Speech Technology Magazine


Biographical Information

Melanie Polkosky
Human Factors Psychologist & Consultant
IBM/Center for Multimedia Arts (University of Memphis)

Melanie Polkosky, PhD, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and social-cognitive psychologist who specializes in human factors and interpersonal communication. She is a consultant for IBM and the Center for Multimedia Arts (University of Memphis), where she is engaged in applied design, user research, usability evaluation, mentoring, and education.

Articles By Melanie Polkosky

VUI Design: A Career Path Less Taken

Hiring the art of creative constraint
Posted 10 Sep 2012 - September/October 2012 - by Melanie Polkosky

Reports of Persona's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

New technologies encourage speech designers to get creative.
Posted 01 May 2012 - May/June 2012 - by Melanie Polkosky

A Change Is Gonna Come

Steps for making sure it's the change you need
Posted 01 Jan 2012 - January/February 2012 - by Melanie Polkosky

If It’s a Tornado, Just Text Me

Automated messaging must be highly relevant and user-specific
Posted 01 Sep 2011 - September/October 2011 - by Melanie Polkosky

Watson: Much Ado About Toronto

Jeopardy gaffe by IBM's intelligent speaking supercomputer underscores importance of resolving miscommunication
Posted 01 May 2011 - May/June 2011 - by Melanie Polkosky

The Hooptedoodle of Phone

The rules of writing also apply to script design.
Posted 05 Jan 2011 - January/February 2011 - by Melanie Polkosky

To Usability Test...Or Not?

Sometimes conditions exist that can send tests awry.
Posted 01 Sep 2010 - September/October 2010 - by Melanie Polkosky

The Guitar and the Case of Opportunity Lost

New game brings out a speech technology wish list.
Posted 03 May 2010 - May/June 2010 - by Melanie Polkosky

Opening the Kimono

Lessons learned from some past speech deployment mistakes.
Posted 10 Jan 2010 - January/February 2010 - by Melanie Polkosky

All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go

IVR could be the weakest link in the communications chain.
Posted 01 Oct 2009 - October 2009 - by Melanie Polkosky

Goldilocks and the Three IVRs

Usage data comes in three sizes: too little, too much, and [rarely] just right.
Posted 14 Jul 2009 - July/August 2009 - by Melanie Polkosky

What I Learned Waiting Tables

The server's tone sets the tone for the type of tip
Posted 01 May 2009 - May 2009 - by Melanie Polkosky

Politically Speaking...and Reacting

I'm still haunted by the robocall months after the election.
Posted 06 Feb 2009 - January/February 2009 - by Melanie Polkosky

Contradicting a Legend

The less memorable a VUI, the better
Posted 01 Oct 2008 - October 2008 - by Melanie Polkosky

Intuiting Design

Listen to your gut, but back it up with user data.
Posted 15 Jul 2008 - July/August 2008 - by Melanie Polkosky

Air Cover in the Trenches

User research is our best defense in the design war
Posted 01 Apr 2008 - April 2008 - by Melanie Polkosky

Exploring VUI Designers: the Faces of Speech

Findings reveal unique characteristics that bind us as a profession.
Posted 01 Mar 2008 - March 2008 - by Melanie Polkosky

The Characters You Meet in VUI Design

Working effectively with the other personas can lead to a smoother sales pitch and buy-in process.
Posted 05 Sep 2007 - September 2007 - by Melanie Polkosky , Alexandra Auckland

Ivy League IVR

Respect-it can be a difficult, yet highly desirable value to attain. Most people want respect; it's a basic human motivation to be treated with dignity.
Posted 12 Sep 2006 - September/October 2006 - by Melanie Polkosky

What Is Speech Usability Anyway?

Perhaps one of the great ironies in the field known alternatively as human factors, human-computer interaction, or user-centered design, is that some of its central concepts are exceedingly difficult to define. Take usability, for instance. Walk into any enterprise that claims to know something about technology (or uses it for business operations) and take an informal poll about what this term really means. In all likelihood, you’ll get as many answers as people you ask.…
Posted 07 Nov 2005 - November/December 2005 - by Melanie Polkosky