Creating a Great Out-Of-The Box Experience (OOBE)

Gavin O'Duffy Jun 22, 2020
Alexa Voice Service Design Alexa Built-in Training & Tutorials AVS Device SDK Solution Providers

As a device maker, you are providing your customers with a new experience by including Alexa. Interacting with your product via voice will give them a more natural experience. Your customer is going to take a journey with your Alexa Voice Service (AVS) product. From taking it out of the box, to setting it up, to discovering what it can do, to making it a part of their everyday lives - the journey should be as easy and delightful as possible. Your customer may not be familiar with Alexa. And they will certainly want to learn about what your product can do, and how Alexa can help.

The Out-Of-Box Experience (OOBE), including packaging and setup, is crucial to educate and delight your customer. Getting this right can make the customer experience a positive and exciting one. But doing it wrong can lead to your customers not utilising your product, and Alexa, to its full potential, or in the way you envisaged when you set about creating it. This blog post will share tips and guidelines on how to create the best Out-Of-Box Experience from how you should think about your packaging right through to the best possible setup experience.

Packaging and printed materials

Your product packaging, and the printed materials in the box, such as a user guide, provide your first physical opportunity to introduce the product and it’s Alexa capabilities. In addition to adhering to our Alexa Marketing and Branding guidelines, these materials should:

  • Educate customers about the benefits of using Alexa on the device
  • Highlight interesting or relevant Alexa capabilities and use cases
  • Showcase features of your product that will surprise and delight your customer
  • Offer example customer utterances (Things to Try)
  • Introduce ways for the customer to explore and learn more
  • Offer easy suggestions to get help if the customer is confused or needs more information.

If your device does not have easily identifiable physical buttons to interact with Alexa, your materials should also include:

  • How to start an Alexa interaction
  • How to interrupt Alexa
  • How to turn the wake word on and off, if your product is voice-initiated.

The packaging provides basic information on Alexa. The first interaction with Alexa will happen during the setup. In the next section, learn how to create a frictionless setup experience for your customers.

Setup and authentication

Device setup can be intimidating to many customers. It helps to have a well-designed product companion app with a clear and easy-to-follow set of instructions for setting up and configuring your product. AVS provides prebuilt, or hosted, screens for use during OOBE setup and education.

AVS setup is a combination of introduction and educational screens, meant to communicate the value of Alexa to the customer, and authentication screens which enable the customer to log in with their Amazon credentials. The screens are combined into a three-step process:

  1. Introduction screens, or splash screens
  2. Authentication screens, or LWA (Login with Amazon) screens
  3. Customer Education screens, or Things to Try screens

You must also provide the customer a way to log out of their account. Logout functionality is typically included in the Alexa settings of your app. If your app does not have any settings for Alexa, you can reuse your Things to Try page for logout, while reminding your customers about the benefits of remaining logged in to Alexa.

The examples found in this blog post are formatted for standard mobile phone and tablet display proportions and orientations. They will work on a range of displays but may require additional modification in order to provide a high-quality customer experience. A successful integration must maintain access to and legibility of content.

Some Alexa setup screens are provided for you. Others can be designed to your own specifications, as long as the specific requirements discussed in this blog post are met. Example screens are provided on our developer portal.

1. Step: Introduction screens

The introduction, or splash screen presents Alexa to customers in a way that encourages them to engage using your device. In a simple way it describes who Alexa is, what kinds of things Alexa can do, and the benefits of a voice-enabled experience.

The splash screen must contain:

When creating the splash screen, please refer to Alexa Voice and Marketing guidelines.

Devices using a companion app

If you are creating an iOS or Android companion app to set up Alexa on your device, Alexa Voice Service (AVS) supplies you with a prebuilt, or hosted, splash screen for your app. You are required to use the hosted splash screen in your companion app. It allows customers to become familiar with Alexa in a consistent, way. In addition, it allows us to include future updates and improvements to the splash screen without requiring changes to your app.

The hosted splash screen includes a link to the authentication flow allowing customers to login to Alexa, as described on the website. See Authorize from a Companion App for details about using the hosted splash screen.

Devices with screens/Code-based linking

If you are creating a screen-based device or using code-based linking to set up Alexa, you will need to create your own splash screen. You should attempt to create the same experience described above, a consistent introduction to Alexa and what she can do. While a single splash screen is often sufficient, you may use a series of screens or animations. Example text for the splash screen is provided on the website, as are example screen designs.


