I really enjoyed an article in Search Engine Land comparing Apple’s Siri with Google’s Voice Actions. It does a really nice job of comparing the two voice recognition operating systems. Here’s a picture from the article:
My take: The essence of experience design comes down to three questions:
- Functional: Does it do what you want it to do?
- Accessible: How easy is it to do what you want to do?
- Emotional: How does it make you feel?
There’s no doubt that Apple has been a master at experience design. Everything from the form factor of its products to its retail store model addresses those three items. Google, on the other hand, has mastered two of the areas: functional and accessible. It tracks efficiency like no other company and delivers amazing results. You can find almost anything you want with Google’s search capabilities.
One company has mastered experience design while the other has mastered engineering, which represents two-thirds of experience design (see my post: Google Squeezes The Soul Out Of Design). The difference between the companies comes out loud and clear when comparing Google Voice Actions with Siri.
- Personal. Apple gave its application a human identity, Siri. Google, on the other hand, named its voice application after its functionality.
- Tailored. Apple anticipates the user’s intent and tailors the results to meet a specific use case. Google provides a relevant list of search results.
- Compelling. Google’s marketing of its voice application was almost non-existent (as far as I can tell). Apple, on the other hand, makes its voice interface widely known. And when Apple showcases Siri, it seems much more exciting and accessible than Google Voice Actions. Look at how each firm describes its offering on its website:
The bottom line: Google needs to focus more on emotions