A User-Centered Design Approach to Developing a Voice Monitoring System for Disorder Prevention

  • Lisa M. Kopf
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to.Lisa M. Kopf, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Northern Iowa, 230 Communication Arts Center, Cedar Falls, IA 50614.
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa

    Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jina Huh-Yoo
    College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Published:November 11, 2020DOI:



      Many individuals will experience a voice disorder in their lifetime, especially occupational voice users. While a number of voice monitoring systems have been developed, most were designed with the clinician/researcher as the end user. For a patient to use these systems, they need field experts to help them interpret data from the system to understand its meaning. Most of these systems would have challenges in being used in a preventative context with the occupational voice user as the sole system user.


      The current study introduces a novel design approach: user-centered design (UCD) with paper prototypes in the creation of a voice monitoring system for voice disorder prevention (VDP). The goal of this design approach is to design systems that are engaging and intuitive for users so they will be interested in interacting with the system and be able to benefit from the system without the need of external support.


      The current study was conducted in two phases: an iterative design phase and a test phase. In the iterative design phase, 15 participants gave their opinions on the measures and feedback designs they felt would be the most beneficial to users. In the test phase, the researchers collected real voice data over multiple sessions for 18 additional participants and provided this data using the final feedback displays from the design phase.


      By engaging in UCD, the researchers identified key design challenges for VDP: (1) educating the user, (2) balancing contextualization and granularity, and (3) addressing disconnection between user and system goals.


      UCD holds promise for designing VDP systems that are both engaging and intuitive for occupational voice users.

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