Feminine gamification viewpoint: voices
With a lot of automated systems these days talking to you, the question is: do you prefer a male or a female voice? Siri started out as a female voice in the USA, but a male one in the UK. Most voice male systems of companies are female. GPS systems often give you a choice although the default is female and for some reason all my running apps are sporting female voices.
Originally there were thoughts that female voice pitch was easier to understand especially around industrial noises, because the female voice has a higher pitch. In fact research has since proven that in fact against higher pitched industrial noises a male voice would be more effective and vice versa.
Equally there have been myths around being more trustworthy, intelligent, warm, etc for either gender voice. In any case the reason for which the voice is there is what is truly key. Does it give the user the information they want in as quick and efficient way as possible. Just imagine that inefficient switch board voice that tells you that your call is important and you have no idea how long you are waiting, which thanks to it’s repetition reinforces how not-important you really are.
From a gamification design perspective, the key is to keep the use of the voice a logical user-centerer choice. Is it quicker to have a voice command or information update or better the read it. I would expect it to depend on where the gamification is used and for what purpose.
I personally don’t have a preference, at the same time I find it bemusing that my partner’s Siri is a woman and mine a man. With the Internet of Things gaining in popularity, a lot more voices will be built in to our things, so out of curiosity what do you prefer? Tell us in the comments why?