New visual concept for Alexa voice assistant
My Alexa is a suggestion of a new concept for Alexa voice assistant. Alexa assistant is consolidated with the Alexa app with Human-Like AI Assistant features with empathic interaction. My Alexa will empower a user’s daily life with inspiration, motivation, and insight. The whole concept was inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Proof of Concept
Adobe XD, After Effects
A majority of young adult is struggling to find what to do with their purpose since they lack a direction in life. Our solution should deliver a consistent and easy way for them to inspire and motivate in more human ways.
The high-level goals were to:
1. Consolidate the Alexa app and Alexa voice assistant within a new visual style to give a delightful experience to users.
2. Create personal assistant experience to improve the user’s productivity
3. Make the user feel the more human connection with Human-like assistant interaction in a daily base
4. Bring customized motivational and inspirational contents to users in a consistent base
1. This is a proof of concept so there is no technical limitation.
2. The key features are built on the existing product (the current Alexa app)
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
One day, I saw the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It gave me the enlightenment that each emotional factor, such as safety, and belonging, and esteem play the key role to achieve the personal goal to success. I thought it would be great to empower young people every day with Alexa assistant base on Maslow’s theory. Eventually, I ended up working on a conceptual project integrating Alexa AI into its current mobile app with new features.
I started researching our users to understand their experience with AI assistant, emotion, and motivation in their daily life. I came across a lot of articles and research. I found out the most voice assistant users are Millennials and Gen Z. They are a very tech-savvy generation. They have very intimate experiences with smart devices.
I also knew they fundamentally think about their growth opportunity. According to Gallup Research, at their current stage in life, they think about their role as a stepping stone and a growth opportunity. They place a greater emphasis on opportunities to learn and grow and opportunities for advancement. It’s important to understand what motivates them, what doesn’t, and the delicate balance between the two. Ironically, about 35% of young people in their 20s and 30s hate their lack of future prospects in their career path and get less motivated to succeed.
Lastly, I knew more hours they use the internet like social media, the less time they spend with real human beings (The SIQSS study shows that) [such use is] at the expense of time people spend on the phone gabbing with family and friends or having a conversation with people around them. Internet causes young people to remain “home alone and anonymous”
Define Alexa App's Problems
I came across a lot of user reviews and came to the conclusion that users had very similar frustrations:
1. Unintuitive user interface and interaction experience
2. Alexa doesn’t work outside the home.
Alexa task performance and conversation flow were approximately 20% less than Google assistant. According to loupventures research, Alexa answered an averagely 64% of queries correctly compared to recent tests of Google Home at 82%, Siri at 52%, and Cortana at 56%. Even though it leads the AI speaker market share.
After the user research, I created two different personas called the busy professionals and college students. They have the potential room to grow up, However, they experience with struggle not being motivated and inspired for their personal growth.
User Daily Life Journey Map
I put the hypothetical personas into the user journey map to see each phase of the user’s daily life from their point of view. It helped me to clarify what My Alexa is able to help users for their positive wellbeing. I came to the conclusion for the opportunity to support users with My Alexa’s new features.
After the user journey map, I developed 3 solutions: Intuitive User Interface, Inspiration & Motivation, and Empathic Interaction Experience. New features have a personal assistant widget, intuitive user interaction experience, and automated response for the next possible action from the user.
It also helps our target audiences by giving them the quality content for their inspiration, motivation, and insight. Lastly, it should empathize with users make them feel an emotional connection.
1. Personal Assistant
2. Visual Interaction
4. Interact in Human Emotion
5. Sharable Memories
6. Inspiration & Motivation
7. Insightful Contents
In Maslow’s Pyramid, self-actualization at the top level inspired me a lot while I’m working on this project. I think self-actualization is really important for young people. My Alexa will inspire and motivate the users to keep them on the right path for their successful lives.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we can’t achieve the higher goal of a life without the basic steps, such as food and safety. These fundamental ideas of this My Alexa project are as same as Maslow’s Pyramid. Without the combination of each important factor to help the human conditions, it wouldn’t be a good product to help users.
The style of My Alexa followed the layer structure and color pallets with the current Amazon Alexa app & Echo Dot.
Sketches for Flow and Layouts
Personal Assistant Widget
User can customize their favorite cards on the dashboard. Mini Alexa which is a floating action button at the bottom helps the users easily summon Alexa. This button stays across all different pages.
I think there are still many frictions between the user and Alexa voice assistant. Intuitive interface design supporting the voice assistant makes seamless user flow and help people understand information visually better and easier.
A new visual communication interface between the user and voice assistant help users to get the answer correctly. My Alexa automatically responds to the user to give more open direction for further action.
My Alexa can respond with a whispering voice when you summon her with a quiet voice. In a private or public place, the whisper function plays a big role.
Interact in Human Emotion
My Alexa can respond to user emotion. It connects with home smart devices, such as Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue, or Smart plugs, and controls the color, lighting dimmer, temperature, and music playlists depends on the user’s current feeling to make their comfortable environment.
Sharable Memories (Connection)
Sometimes, we reminisce about the good old days of childhood. It would be very precious and surprising if the special memories are sent to users without any pre-setting. Those memories can be any mediums, such as photos, playlists, videos, or even voice messages about a certain person who is important to the user. It will help the user to connect with other people with shareable memories.
Inspiration & Motivation
Alexa inspires and motivates the user every day. Inspiration and motivation can be the quote, poetry, story, and speech about the relevant people who are significant or important to the user. This will help the user find their purpose in life and they can keep imagining what they want to pursue.
Insightful Contents & Collections
Millennials need mentoring to have better insight for their future. They need a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development. They want a roadmap to success, and they expect their companies or schools to provide it.
However, it’s not easy to find out the reliable mentors around them. My Alexa will give users the quality content of their professional field, such as design, culture, technology, media, even politics. This will help the user to have the insight and foresight for their relevant field.
What I have Learned from My Alexa
My Alexa helps the user with a sharper focus on their direction and it will help them get motivated and inspired on a consistent base. Its new empathic interaction engaging technology will promote the user with positive well-being too.
My Alexa has a lot of meaning for me. It was my self-reflection journey and I knew it was not just about designing the pixels, it was designing the compliments to the human condition.