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“OK Google — until what time is Home Depot open?”

This was my voice search today. Along with transcribing about five text messages.

When it comes to voice search requests while on the move, the most critical pieces are that:

  • The search can be made with relatively low interruption to movement (e.g. while hands are on the wheel or someone is looking at where they’re going). You shouldn’t have to check that the AI understood you or whether it’s going to respond.
  • The response back is accurate.
  • The response back is in such a way to reflect how the query was made. If it was a long query, the response should be long. If the answer can be expressed as a time, then it should just be spoken.
  • The exception to the above is where restating parts of the query in the answer will provide confidence to the user that the system understood the question (e.g. “Home Depot in Richmond Hill is open until 8 PM tonight” as opposed to just “8 PM”).

We’re going to become more aware of these little nuances as more people develop voice interactive assistants.

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