2. Step: Authorization and authentication using Login with Amazon (LWA)

Login with Amazon (LWA) is required to authorize (initial account creation) and authenticate (subsequent login) customers on Alexa Built-in products. Based on your AVS implementation, choose one of the following approaches for implementing LWA:

Authenticate from a Companion App

This approach packages the Alexa Setup screens into a mobile app experience (iOS/Android) created by the developer. Amazon provides access to Login with Amazon as web views, and the developers build the Introductory and Education screens according to Amazon's guidelines. Learn more:

Authenticate from an Alexa Built-in Device

This approach displays the Alexa Setup screens on the device. Login with Amazon is still provided as web views that the device will need to render. This is only available for touch screen-driven experiences, and also requires a local browser in order to allow new customers to create an Amazon account. Learn more: Authorizing Your Alexa Built-in Mobile Product.

Authenticate with Code-Based Linking

This approach is intended for products that can present a code right from their screen, and where input of customer credentials would be inconvenient. Code-based linking moves LWA from a device's companion app to the web via a secondary device such as a mobile phone, tablet, or personal computer. Learn more: Authorizing with Code-Based Linking.

Login with Amazon (LWA) screens must be implemented to Amazon specifications. See the Login with Amazon implementation guides linked above for detailed specifications. For all approaches, be sure to give your Security Profile a name that matches the name or brand of your product so that a customer is confident they are authenticating to your device.

3. Step: Customer Education screens

The Customer Education screens serve two purposes: confirm successful login and give customers suggestions for how to use Alexa, otherwise known as Things to Try.

You must always include example utterances in this section. If your application has a separate Alexa logout screen within its settings, consider including Things to Try examples so that customers know the benefits of staying signed in.

The Things to Try screen requirements:

  • Amazon Alexa logo
  • Mention of Amazon
  • Description of how to wake Alexa
  • Example utterances
  • A link to download or open the Amazon Alexa app.

The number of example utterances displayed can vary depending on their length and the space available. If long example utterances must wrap onto a second line, avoid having a single word on a line, and ensure the spacing between lines is less than the spacing between utterances. Consider the following when writing example utterances:

  • The utterances should relate to the product’s use cases. A speaker may emphasize audio controls, while a kitchen product may emphasize timers and alarms.
  • If the product is voice-initiated, the example utterances should start with wake word “Alexa”.
  • If the product is touch-initiated, the example utterances should not start with “Alexa”.
  • The utterances should not reference third-party products the customer must purchase in addition to your product.
  • The utterances should not reference third-party skills that the customer must enable manually. However, you may include examples of how to enable or use your own skills.

If the device your customer signs in from supports the Amazon Alexa app, you must:

  • Link directly to the Amazon Alexa app if installed, or
  • Link to the Amazon Alexa app in the app store for your OS.

The syntax for the links is: (Android) and alexa:// (iOS).

If the device your customer signs in from does not support the Amazon Alexa app, you must inform the customer that the Amazon Alexa app is available for download. However, you are not required to link directly to the app in the app store for your OS. Example text for the ‘Things To Try’ screen is provided on our website, as are example screen designs. See the Setup and Authentication page for more information.

In addition, there are UX Logo and Brand Usage guidelines for the device and companion app screens you will create.

What happens after the setup?

After Alexa is set up, your companion app will still be important as a source of information and education for the customer, as well as a place to access settings that are not available in the Alexa app. Continuing to help customers explore is important to driving ongoing engagement with your product.

Both product and Alexa settings should always be easy to find and understand. Try to give your customer as much control over their experience as you can, especially for functions that are not available in the Alexa app. These are some of the settings you can include in your product's companion app:

  • Signing in and out
  • Enabling and disabling the start and stop listening sounds (only for products with prominent visual attention systems)
  • Alexa language selection.

If the customer chooses not to enable Alexa initially during setup, it should be easy to locate and enable in the future.

For more information on creating your companion app, see:

Need support with integrating Alexa into your device?

Amazon works with selected Solution Providers, including Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs), System Integrators (SIs), Chipset providers and Consulting services to provide commercial device makers with a simplified Alexa integration path and bring new devices with Alexa built-in to market. From consulting with you during the ideation phase, manufacturing devices with Alexa Built-in to delivery and support – our Solution Providers can help you along the way.