Even with clear directions, given at the right time, listeners get lost. They might get distracted by somebody or something, or they might forget your instructions. Their concentration could simply wander, especially if they’ve already been listening to your tour for a long time. And because we encourage you to do as much speaking as possible while listeners are moving, they might also keep going straight, without realising they’ve missed a turn or stopping to look at the on-screen directions or the map. This is why we have a lost alert.
What is the lost alert? #
The lost alert is both a text notification and an audio alert. The default audio is Sir Ian McKellen’s voice saying, “Not all who wander are lost, but it looks like you might be. Now’s a good time to take a look at the map on your screen.”
But you can record your own lost alert. Just discuss this with your editor before you record the rest of your tour.
The lost alert can also be disabled by users in the app, under Settings, and disabled for a specific tour. The latter is also something you can discuss with your editor.
When does the lost alert play? #
The lost alert only plays on sequential tours, which require the listener to move from one location to the next in a sequence. It is triggered when a listener is getting further and further away from the next location instead of getting closer to it.
The sensitivity of the lost alert depends on the tour’s transport type. Listeners need to go further to trigger it on a driving tour that they would on a walking tour, for example.
Why might the lost alert trigger incorrectly? #
The lost alert does sometimes trigger incorrectly, when the listener definitely isn’t lost. These false positives can have a number of possible causes, including:
- The listener decides to take a slight detour to look at something that is not on the tour’s route
- The tour takes a roundabout route to reach the next location, moving away from it first before moving towards it
- GPS bounce places the listener somewhere they are not
- The audio for a location is too long, and as a result the listener goes straight through the next location and continues moving
- Listeners travel faster than expected, especially if cycling or driving on what is supposed to be a walking tour
- A listener chooses to skip an optional tour location, like an turnoff with a quick stop on a driving tour
- Listeners skip locations manually, using the player controls, breaking the playback sequence
If there is a chance that the lost alert will regularly trigger when it shouldn’t, you can add a line in the audio letting the listener know it might trigger and that they can ignore it. Alternatively, the lost alert can also be disabled.
Disabling the lost alert in the VoiceMap app #
To turn off the lost alert in the app:
- Tap the cog wheel icon to open Settings
- Next to Audio Lost Alert, tap Off
Disabling the lost alert for a specific tour #
Disabling the lost alert for a specific tour can only be done by an editor. If you would like to disable the alert for your tour, please get in touch with your editor.
How can we make this more useful?
Was this part of the tutorial not detailed or clear enough? What questions do you still have that could have been answered here?