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Harnessing the opportunities of voice technology

Harnessing the opportunities of voice technology

Voice personal assistants are a new exciting way for charities to engage with their audiences. A recent survey from Radiocentre released suggests 40 percent of UK households will own a smart speaker by the end of 2018.   

Amazon – the market leader has sold millions of Amazon Echo devices and are enabling Alexa in TVs, cars and various other devices. Since April this year Google Home have seen a sharp growth in the sale of their devices and its predicted that by 2020 they will have a 50% of this market.

Here at Addition we have entered the wonderful world of voice technology with a particular focus on developing Amazon Alexa Skills for our charity clients. Skills are a bit like creating apps for mobile, but they are for voice enabled devices. They give organisations the ability to offer personalised services or information to their audiences and Google have developed their equivalent with Google ‘actions’. So the race is on for organisations to harness the opportunities these offer and we’ve been working with our clients to make sure that they are at the forefront of this.

When new tech comes into the mainstream consciousness, organisations can have a tendency to jump in head first. This can be a good thing as people experiment and everyone can benefit from the learnings. But in the meantime some expensive mistakes are made. Mobile apps are a great example of where it took awhile for people to work out where they really add value.

With everything we design, we fundamentally believe in putting real user needs and motivations at the heart of the experience. We are helping our clients to apply this principle to developing meaningful voice experiences that will help them meet their objectives. When designing for voice there are also some unique things to consider.

To support our clients with this we have developed a framework to help work through Alexa Skill ideas that maintain a user focus and includes considerations around things like:


Voice assistants are appearing in more and places like mobile phones and cars… Where will people be when they are using your skill? What time of day do you expect them to be using it and what frame of mind might they be in? Considering these things will help you put yourself in the users’ shoes and result in better ideas and designs.


How often do you expect people to use your skill? Is it a one off action linked to a campaign or can it become something they will engage with regularly?


How are you going to make the sure the skill is delivered in the right tone of voice? What type of language will people expect for the information or service you’re providing? What design techniques can be used to make the experience feel more impactful and authentic?

Email us at for a copy of our Alexa Skills framework.


We have also teamed up with Fundraising UK to offer a half day voice workshop on 18th July 2018 for charities and individuals to learn more about the voice technology landscape and how to apply it to your work.

Cherie Chambers is the User Experience Lead at Addition by WPN Chameleon. Addition by WPN Chameleon create user centred digital products and experiences for charities & other organisations.

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