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from the Plum Voice IVR Glossary
A user interface is the interaction mechanism between a human user and a machine. A good user interface allows the user to efficiently and expressively communicate their intent, and provides useful feedback for each action taken by the machine and the user.
The most typical user interface that computer users are familiar with is the desktop and window environment of most modern operating systems, as manipulated with a keyboard and mouse. The graphical elements that are presented on the screen in such a user interface is called a Graphical User Interface, commonly abbreviated as GUI. Elements that you may be familiar with in most GUIs include: windows, menus, radio buttons, check boxes, and icons.
A user interface that is operated with a web browser is typically called a web interface, and the advantage of this platform is that it can be accessible over the internet with a web browser without requiring end-user software installation. Plum offers a variety of web interfaces for operating its software.
One example is the Plum Voice Portals user interface that is installed on our onsite IVR servers; an advanced version of this web interface served from our datacenter is also provided to our hosting customers. Using this tool, a user can assign applications to specific phone numbers, check IVR call logs, and start and stop the IVR platform. Another example of a user interface that Plum offers is the Plum Survey Builder. This tool allows a user to create surveys with various questions types and send them out to be taken over the web or via phone. The results of those surveys can then be reviewed and analyzed.
Our professional services team of IVR experts provides frequent consultation on the user interfaces provided by IVR applications, both those developed in-house and by our clients. Many IVR applications frustrate users with an inefficient and unforgiving user interface, which prevents tasks from being completed expediently and confuses people by stranding them deep in navigation menus and trees. We commonly recommend that IVR applications provide a optimized solution for a specific task and that navigational menus be kept as brief and simple as possible. For more complex routing schemes, we have consulted on flexible speech-recognition grammars that allow the user to say what they want to do, saving the time of listening to endless series of touch-tone options. Our expertise in IVR user interface design will give your IVR application a degree of presentation and polish that will not go unappreciated by your end-users.
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