"Multiple simultaneous wake words provide the best option for customers. Utterance by utterance, customers can choose which voice service will best support a particular interaction. It's exciting to see these companies come together in pursuit of that vision."
– Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon
Voice agents are a rapidly growing part of the world of consumer products and services. With multiple voice agents available on a single device, each with their own strengths, experiences, and personalities, customers have more options than ever to engage with them.
The increasing number and variety of voice agents does present a challenge to product and agent designers, though. How can we offer customers a set of voice agents whose fundamental interactions and behaviors that allow great customer experiences? Can we simplify requirements and identify design consistencies to reduce development effort?
When customers interact with multiple agents on a device, it is important to offer them transparency in their experiences. Product makers should ensure that customers know which agent they are interacting with. If a multi-agent experience requires the sharing of any data between agents, it should be made clear to customers that such sharing is taking place, and they should be allowed to give consent.
Interacting with multiple agents across different devices may seem more complex to customers. We should strive to avoid confusion, extra cognitive load, and conflicting behaviors. We want to offer customers delightful surprises, not frustrating ones. To help them navigate the complexities, products and voice agents should interact in expected and familiar ways.
Customers should be able to interact intuitively with their agents without having to remember complex rules or confusing guidance. Interactions and commands should feel natural, and customers should have easy access to device controls.
The VII Design Guide focuses on behavior and interaction design challenges that occur when multiple simultaneous agents exist on a single device. Building on the ideas and experiences of VII members, this Design Guide is intended to: