Ensuring the highest quality voice user interface through extensive utterance gathering, functional and UX testing.


Beeb, the first public service voice assistant: Testing for real-world conditions to create a conversational interface.

The rise and continuous improvement of AI-based voice interfaces has drastically changed the way users perform even the simplest tasks online. The BBC's mission to inform, educate and entertain now extends to the conversational medium as its digital teams just released their voice assistant Beeb.

In order to launch Beeb and ensure the highest possible quality for their new digital voice assistant, the BBC's digital teams focused on three important pillars:

  • Gathering a large amount of voice utterances using natural language, from a wide group of UK testers with diverse demographic profiles
  • Collecting UX and qualitative feedback from the testers
  • Testing out the functionality across various devices

In our webinar, Lisa Vigar (Senior Product Manager, BBC), Gemma Hanley (Test Team Lead, BBC) and Jessica Ruesch (Senior Project Manager, Applause) will unveil how the BBC took up the challenge of voice through the launch of Beeb.


  • How the BBC and Applause joined forces to collect over 105.000 voice utterances, covering 16 different accent groups across the UK
  • How the different UX surveys and functional testing cycles helped the BBC teams optimize the user experience and quality of the first release over time
  • Concrete examples of areas for improvement identified and key learnings when training and testing an AI-powered voice interface

Speakers of this webinar

Lisa Vigar

Lisa Vigar

Senior Product Manager • BBC

Lisa is Senior Product Manager in the BBC’s Voice + AI team, leading the way in innovative voice products on the Webby Award winning BBC Kids Alexa skill, and developing the BBC’s own voice assistant ‘Beeb’. Having previously built children’s products including the award winning BBC iPlayer Kids app, various CBBC and CBeebies apps, as well as IPTV and red button products, she has years of industry experience in product management and solving users’ problems.

Gemma Hanley

Gemma Hanley

Test Team Lead • BBC

Gemma is one of the BBC’s Voice + AI’s Test Team Leads, working as part of the engineering team behind the BBC’s own voice assistant ‘Beeb’. She has nearly a decade of testing experience, mostly within voice based products such as Natural-language Understanding, speech recognition, speech interaction analytics and voice biometrics, as well as contact centre infrastructure and routing. She is a strong believer in continuous testing throughout a product's lifecycle; focusing on user testing cycles to deliver the right level of quality in a user facing product.

Jessica Ruesch

Jessica Ruesch

Senior Project Manager • Applause

Jess is a Solution Delivery Manager at Applause, partnering with companies from all across Europe to help them deliver seamless and intuitive digital experiences for their customers. With backgrounds in both psychology and QA, she works with a diverse portfolio of clients spanning all stages of the SDLC. Her passion is to ensure that all users (regardless of environment or experience) can access the digital applications they want, when they want, how they want.


Applause is the worldwide leader in enabling digital quality. With the Product Excellence Platform, Applause provides a harmonized approach to quality that drastically improves testing coverage, reduces costs and speeds time-to-market for websites, mobile apps, IoT and in-store experiences.