It’s easy to confuse “familiar” with “intuitive”. This applies to voice interfaces as much as it does to desktop ones.
Tech savvy people think of Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant as easy-to-use, because we’re used to using search engines and know to employ similar language when asking a question out loud. For people who haven’t used search engines, however, it can be hard to wrap your head around this.
Ian Bogost, writing for The Atlantic, talks about watching his 82 year old father, who has been blind most of his life, try to use the Amazon Echo. His dad is frustrated when Alexa won’t respond to the nickname “Lexi.” Here’s Bogost:
Hearing this, I groan….
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