An Open Letter to Those Talking to Voice-Controlled Interfaces


One of my “in the shower” thoughts today had to do with voice interfaces and how they kind of annoy me. This is my appeal for silence and just being fine with having to press some damn buttons.

Cycle of Thoughts

    1. I adjust the water temperature and wonder “what’s going on in the pipes and with my water heater to deliver me this glorious hot water?”
    2. As my epidermis warms, I think “Ok,  by adjusting the handle counterclockwise in increments, I am able to achieve my desired temperature.” Which leads me to the question: What kind of valve is opening/closing and where is it?
    3. Now I’m onto design improvements: “What if I had two buttons, one hot and one cold that had five settings that I could push up and down?” Then I could just hit up setting 4 hot, 2 cold, perfect.
    4. Not Quite: “Why do I need two buttons? That way I can just go Setting 4.”
    5. Screw Having to Touch Anything: “Why do I even need to be pushing a button? How about I just tell the shower what level I want it to run at, or even better, at what temperature and for how long?”



Where I Ended Up

I hate voice interfaces. There’s too much talking. Too much ordering. Too much control or desire for it.

Must we exert that much control?

Must we have complete subservience?

Is my new normal hearing people talking about setting timers, recording shows and getting reminders?

Not to mention, your internal ponderings on any subject for which you desire to query a search engine. Can you please just keep that in the browser for me? Thanks.

Can I just get some goddamn peace and quiet?

And can you be ok with possibly having to push a damn button?

That’s all.




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