All About Voice — Top Conference Takeaways

by | Nov 4, 2019 | Conferences, Voice Technology

All About Voice

It’s important for our team members to stay at the forefront of the fast-growing Voice industry, which can mean attending the market-leading events — that is, if they’re not on stage giving keynotes!

Vixen Labs’ lead VUX Designer, Romina Pankoke, downloaded her top takeaways from All About Voice (Munich, 11th October) to the rest of the team. Overall?

Let’s take a look at Romina’s highlights.


Great talks, covering all the big and important topics

Brett Kinsella’s opening keynote “provided us with the latest statistics and developments in the field of voice technology”. For Voice news, check out Brett’s

Adva Levin’s talk was one of Romina’s favourites. Adva discussed how she approaches building kids’ voice applications — including observing users instead of actively asking them, as the results of a prototype “can sometimes be the exact opposite of what users said they would like — so her main recommendation is to create a prototype fast, and learn from there”. 

Katrin Nachbar from Bayerischer Rundfunk presented an interactive story skill in which every user decision impacts the plot. Katrin presented the implementation challenge of audio recordings — “especially when recording all voice pieces and not using Alexa voices at all

It was a great conference. The organizers’ concept was to cover all big and important topics of voice, and I think they realized it quite successfully with a great lineup of speakers.


Google’s Jonathan Bloom gave a fantastic talk in the afternoon in which he talked about the less-than-happy path. Jon pointed out that, although it’s a critical element of designing for voice, the term error-handling has a deeply negative connotation.

Jonathan recommends we should be talking about  grounding strategies instead of error handling

Women in Voice Lunch Table

At lunch there were networking roundtables, and Romina was the Table’s Captain for a dedicated “Women in Voice” lunch table. After announcing the launch of the German Women in Voice chapter, this was the perfect opoortunity to meet people who are interested in being part of the inititative, and also connect with other Women from the Voice field across Europe.

It was absolutely amazing to meet other women who are just as excited about building a WiV chapter for Germany as I am

Romina described her main takeaways.

  • Our strategy team will conduct a series of stakeholder interviews with you to get a deep understanding of how Voice can solve your consumer’s issues and build on their daily routines
  • We will map the voice consumer journey for your business to ensure maximum discovery, engagement and repeat usage of your voice application or audio content
  • hearing people talk about their experiences when building for Voice was great — pretty much everyone encounters similar challenges
  • observing users is really important — undertaking specific user research before prototyping should only be considered an inspiration
  • Everyone building for Voice should put enough energy, time, and budget into grounding strategies
  • The international Voice industry is such an amazing, inspiring and warm community
  • Voice is definitely expanding in Germany, and we can learn a lot from countries who are slightly more advanced
  • there was a focus on operations (as in, actually building Skills and so on) and we definitely need to remember that applying strategy is at least just as important

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