It’s time to vote! -UPDATE

Due to technical difficulties, our currently-underway election for the AVIxD Board of Directors is invalid. We have set up a new vote using SurveyMonkey, available online immediately, and have extended the cutoff deadline to Sunday, December 20 at midnight EST. That gives us a window of ten days, the same amount of time set aside for the current nullified process.

Sorry for this inconvenience, but we have to ask those of you who have already voted to please go to the link below and vote again. We have no record of your previous vote and you may vote for the same individuals or you may change your mind as you wish. Don’t worry, there will be no “double count” or trail, and the vote is fully anonymous with the exception that SurveyMonkey will not accept more than one vote from the same IP address.

Now to the candidates…

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The AVIxD board has four seats up for election and five candidates have been nominated for these seats: current board members Amy Goodwin, Crispin Reedy and Helen VanScoy; Carrie Claiborn; and, Jamey White.  The voting is now open to current paid AVIxD members.  Members will receive an email with a link to the voting site where they’ll be able to vote for up to four of the candidates.  Voting ends December 20th (EST).

Not a current member?  No problem!  You can get your membership up-to-date here at http://avixd.org/membership/ – enrollments received on or before the 20th will receive a link to the ballot.

It’s important to note that one of our incumbents, Bruce Balentine, has opted not to re-run for his seat.  Bruce has been a long-time part of AVIxD and obviously continues to be a tremendous driver in the VUI discipline.  We are immensely grateful for his service and we’re committed to finding new and creative ways to rope him into continued service.  On behalf of the board and the AVIxD community, thank you, Bruce!

Without further ado, here are your nominees:

Amy Goodwin (Incumbent)

Over the last two years, I have worked on the AVIxD board as Treasurer, Brown Bag committee member and as Web Master.  I orchestrated the complete redesign and re-launch of the AVIxD website and am in the process of overhauling the finances for the board.  I would very much like to continue my work on the board.  A little about myself, I am a Senior Speech Technologist at West and a 21 year veteran in the speech industry.  I have written thousands of directed dialogue grammars, provided analysis, design and deployment of natural language IVR solutions, as well as written natural language grammar solutions for several applications. I have been a designer, voice coach, audio engineer and speech scientist.  I have a passion for AVIxD and enjoy the work I have invested in the organization.

As I said in my first election: “I feel this is an organization that has a purpose and can be a valuable resource in our industry. With my varied background, I will be a valuable addition to the organization. I will do everything I can to promote quality user interface design standards and practices to enhance and improve the speech recognition industry.” This is still true today!

Crispin Reedy (Incumbent)

 I am currently working as a VUI designer at Versay systems.  I have been working in this field for over 10 years at various speech and IVR companies.  I am especially interested in learning from other design disciplines and am currently working on the UX certificate from Bentley University, as well as being a Certified Usability Analyst.

 I am very appreciative of the opportunity to have served the AVIxD organization as president these past two years and would love the opportunity to return and continue supporting the board and AVIxD members. I have served on the Brown Bag committee which has had 5 successful webinars this year. And, as President, I have also assisted other committees on an ad hoc basis.  During these last two years AVIxD has rebooted the website, finalized the wiki, revived the publicity committee, and laid the groundwork for a new journal.  In the future we hope to pursue official nonprofit status, start up the education committee, and keep our current successful projects going. It has been an exciting and energetic two years and I hope to keep the momentum going!

Helen VanScoy (Incumbent)

Helen has been working as a voice user interface designer in the Speech and IVR industry since 1996. Besides focusing on VUI design, her experience includes localization of design, human factors, and usability. Helen’s bilingual upbringing, passion for communication, and background in linguistics and teaching all help her create designs that effectively serve users from many walks of life.

Helen has been a member of the AVIxD board since 2013, and was co-chair and  contributor to the AVIxD VUI design standards wiki (http://videsign.wikispaces.com), a collaborative effort of VUI designers across the industry, since its inception in 2011.

Prior to joining PTP, she worked as a Senior User Interface Designer at Nuance (formerly ScanSoft and SpeechWorks) and in the speech group at Technology Resources Inc. (TRI), the research and development organization at SBC. Her specialty is speech and DTMF IVR user interface design with a focus in human factors, usability, and user-centered design. Helen’s experience includes designing, tuning and testing automated speech recognition telephony systems. She is also a certified Emotional Intelligence (EI) coach.

Carrie Claiborn

Hi! I’m Carrie Claiborn, and I’d like to throw my hat in the ring as a candidate for the AVIxD Board of Directors.  I am constantly surprised by the lack of awareness of our specialized VUI discipline.  Not a week goes by that I fail to receive well-meaning feelers from recruiters for “UX roles” – which, inevitably, are web design positions.  Conversely, conversational speech interfaces are frequently deployed by well-meaning folks who aren’t necessarily aware of the ramifications of their dialog design.  Time and again, users demonstrate their aversion to awkward or confusing interfaces, yet far too often deployed interactions fail to heed user experience concerns. Especially in the contact center arena, voice is dismissed as old hat (not to be confused with the one I’m throwing in here); in the rush to embrace new service channels, it’s easy to forget the IVR.  However, it’s important to realize over 70% of digital customer journeys still end in the voice channel, which clearly puts the experience of that phone call at the forefront of customers’ perception of an organization.  I am passionate about building the awareness the VUI field now lacks.  I firmly believe that increased understanding of the bottom-line benefits of good user experience will advance adoption of user-centered design processes, as well as increase user engagement.

As an AVIxD member, I responded to the Board’s request for help with outreach in May of this year. I was a founding member and have been an active part of AVIxD’s Marketing and Communications Committee since.  I love the opportunity to meet and engage with peers in the speech industry, but I also see AVIxD as a unique chance to coordinate speech user interface designers across channels.  I am particularly interested in engaging folks who specialize in the non-IVR speech recognition deployments to share their expertise with peers in AVIxD.

Currently, I work for VoxGen delivering elegant, effective automated experiences designed to delight customers.  I joined VoxGen in May of 2012 as a Senior User Experience Design Consultant, but had my first indoctrination to voice user interface design in 2003 with IBM.  Since then, I’ve worked on the voice interfaces for many major companies, including Allstate, Sprint and Anthem WellPoint.

Jamey White

For the last seven years, I have been a VUI designer for Convergys composing and optimizing intuitive speech recognition interfaces across a variety of industries.  During that time, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with numerous designers and business stakeholders to not only deliver working solutions but also enrich my expertise – many times through consulting the ongoing AVIxD design wiki.  Earlier this year, I actively assisted with the finalization of the wiki by contributing and reviewing content.  I’ve also had the opportunity to serve as a panelist on various IVR application topics at previous SpeechTEK conferences.  Prior to Convergys, I was a graduate student under the guidance of Dr. Juan Gilbert at Auburn University where I earned a Master of Science in Software Engineering.  While at Auburn, Dr. Gilbert afforded me an opportunity to work with a local company designing two different speech-enabled IVR applications.  I hope I can count on your vote and look forward to serving as an AVIxD board member where I can further promote and  develop an industry that has given me so much.

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