This post was written by Alicia Power, VUI Design Engineer
When we speak in person, there are environmental, context and body language cues which help others understand what we say or mean even if our words are not crystal clear. Voice recognition on the phone has none of these advantages, and it helps to keep that in mind when calling Jott. You really are talking to a machine! Here are a few tips to help with voice recognition:
Avoid bad connections
As we all know from having conversations with others on cell phones, it can be hard to hear the person on the other end if there is bad reception or background noise. Voice recognition when calling Jott is no different. If your voice can’t be heard well enough, it won’t get through to the system and you will hear: “Sorry, didn’t get that.”
Speak loudly and clearly
If you hear “Sorry, didn’t get that” intermittently, try speaking louder. It sounds simple, but it is really the first step to good voice recognition. Shouting or over-enunciating is not necessary and will not help the system understand you. Just speak with a bit of projection to overcome any unconscious tendencies to speak quietly, mumble or slur your words together.
Be careful of name pronunciation
If you hear the message: “Sorry, we couldn’t find that name in your contacts”, it means that your words were heard, but we couldn’t match them with a contact, list or Jott Link. Often, trying again and saying the name slowly and clearly fixes the problem. Listen carefully to the way the name is read back to you when it asks “Is this correct?” as this can give you clues as to how the voice recognition system expects to hear the name.
Try the Sounds Like feature
If you are always having a hard time getting Jott to understand a name, it may be because you say it differently from the phonetic pronunciation. There is a really easy remedy to this! On the Jott website, go to the Contacts tab, and click on the contact this is happening with. You will find a Sounds Like text box. Fill in this text box with the phonetic spelling of how you say their name and the Voice UI will use this instead of the First and Last names to find your contact. For short names, add a word or two, like “doctor” or “mister”. It sounds silly, but if a name is really hard to recognize, you can simply fill in the Sounds Like field with a fun phrase or a few words which are easy to pronounce.