This is an archived version of the 2018 edition of UXLx. The current event website is at

Ann Thyme-Gobbel

  • Ann is Voice UI/UX Leader at Sound United, and is pursuing her dream of understanding how people use speech and natural language to communicate with each other and with technology. She has designed, researched and analyzed voice and multi-modal interactions for 25+ years in product development and services organization, and holds a PhD in Linguistics and Cognitive Science.



9:00 - 12:30

Room 1

Designing and Prototyping Voice Interfaces

Intrigued by the current explosion of intelligent voice assistants and how to be part of it all? This is a highly interactive workshop with hands-on exercises for anyone wanting to learn about user-centered Voice UI design. We'll cover the concepts behind voice as a modality, you'll learn how to identify what matters when designing a conversational dialog and see the impact of your design decisions on user success when testing your design with a low-fi prototype. In the process, we'll cover the importance of "voice-first", pros and cons of voice testing, and how to find user data that's relevant for voice.

You'll learn about

  • Why it's important to hear your dialog design, not just write it
  • The Core Principles of VUI design, and practice applying them
  • Creating voice prompts that works well for user-centered audio-only dialogs
  • Creating and running a Wizard of Oz prototype test
You'll leave with

  • An understanding of what makes VUI design complex, what the challenges are and how to address them
  • Experience applying VUI design principles to writing conversational dialog
  • An appreciation for the pros and cons of various user testing methods for voice
  • Resources to help you approach any VUI design task and start your thinking like a VUI practitioner
Who it's for

Anyone with an interest in voice/speech automation. You need no previous experience - and it's ok if you have some. The focus is on underlying methods and best practices, not on building voice apps for a specific platform.

What to bring

Bring something to write on & with for designs, minimally pen & paper. Preferable: bring your laptop running something that let's you create simple flow diagrams (e.g. Balsamiq, Visio). If possible, download one of the text-to-speech voices that lets you play highlighted text. (On a Mac, look in preferences for Speech or Accessibility). And bring your curiosity and questions, and learn about voice UI/UX from my years in the voice industry.



11:25 - 12:00

Auditorium I

Practical Jobs To Be Done: A Way Of Seeing

The concept of jobs to be done provides a lens for understanding value creation. It’s straightforward principle: people “hire” products to fulfill a need. 

For instance, you might hire a new suit to make you look good at a job interview. Or, you hire Facebook to stay in touch with friends. You could also hire a chocolate bar to relieve stress. 

Viewing customers in this way – as goal-driven actors in a given context – shifts focus from the psycho-demographic aspects to needs and motivations. Although the theory of JTBD is rich and has a long history, practical approaches to applying the approach are largely missing. 

In this presentation, I will highlight concrete ways to apply the jobs to be done in your work. This will not only help you design better solutions, but also enable you to contribute to broader strategic conversations.