How does EIG confirm that a design is usable?

VideoUsabilityEIG uses Wizard of Oz video usability testing to validate and refine the detailed design. While our proven best practices allow us to create a design that works “on paper”, usability testing allows us to fully optimize the design by observing it “in action”, particularly in areas where the design has some especially tricky design challenges.

Please see “Video Usability” testing on the services page to learn more.

How does EIG confirm that a design is usable? was last modified: August 14th, 2017 by Kathy Von Hatten

What is special about the EIG design methodology?

First of all, we execute a comprehensive and disciplined process to map business goals to design requirements and proceed from there. While we’re guided by best practices, we’re not shackled by prefabricated solutions.

Second, we objectively apply the right technology to solve business needs, whether or not that technology is the one receiving the most industry “hype.” We’re not tied to particular vendors.

Our methodology starts by assessing business needs and priorities independent of what is currently in place. That is, we create a long-term design plan that “future proofs” the IVR. Once the ideal state is captured in a high-level design, we then map a path from the current IVR design to the future state and prioritize phased improvements that minimize disruption to the callers and the enterprise. (It’s worth pointing out that “Phase 0” generally targets design problems that can be addressed immediately for significant usability improvements – the “quick fixes.”)

We then develop the detailed design using a hierarchical, top-down approach. The goal is to make the most effective design possible, not only for the callers but also for ongoing system administration. We use a number of custom tools to simplify the design process.

The EIG approach ensures that the design is fundamentally effective as a first step. That is, the design must allow callers to get accurate and timely answers to questions and to fully complete transactions or transfer out of the IVR to the proper skill set as appropriate. From that, we ensure the design is fast and efficient.

Finally, we address the aesthetics of the design in terms of “personality”. It’s worth noting that EIG designs tend to emphasize a professional rather than a cute and chatty persona. Our goal is to serve callers, not to draw attention to the IVR.

What is special about the EIG design methodology? was last modified: March 5th, 2015 by Ed

IVRs are complex. How do you gather requirements?

It’s important to understand the qualitative and quantitative requirements that drive an IVR design, so we capture requirements by analyzing existing statistics, engaging stakeholders through one-on-one interviews and in group meetings, and conducting usability studies to understand nuanced requirements of an effective user interface.

We work with your existing usage statistics and review as much of this data as possible, with as much detail as possible.

We typically request time to interview each key subject matter expert or stakeholder. When we “double-jack” in the call center, we spend a few hours with each skill set. We can schedule this to minimize any disruption to call center operations. We also typically interview 4 to 6 experienced call center representatives for about one hour.

And finally, we schedule 2 to 3 on-site meetings during the design process (requiring up to 4 days total typically) for planning and design review. We meet with the project manager and other key design team members for the entirety of these meetings, and with other subject matter experts and senior managers for specific portions of the meetings. Most often, the time commitment from any one person for all meetings combined is approximately 4 hours.

IVRs are complex. How do you gather requirements? was last modified: March 5th, 2015 by Kathy Von Hatten

What do we need to know about managing prompts?

We consider a prompt to be one voice file. This could be something as simple as the word “one” or as complex as an entire menu that has been recorded as a single file. Our advanced call flow design tools (EIGFlow) help us create and manage scripts for the hundreds (or thousands) of prompts that make up a large-scale application.

EIG applications are quite stable, but every application requires prompt updates to meet ongoing business changes (for example, a change in a mailing address). If there is an urgent need for a prompt change, it’s usually possible to implement a temporary fix immediately using a local voice from EIG or from your own company. In some cases, the turn-around time has been less than 2 hours for such changes.

For professional studio recordings, the typical turn-around time is one to two weeks. They can turn-around prompt changes in as little as one day, but rush charges may apply. We regularly work with Walsh Media and GM Voices. You can find further information on our Partners page.

What do we need to know about managing prompts? was last modified: March 17th, 2015 by Kathy Von Hatten

Do EIG designs include error handling?

Yes. In fact, EIG has developed a unique error management strategy. We create efficient, forward-looking error recovery dialogues that never talk about the error, but rather focus on what the user must do next to succeed.

For example, rather than say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand” (which we never recommend), we might recommend, simply, “Please repeat.” In this way, the error is not brought to the caller’s attention, but the call is continued with decreased caller frustration.

Our designs include all error handling. We also test error recovery during usability testing to ensure that error recovery prompts maximize the chances that callers will remain in the IVR.

Do EIG designs include error handling? was last modified: March 5th, 2015 by Kathy Von Hatten

Does EIG have a company bird?

EIGBirdYes, we do. After an arduous competition, the Attwater Prairie Chicken has been declared the official EIG company bird. The deciding factor was its appealing call, which we’re proud to share with you.

Does EIG have a company bird? was last modified: February 19th, 2015 by Ed