Second ISCA/DEGA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Perceptual Quality of Systems

Berlin, Germany
September 4-6, 2006

Usability of Telephone-Based Speech Dialog Systems as Experienced by User Groups of Different Age and Background

Thomas Hempel

Corporate Technology, User Interface Design Center, Siemens AG, Munich, Germany

Due to the maturity of today’s speech recognition systems, telephone-based speech dialog systems address an increasing number of potential users. Especially, well-defined and socially standardized dialogs in the customer relationship field bear a high potential of being automated. Potential application fields are, e.g., ordering information brochures, obtaining tariff information, easy brokerage portals. Consequently, telephonebased voice portals covering a broad range of services and information will be facing an extremely heterogeneous user group. This may include young people, elderly people, people with and without ‘computer literacy’ and the like. Nowadays, not all users are addressed by user group specific features, a fact that may contribute to the low acceptance of some of these systems ([1]).

The aim of this usability study is to observe the users’ approach to using telephone-based speech dialog systems in order to determine trends for audience-adequate dialog design. Since this topic has been little addressed, issues for further investigations were also expected as results of this study. The study is part of a co-operation of Siemens AG with Deutsche Telekom AG.


[1] Hempel, T., "Usability of Speech Applications - Where’s the Rub?", Forum Ware, 32(1-4):24-26, 2004. [in German]

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hempel, Thomas (2006): "Usability of telephone-based speech dialog systems as experienced by user groups of different age and background", In PQS-2006, 76-78.