cheryl has been a professional improvisor and performer for well over a decade. She’s most frequently seen in Seattle as an ensemble member and teacher at Unexpected Productions, or featured in the hit improvised parody of Star Trek “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Her other hobbies include travel, writing and video gaming.


    Contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

  • Schedule

    January 20, 2021: 10am-12:30pm PST
    January 22, 2021: 10am-12:30pm PST
    January 27, 2021: 10am-12:30pm PST
    January 29, 2021: 10am-12:30pm PST

    Check your time zone here.


    $845 early bird, sales end December 7, 2020
    $895 regular, sales end January 5, 2021
    $995 last minute after January 5, 2021

    10% off for groups of more than 3


    Virtual: We’ve designed this workshop specifically for remote attendees; learn more from our FAQ.

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