George Engelbeck

User Interface Researcher/Designer

Cisco Unity Telephone User Interface — 1999-2005

Cisco Unity TUI quick guide

Background

The Cisco Unity Telephone User Interface allowed users to access their voicemail messages using the phone.

Problem

Create a telephone interface that is easy to learn or familiar to users.

Constraints

  • Use touchtones for input.

Approach

  • Follow the most popular common industry voicemail standard.
  • Iteratively test of new features for conciseness and clarity.

Solution

  • Use concise (almost laconic) phrasing to reduce interaction time.
  • Use tapered prompts to reduce interaction time.
  • Use consistent interaction patterns to facilitate memorizing and promote interrupting voice menus.

Results

  • Cisco Unity is currently the best selling unified messaging solution for enterprises on the market.

Microsoft Response Point Telephone User Interface — 2008-2009

Microsoft Response Point voicemail quick guide

Background

The Microsoft Response Point is targeted at small business users. Response Point leveraged Microsoft's investment in speech technologies through it's blue RP button. This button gave users access to an Automated Receptionist that could perform phone functions like transferring and forwarding calls. The voicemail interface allowed small business users to access their voicemail messages using the phone.

Problem

Create a telephone interface that is simple and familiar to users.

Constraints

  • Use speech input for the RP Automated Receptionist and for phone functions.
  • Use touchtones for input for voice mail.

Approach

  • Follow the most popular mobile voicemail conventions.
  • Iteratively test of new features for conciseness and clarity.

Solution

  • Use concise, friendly phrasing to reduce interaction time.
  • Use tapered prompts to reduce interaction time.
  • Use consistent interaction patterns to facilitate memorizing and promote interrupting voice menus.

Results

  • Microsoft Response Point won an InfoWorld 2009 Technology of the Year award.
InfoWorld 2009 Technology of the Year award InfoWorld 2009 Technology of the Year award

Research

Marics, M.A., & Engelbeck, G. (1997). Designing voice menu applications for telephone applications. In Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction (2nd Edition), In Helander, M.G., Landauer, T.K., & Prabhu, P.V. (Eds.) North Holland: Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Wharton, C., Marics, M., & Engelbeck, G. (1993). Speech recognition vocabularies for automated call routing. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 37th Annual Meeting, 240-243.

Franzke, M., Marx, A.N., Roberts, T.L., & Engelbeck, G. (1993). Is speech recognition usable? An exploration of the usability of a speech-based voice mail system. SIGCHI Bulletin, 25(3), 49-51.

Engelbeck, G. (1992). How do people want to be told when to speak to their telephone? Proceedings of AVIOS'92 (American Voice I/O Society),357-363.

Engelbeck, G.E., & Roberts, T.L.  (1989). The effects of several voice-menu characteristics on menu-selection performance. (Technical Report) U S WEST Advanced Technologies.

Roberts, T.L., & Engelbeck, G. (1989).  The Effects of Device Technology on the Usability of Advanced Telephone Functions, Proceedings of the CHI'89 Conference on Human Factors in Computing. ACM: New York, (331-337).