Bob Frankston wrote about IVR systems just recently. He’s so right. Simply replacing DTMF keys with spoken inputs is really not much of an improvement. Part of the problem is that as users we are trained to expect the system at the other end to function in hierarchies. As an example, I recently telephoned Rogers #811 number to change my cell phone plan, and found myself trying to guess what inputs would take me to what location in the system. In the end I gave up the game, and simply told it what I wanted which got me to an agent. I have no idea what the agent at the other end saw though.