An inclusive website: implementing voice-activated search

When organizations achieve online accessibility, it means offering more than just text. This includes providing descriptions for images in audio format, incorporating a read-aloud function for lengthy texts, and adding voice-activated search capabilities to your website. Such features are crucial for users with limited literacy skills or visual impairments.

Virtual digital assistants

"Hello Siri, Cortana, or Alexa!" Our smartphones, speakers, and smart home functionalities have progressively transformed into personalized digital assistants, to varying extents. When I demonstrate these to my parents (now in their 80s) on their smartphones, they find it unbelievable. And understandably so. Who could have predicted such a substantial transformation of mobile phones, from merely enabling calls anytime, anywhere, to becoming digital assistants capable of assisting with queries everywhere and increasingly responsive to voice commands?

I find it incredibly useful myself, whether searching for the nearest pharmacy or kebab shop, quickly checking the local weather forecast, or navigating to a specific location, all with that one small device in your pocket. "Hi Siri, guide me to the best software developer in Den Bosch and surroundings!"


Website accessibility for everyone

Voice-activated search on mobile devices has been in use for several years now. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI), these services are becoming smarter, enhancing the accuracy of the responses they provide. Could we now intelligently apply this technology to your organization?

Consider individuals who may struggle with reading or writing but still have queries for your company's website. Voice-activated search enables them to navigate effectively. And what about those with visual impairments? They too benefit when they can search via voice on your website.

At many large companies, both in the public and commercial sectors, search functionality remains text-based only. In my opinion, this is a missed opportunity. By integrating voice-activated search, you can reach a much broader audience. This makes your organization inclusive and accessible to an increasingly diverse range of visitors. Government agencies must comply with the WCAG standard for digital accessibility. Voice-activated search further enhances this accessibility. Moreover, it enriches website navigation and user experience, while providing valuable data insights.


Voice-activated search: get started now

Voice-controlled search is becoming increasingly sophisticated, thanks to improved algorithms, machine learning, and cutting-edge NLP technologies. As a result, voice search is better at understanding natural language, enhancing accuracy and usability. Voice searches continuously improve as underlying algorithms learn from users, better "listening" to the unique needs of each questioner.

Wondering how to implement voice-activated search on your own website? Google Cloud Speech-to-Text API can assist in integrating a voice-controlled search engine, simplifying user-driven searches to find the right answers.


Need help?

Interested in a comprehensive approach, especially if your organization serves a broad audience and aims to be accessible to everyone? Feel free to contact me at marc.gutlich@humandigital.nl or via phone at 085 - 00 20 678. We have a functional business case and proof of concept that we're eager to share with you.

Find this intriguing? Check out our article on digital accessibility for the hard of hearing as well.


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