"the gotspeech guy" will be speaking at the local Vista Launch

The Jacksonville Developers User Group will be hosting a Windows Vista and Office 2007 launch event on January 30th, 2007. The event is organized by JAXDUG members and is sponsored by Idea Integration.

There will be a mix of speakers from Microsoft, local MVPs and consultants. I will be doing a session on Microsoft Speech Server 2007 and if I can get the material I need (as well as MS permission) I may do something on Office Communication Server 2007 or Unified Communications.

So if you are anywhere near the north Florida area on January 30th drop by and check out the launch. You are sure to have a great time. learn something and probably even get some free food.


Road Trip

I’ll be driving down to Orlando Fl. on Sunday for some training. I’ll be spending a week listening to the guys from ICMI expound on “Speech Applications: Planning, Voice User Interface Design, and Tuning

This is one of three courses that are required to become a Microsoft Speech Server Partner and will be my second in the series. But that’s not the main reason I’m taking the course. I simply want to get better at designing the VUI part of my applications. With guys like Paul English and his gethuman project keeping the heat on us IVR developers to improve our user interface we need to do everything we can to make the user experience better.

I think the VUI parts of our speech applications are so important and while mine aren’t bad (my opinion) I’m sure that they can be improved on. I’m anxious to hear what these guys have to say as most of my knowledge currently comes from experience and the work of Blade Kotelly (The Art and Business of Speech Recognition). I heard Blake speak at an Edify convention a about 4 years ago and I was very impressed with what he had to say. I’m also proud of the fact that he autographed my copy of the book after we talked at the convention.

I really want to discuss how much the target audience plays a role in the VUI design. My applications are used by our drivers and not the general public. I believe that the interface rules change somewhat since our callers can’t go elsewhere. For example IVR callers to a local electric utility inquiring on their electric bill will have (and need) a different experience than say someone calling Wal-Mart. The latter can just take their business elsewhere while the former have no choice. I really want to hear the instructors’ views on this.

I owe some special thanks to Anandi for introducing me to this class. Thanks Anandi!

So, if you are going to be in the Orlando area next week and would like to meet up with the “gotspeech guy” just leave me a comment, an email or call me (my phone number is on the About page).