Voice UX is a fast-emerging design category along with virtual and augmented reality UX design. Much in partnership with artificial intelligence (VUX, VR, AR, AI). Some experts suggest the keyboard, mouse and touch are clumsy and inefficient ways to interact with technology and will become obsolete.

Voice doesn’t require additional hardware and is already starting to become mainstream for consumer interactions. For the enterprise, it’s basically a different interface. AI is important because it’s hard to anticipate all the possible nuances of the human voice in terms of modulation, volume, language, accentuation and audio quality. This allows the voice system to continuously learn user intent based on what’s selected when a sound isn’t identifiable or incorrectly interpreted. VR and AR are ways to capture movement to interface with software.

Tools and artifacts for Voice UX design include storyboards, text scenarios, flow maps and phrase maps.  As for technology integration, there are many robust voice API services currently available. The most popular include open source Javascript Web Speech APIGoogle Cloud Speech API, API.ai (bought by Google), and Twilio.

At the enterprise level the key is identifying a cohort of users that could use this functionality to improve performance. This allows the IT organization to gain experience while the technology matures. Unless your users can absolutely benefit from hands-free interactions it’s too early to be certain voice is a good investment. You wouldn’t want to be the visionary that rolled out Google Glass apps. At the same time, you don’t want to “still not have Voice UX” if it becomes a strategic differentiator.