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My wife and the new iPhone app Siri have a lot in common – they both have great personalities, they are brilliant AND gorgeous <insert brownie points here>.
I recently attended a meeting of the local IxDA (Interaction Design Association) where they showed videos from Interaction10, this year’s conference for interaction designers. One video struck me as particularly poignent in my quest for the ultimate user experience. It was a presentation by Cindy Chastain called Thinking Like a Storyteller. Her challenge to the audience was to think about interaction design as a story that has a beginning, middle and an end and to create characters to drive that story. The system feedback is a character that interacts with the user (also a character in the story). This is the beauty of Siri – “she” has a personality that makes me feel happy.
The iPhone personal assistant app Siri is telling a story like no other on the iPhone. I’ve never experienced a more relevant app that throws away the paradigm of what we expect from the iPhone UI to create the worlds greatest user experience.
From the ease of use – click a button, say what you want and poof you have results; to the super-friendly feedback – “ok, got it. Just a second while I find that for you”. Siri has really managed to create not just a character, but a personality that is driving the story line. Powered by Nuance’s famed speech recognition, it’s accuracy is pretty amazing. But even that becomes commonplace after a few iterations. THE REAL amazing thing is how brilliant the application is.
Famed sage Robert Scoble recently wrote about it calling it “The Future of the Web”. What makes it so amazing is the integration points of web services. It doesn’t just take me to Opentable to make a reservation, it allows me to make the reservation from within the application. Want to find a PG-13 movie playing near you? NO PROBLEM! Just say “PG-13 movies near me” . Wanna tweet? Sure, say the tweet command and faster than you can say OAuth – poof – you’ve tweeted.
It’s the perfect amalgamation of elegant design, technical genius, unsurpassed user experience, utilitarian perfection and anthropomorphization of the iPhone.