Pixi, tell me a story
Every kid loves a story at bedtime. It takes them to wonderful new places, sparks their little imaginations, and most important of all… it sends them softly to sleep.
Well, we here at VUI have a wonderful story for you too.
Now you can just say “Alexa, erzähle mir eine Gutenacht Geschichte” (Alexa, tell me a bedtime story) to listen to magical Pixi tales with your little ones, brought to life by performances from the original actors’ voices.
Alexa, erzähl mir eine Gutenacht Geschichte.
Alexa, sage Pixi, dass ich ein Schlaflied hören möchte.
It’s the voice that children fall asleep to
Pixi stories are a much-loved Carlsen story brand that families have trusted for generations. And we were thrilled to help bring them to Amazon’s Alexa and Deutsche Telekom’s Hello Magenta smart speakers for families across DACH.
Designing a voice app for kids
Kids are a demanding and honest audience. To make sure they were kept happy, we worked according to three core voice-design principles.
1 / Good prompt design
We kept the stories pleasant and fun with authentic dialogue and made sure the skill’s conversations were never overloaded with information.
Using several linguistic and voice design strategies (including the ‘one-breath’ technique – short questions articulated in a single breath), along with other child-friendly rhetorical and conversational tools, made sure little ears were kept entertained for as long as possible.
2 / Sound design for children
Dialogues come right off the page with the child-friendly soundscapes we created and recordings straight from Carlsen’s very own curated sound database.
To allow for flexibility in changes to conversation flow, we implemented original voice design techniques, including dialogues between Alexa and a recorded speaker, to allow for those unexpected answers that kids are famous for.
3 / Conversation Design
The Pixi stories voice skill gives the opportunity to choose between two very different bedtime stories, using natural interaction choices. Using the ‘auditory distinction’ technique to make differentiation very clear for the virtual assistant, we were able to offer a wide variety of stories—so any child can easily find a story they love.
Our role in the project
Ranging from use case determination – including stories and lullabies to voice brand identity (with original voice recordings of children stories actors and sound user experience with story-like soundscapes), our voice consulting helped to immerse little users into the original Pixi world.
On top of our voice consulting services for this project, we are a continuing strategic consulting partner for Carlsen, preparing them for the future of Conversational AI and supporting them to find their next wave of growth through creative voice projects and new business models.
As one of our signature offerings, our team of DACH linguists and voice designers poured the best of their creativity into this part of the Voice Design process. In this voice app, we carefully adapted the tonality of the prompt texts to match the Pixi-specific language and collaborated closely with experienced voice talent for children.
Little users and adults can now fully immerse themselves into the Pixi story world by applying our Voice Persona Design expertise, creating memorable family experiences that will last a lifetime.
Our team of linguists are experts in phrasing, grammar, intonation, and all the technical aspects of language and machine learning language (NLU, ASR, and TTS).
It’s this expertise that makes sure the conversations inside the Pixi app are natural, helpful, and fun. The result is that children can easily choose between stories with animals, friendship sorcery, sea, vehicles, feelings, or adventure and enjoy the conversation with the assistant. At the same time, parents can choose to join in, or just relax.
Our conversation design process means parents know their children are talking to a trusted conversational partner while listening. It lets them catch a break from coming up with new stories for their little ones every night.
As top DACH market developers for skill and action architecture for Amazon Alexa platforms, we made sure the high-quality standard of the Pixi brand for kids was translated into the voice experience and always fine-tuned to the latest updates.
We kept across regular updates of new Pixi story sound files to implement with platform-specific requirements in mind.
Our sound specialists made sure that children and their parents were immersed in the magical world of Pixi stories by surrounding them with fun and comforting sounds. Sound design strategy ensures that the users enjoy their beloved Pixi stories without thinking about the platform.