To reduce your time writing foundational code and provide you with more time to work on the unique aspects of your skills, Amazon created skill components to use as building blocks for your skill experiences.
Skill components include skill primitives such as intents, dialogs, visual templates, skill code, and tasks, and are easily added to skills as ‘ready-to-use' solutions for common use cases. Components are customizable and you can combine them with other components to tailor your skill to fit your unique use cases. Components help you compose, customize, and launch faster.
Radio skills are good example of how Skill Components can be used. Radio personalities & DJs are always looking for new ways to build a direct connection with their listeners. One of the primary barriers in driving interactive engagement is the friction listeners encounter when leaving their radio streaming medium in order to request a song through the web or a phone. These interactive engagements can be built better using Alexa’s conversational capabilities.
For DJs, Alexa can make it convenient for audiences to engage in a more natural way using voice the same way you would expect to talk to a friend, which is how listeners view radio DJs. Some examples of components for Music & Audio skill types are Song Request to DJ, Polls, and Contests. The “Song Request to DJ” skill component is a good use case to examine more closely.
Skill components contain pre-defined voice user interfaces (VUIs) that collect the necessary information to complete the request. The information in this instance is the song name, artist name, requestor’s name and city, and the dedicated-to person’s name and city. Users can say "Skip" at any point if they don't want to give any inputs. Users can cancel the request mid-interaction by saying, "Quit." When Alexa doesn’t understand users' input, the service prompts them again and gracefully handles the error path.
With this component, you solve the complex problem of managing large permutations of interaction paths a user can take while interacting with your skill. The component abstracts away those complexities for radio partners. It enables them to focus on improving the content by working with creators and DJs, and managing their own service backend for song requests that come through various mediums.
Components are pre-built using Alexa design best practices. Components start with the latest conversational AI, so that you get an advanced starting point to develop from. Amazon is continuously working to upgrade our skill components with more VUIs and multimodal elements to offer you a consistent, high quality voice and visual experience.
To get more details on Skill Components, visit the Skill Components page on the Alexa Developer Portal.