A Voice-Enabled Culinary Assistant

Dialog Flow Scripting / Low-fi Prototyping / Wizard of Oz


Purpose & Functionality

This project is dedicated to crafting a voice-activated culinary assistant to provide a seamless, hands-free cooking experience. Users can search for recipes, operate kitchen appliances, and follow guided cooking instructions through simple voice commands. The goal is to enhance kitchen efficiency and make cooking more enjoyable for those who come home tired after a busy day.

We would want to do many things in the design funnel if this was in the industry, like persona development, so we know who we are designing for. In this case, one was created for a busy professional to establish a grounding.


Method Choice Rational

  1. Dialog Flow Script: Critical for mapping out the interactive voice dialogue, this script lays the foundation for a user-friendly and responsive voice interface. It's a pivotal step in ensuring the system's conversational aspects are realistic and practical.
  2. WoZ: Chosen for its quick, cost-effective nature, allowing for the early validation of voice command functionalities and overall user experience.
  3. Video Prototype: Serves as a visual guide to demonstrate the interaction flow, helping users grasp the system's navigation and capabilities. It's also a tool for creatively showcasing the product's potential benefits.

Discarded Approach Rational

  1. High-Fidelity Prototype: Not selected due to its extensive resource requirements, especially in the project's nascent stages.
  2. Physical Prototype: Considered impractical for simulating voice interactions and appliance control. The chosen methods adequately represent the core concepts and user experience without the need for physical modeling.


Key Takeaways

  1. Emphasize Simplicity: Starting with basic prototypes is essential for exploring initial ideas and swiftly collecting user feedback. The name of the game here is to prevent over-investing in early ideas.
  2. User-Centric Focus: The design process should prioritize user experience and interaction simplicity, with feedback guiding iterative improvements. Going through storyboarding, scripting, and other phases helps uncover things not noticed at first glance.
  3. Context-Specific Methods: Selecting appropriate prototyping techniques based on the project's stage and goals ensures effective design communication and evaluation.

Prototyping Insights

  1. Rapid Iteration Fosters Innovation: Quick progression through basic prototypes facilitates idea exploration and refinement without substantial resource investment. This could be monetary or time (since time is money, too). It also helps with learning to "fail fast" to get to the correct answer quicker.
  2. User Feedback Drives Success: Prototypes are tools for gathering crucial user insights, informing design decisions, and fostering a user-focused approach.
  3. Adaptable Approaches: Effective prototyping requires adjusting to the project's specific needs, development stages, and resource availability, necessitating a flexible and thoughtful approach.