Department of Technology & Information

VoiceXML Tips, Tricks and Best Practices

The use of VoiceXML to make state agency web content and applications more accessible is essential to ensuring that agencies can provide high quality service.

However, VoiceXML should not be be viewed as a way to replace human to human interactions where they are needed (or desired) by citizens.

The following tips and tricks can help your agency develop the right VoiceXML deployment for your customers:
  • Look to focus your agency's deployment of VoiceXML to provide access to services and/or information that are currently available on the Internet, but may not be accessible by customers that face barriers to web access.
  • Think carefully about the kind of information that you want to voice-enable. Not all visual web content is appropriate for the "voice web."
  • The best opportunities for voice-enabling web content are usually those that involve succinct, clear, highly usable information that can be presented to users (e.g., the location of a facility, contact information, etc.).
  • Think carefully about how your information will be structured as it is presented to users. Web users tend to navigate written information differently than spoken information. It is possible for users to speed read and skip to different parts of a written document quickly. It is virtually impossible for them to be able to "speed listen," or to navigate in the same way through a voice application.
  • Think about how you will structure menus and options that citizens will use to navigate your information and services on the voice web. Again, because web users tend to navigate written information differently than spoken information (by using keystrokes and mouse clicks) you may have to think about structuring navigation menus differently.

Also, many state agency customers can benefit from the initial application deployed as part of the Delaware Voice Portal -- the Internet Access Locator. Even if your agency does not have its own VoiceXML deployment, you can still reap the benefits of connecting your customers with an Internet-connected computer by encouraging them to use this service.

Printed materials (brochures, forms, mailings) can be modified to include a reference to this free service.
Last Updated: Friday, 02-Apr-2010 14:39:24 EDT
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