A leading financial services company asked us:
Can a voice app provide customers with a more complete financial experience?
Our client came to us with an Alexa Skill prototype designed to help customers monitor their financial health through voice interactions. We partnered with their product team to test the skill with prospective users to:
- Examine whether people want to interact with the bank via Amazon Echo
- Learn what questions people have and how they may word them
- Explore ease of use, convenience, and value of the prototype
- Identify any barriers to success and areas of opportunity
We conducted one-on-one in-person usability sessions with Amazon Echo owners from varied demographics, financial backgrounds, and technical aptitude. Participants completed a series of tasks using the Alexa Skill. We observed how users attempted the commands and followed up with questions to clarify their motivations, impressions, and concerns.
The product team was able to catch and correct poor voice interactions before the skill was broadly released. Validation is critical for any new product, but even more so with new platforms and interaction types like voice. As our research has demonstrated, people rarely return to a voice app if it fails to meet their expectations on first use.
Participants liked the concept of the financial monitoring tools, but struggled with the voice commands and had concerns about privacy. The voice app prototype didn't satisfy user intents.
When designing a voice app, it is essential that you ask the tough questions up front: “What problem am I solving for?” and “How will my voice app solve it?” By starting with research, especially in a relatively new space like voice, brands can test the waters and ask what their customers not only want, but what they need.