How should a digital assistant help you reserve a restaurant or send a text while you’re dashing around campus or town? Can legible text and large buttons add efficiency to an existing voice interface without overly distracting a driver?
These are the kinds of questions I’ve been grappling with for around 20 years.
I started at speech recognition pioneer Dragon Systems, working in grammar design and localization for the voice-activated navigation system in the 2001 Jaguar X-Type. At Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs a few years later, I contributed to the nav system for the 2006+ Mercedes C-Class, and led soup-to-nuts design, engineering and user research for a series of voice and multi-modal application prototypes (see papers/patents here).
Later I managed a 5-person engineering team working on the GUI for the Dragon Drive demonstration app at Nuance. We developed a new interaction technique that allowed “no look” operation of touchscreens while driving. We called it Bullseye, because the whole screen acted as one big touch target.
Upon moving to Apple in 2013 I became the Siri design lead for CarPlay. Among other things, I explored, user-tested and spec’d a variety of improvements to Siri’s business search and mapping features. One small but important contribution was the inclusion of a “more with Siri” button at the end of length-limited lists. (The CarPlay protocol gives manufacturers the option of forcing the Music app to show at most 10 items in lists.)