February 23–26, 2020
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Multisensory architecture: Design beyond vision

Scott Davis (ThoughtWorks)
9:00am12:30pm Monday, February 24, 2020
Location: Sutton South
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Case Study

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects




Gartner says that over 30% of our computer interactions these days are through voice rather than touch, mouse, or keyboard. (“Hey Alexa, can you verify that for me?”) They go on to explain that “conversational user interface technology is fundamentally shifting how technology providers build and how people use software and applications. Product managers developing software solutions must add conversational UI into their product roadmaps in the next two years for relevant use cases.”

Join Scott Davis, a web architect and principal engineer at ThoughtWorks, to explore W3C specifications like the Web Speech API (for speech synthesis and speech recognition), Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML), and WebVTT (for closed captioning). These technologies not only power smart speakers from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple; they power smartphones and desktop browsers as well.

With the recent passage of the European Accessibility Act (EAA), all new and existing websites in the EU must meet W3C standards for accessibility (WCAG 2.1 AA-level) by September 2020. So while you’re setting yourself up for future success with your conversational UI architecture, you’re also helping your company avoid lawsuits (over 10,000 Americans with Disabilities Act cases in 2019 alone), improving your SEO, and tapping into an underserved market (one in five people, over 1.5 billion people worldwide) with an estimated market value of over $7 trillion dollars in discretionary spending.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience with Siri, Alexa, Cortana, et al. (useful but not required)

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop with a text editor and Node.js installed
  • Headphones
  • Clone the course GitHub repo

What you'll learn

  • Understand why conversational UIs are the next big wave in application architecture
  • Gain the hands-on experience and confidence to join the revolution
Photo of Scott Davis

Scott Davis


Scott Davis is a web architect and developer advocate at ThoughtWorks, where he focuses on the leading-edge, innovative, emerging, and nontraditional aspects of web development, such as serverless web apps, mobile web apps (responsive PWAs), HTML5-based smart TV apps, conversational UIs (like Siri and Alexa), and building IoT solutions with web technologies. He’s also the founder of Thirstyhead.com, a Denver-based training and software development consultancy. Scott has been writing about web development for over 10 years. His books include Getting Started with Grails, Groovy Recipes, GIS for Web Developers, The Google Maps API: Adding Where to Your Web Applications, and JBoss at Work. He’s also the author of several popular article series at IBM developerWorks, including Mastering MEAN, Mastering Grails, and Practically Groovy. His videos include Architecture of the MEAN Stack, Responsive Mobile Architecture, and On the Road to Angular 2. Scott is also the cofounder of the Denver HTML5 User Group.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Scott Davis
Scott Davis | Web Architect and Developer Advocate
03/04/2020 8:25am EST

Hi Jon,

The slides are here: https://thethousandyearweb.com/examples/multisensory/

We pivoted away from coding exercises for this workshop, but all of my code can be found on GitHub under ThirstyHead: https://github.com/ThirstyHead/


Jon Anderson | Front End Developer
02/21/2020 6:51am EST

Hi Scott,
I am having trouble finding the course GitHub link on the O’Reilly website. Do you know where I need to go to find it?
Thank you!!

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