How do you find a speech button on the website? That is a question that people often ask us. Of course, we try to promote a consistent way of providing the button on a website and a way of implementation that ensures the highest chance that people will find the button. So a big button! Preferably one that made up of both a text (Listen!) and a graphical part (). And preferably as close to the content as possible. For example, next to the header of the article. Or just below the article header.
Remember: a speech button on a website is not a function that replaces reading! It supports the reading, and listening to the text while reading at the same time greatly enhances the understanding of many people who have difficulty reading texts.
In our broad experience of supporting customers that have implemented our speech functionality on their websites, we have seen many interesting variations on the same theme. So let’s have a look at one such example. UMC Groningen, the largest hospital in the northern part of the Netherlands, has added our speech functionality to their website. Here you see the speech button implementation:
What is really nice is that they have decided to have an audio introduction message the first time you visit their home page. It will tell the visitor something like “welcome…you find a speech button on this website if you want to listen to the content of the webpage”. To have such an introduction message is a real help and at the same time is hardly intrusive for the web visitor! And the button is well designed, consisting of both a text and a graphical part.
Still, we feel there is also room for improvement because the placement of the button is quite far from the text; a spot next to the print button or just below the article header would be better. Even if that might be so, if we look at usage statistics then we clearly see that the audio introduction of the speech function is a huge success! Usage of the speech function is many times more than on other comparable websites!
Looking at examples like this gives you a good feel for what options and choices there are and to determine for your own specific situation which design is best to help your visitors find their way to the speech function on your website. And an audio introduction clearly seems the way to go!
Be sure to contact us when you’re ready to add speech to your website!