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November 29, 2018Jedidiah Esposito
Editor’s Note: This is an installment of a new series that showcases the top developer tips, tutorials, and educational resources to help you build incredible Alexa skills. Follow the series to learn, get inspired, and start building your own voice experiences for Alexa.
Voice is the most natural form of interaction, which is why developers are seizing the opportunity to build voice innovations that are pushing the boundaries of what technology can do. Developers all over the world have built more than 50,000 skills that enable customers to engage with technology in more delightful ways, from controlling smart devices via voice to playing immersive voice-first adventure games to getting the latest news.
It’s exciting to see the innovations from our developer community, including both experienced and novice developers. And they’ve only just begun. If you’re new to voice design and looking to get started with Alexa skills, here are our top resources from 2018 to help you on your way.
Before you can build an Alexa skill, you first have to design it. When the Alexa team teaches developers how to build for voice, they start by emphasizing the importance of designing the experience first to ensure it is compelling and that customers will want to engage with it. As a starting point, we recommend reviewing, in detail, the Alexa Design Guide, which is the definitive source for best practices, patterns, and guidelines to design dynamic and engaging Alexa skills. Check out the guide to learn the foundations of designing voice-first experiences.
A voice user interface (VUI) allows people to use voice input to control computers and devices. In short, it’s what enables voice experiences like the Star Trek computer and Alexa. In our Alexa skill builder’s guide, we share 7 steps you can follow to design a voice experience, from idea to dialog flow to voice interaction. Go through the steps to build your own voice user interface, and reference the design cheat sheet within the guide to help you along the way.
With voice, it doesn't matter whether you've written best-selling mobile apps or have never written a line of code. With the Alexa Skills Kit, you can start building for voice today. To help you get started, check out this blog post for an overview of the skill-building process and the five steps you can follow to design, build, and publish an Alexa skill.
If you learn best by “doing,” then watch the video below to watch an Alexa technical evangelist build and publish an Alexa skill from start to finish. You’ll learn how an Alexa skill works, how to design a voice experience from scratch, and how to use our software development kits and sample code to build quickly. Sign up for additional skill-building webinars to keep learning.
There are several tools and technologies available to skill builders of all levels to help them build rich voice experiences. If you’re new to skill building, what tools do you start with? Check out this roundup of top developer tools that can help you build more efficiently, test and debug, measure engagement with your skills, and more. You can also leverage our software development kits to reduce complexity in your code, use our quick-start templates to build popular skill types faster, or check out third-party skill-building tools.
Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our milestone-based developer promotion. US developers, publish your first Alexa skill and earn an Alexa developer t-shirt. Publish a skill for Alexa-enabled devices with screens and earn an Echo Spot. Publish a skill using the Gadgets Skill API and earn a 2-pack of Echo Buttons. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, France, Australia, and India. Learn more about our promotion and start building today.