5th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Rhodes, Greece
September 22-25, 1997

On the Design of Effective Speech-Based Interfaces for Desktop Applications

Jim Hugunin, Victor W. Zue

Spoken Language Systems Group, Laboratory for Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA

Is speech a useful input modality for applications where the user has easy access to a full-size keyboard and mouse? This study shows that a well-designed speech interface can be more effective than a standard desktop application's traditional interface. Subjects are able to build a set of three spreadsheet tables 50% faster using a spoken dialog interface, and they report significantly greater enjoyment in using that interface. However, these advantages cannot be achieved by simply bolting a speech recognition system onto an application's existing interface. We found that this latter approach led to an insignificant 4% increase in efficiency and a devastating 64% increase in errors compared to the standard keyboard and mouse interface. In short, speech-based interfaces have the potential to substantially improve our interactions with computers, but they require significant interface redesign to take advantage of the unique properties of speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hugunin, Jim / Zue, Victor W. (1997): "On the design of effective speech-based interfaces for desktop applications", In EUROSPEECH-1997, 1335-1338.