Thoughts about using speech in data entry GUIs

dataluver

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I have used speech quite a bit over the years for various GUIs I've dev'd. In almost every case, in the design phase, when suggested, I get resistance because It's just not part of the usual paradigm. And even though the cost is barely, if at all, affected, people see speech as bloat even though it's built into windows and is accessible by COM and the popular frameworks. For straight up, heads-down data entry, I have found it to be very valuable though I don't have any hard stats to support that. I have gotten positive feedback from those who do use it. I'm not talking about the built in accessibility options in the OS, but a more customized experience using the speech engine. I'm just curious if anybody else reading this has used speech or why they wouldn't. Thanks! :)
 

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Jon von der Heyden

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From an Excel perspective, I have only used speech for a bit of fun. I was once swapped a number of shortcuts on my colleagues machine for speech profanities. ;)

On a more serious note, yes I have found speech very useful, for MS Word. A few years back I was writing a lot of technical content. I found I just couldn't get my content down because my typing is too slow - it was holding back my thought process. I eventually opted for speech to get my thoughts down. Works!
 

dataluver

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Of course we use it for fun also! In our in-house app, we occasionally use it for fun with some of my co-workers/end-users. Many projects I've dev'd include data-entry from hard sources. Speaking the entries as entered allows for verification without heads-up, proof-reading. That's the benefit I'm narrowing in on. I'm curious if there are other benefits others have noted or drawbacks.
 

DataBlake

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In terms of speech to data entry i would imagine that an error, whether that is someone mumbling or the speech recognition flubbed it, could be quite costly to a company. I tend to not talk clearly when I'm doing something tedious so that would be my main concern/insight into why someone would be against it? otherwise i wouldn't have the slightest why someone wouldn't want something so convenient in their stuff.
 

dataluver

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HI Blake. I'm not really talking about text to speech, but using the speech engine to speak back data entries as they are entered. It's an underused option IMO.
 

Greg Truby

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One of the first things I do when I'm setting up Excel on a new computer is go to the Review tab on the ribbon and customize the tab with a new group where I add on the Speak Cells, Stop Speaking, By Columns, and By Rows buttons. I find it bang useful when I need to double-check some numbers that have been manually input. I can keep my eyes on the original paper document and just have Excel read the numbers to me. When I taught Excel seminars around the country, this was one of my general Excel tips that was always a big hit.

Edit: When I would teach this trick I would also always tell folks to make sure they had headphones they could jack into their computer. If you're in a normal cubicle office environment, you will probably start to get the occasional annoyed looks from coworkers if you do this very often.
 

dataluver

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...you will probably start to get the occasional annoyed looks from coworkers if you do this very often.
:)

I can keep my eyes on the original paper document and just have Excel read the numbers to me.
Exactly what I'm talking about. It is a big hit if I'm able to convince them that it's a worthwhile tool and not just a bell and whistle. I've not actually used this in Excel because I don't really get to play around with Excel much (wish I did - Excel was my first love - well, non human). But in data entry front ends I have found it a great tool.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

DataBlake

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HI Blake. I'm not really talking about text to speech, but using the speech engine to speak back data entries as they are entered. It's an underused option IMO.
ah, i was unaware that was even possible with excel. that would definitely be helpful then.
 

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