Interactive Voice Events Calendar: A Feasibility Project Using VXML

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Carl Burch


The purpose of this project is to explore and test the concept of having an existing visual, PC-based application become audio, telephone-based. The content of this project will be the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University Events Calendar located at We will create an interactive VXML application to allow users to use a microphone connected to a "virtual telephone" to access the same information that is online on the Events Calendar web site.

Once the VXML application is completed, observations will be taken of users interacting with the visual-interface (web browser) Events Calendar and users interacting with the voice-interface Events Calendar. Types of observations include time taken to accomplish each task, time taken to accomplish entire outline, and interface intuitiveness according to the user. It is our hypothesis that users of the voice-interface Events Calendar will: 1) require more time for user to obtain information and 2) experience greater difficulty of use (more frustration) than users interacting with the visual interface of the PC.

It should be noted that there is an inherent bias in this study. This bias is the fact that the users chosen, while having not used or seen the Events Calendar interface, will have knowledge of the computer interface (mouse, web browser, text on screen). This will give those using the computer interface an edge over those that use the voice interface, and my hinder results. All efforts will be made to keep this bias to a minimum.