In 2009, we conducted an assessment of four Interactive Voice Response (IVR)s for various government agencies with 74 participants (using touch-tone, not speech recognition). Among the ergonomic weaknesses that we identified, the most common were related to terminology (vocabulary, labels, jargon as well as the syntax) and too many options in the menus.
Six years later, we’ve found that the majority of problems identified at that time are still present today.
Here are 6 best design practices we recommend:
Terminology is the most difficult criteria to put into practice since language invites multiple interpretations. That is why it is important to conduct an analysis of the vocabulary being used by the callers, as well as usability tests to measure the level of attention required to efficiently use the menu options.