New Alexa Skills Training Course: How to Build a Multimodal Skill

Joe Muoio Nov 13, 2019
Multimodal Design News


Editor’s Note: We have changed the name of the Alexa skill in our beginner tutorial from Cake Walk to Cake Time given the term’s racially insensitive history.


We’re excited to introduce a new Alexa skills training course called How to Build a Multimodal Alexa Skill. This self-paced course is free and available to anyone ready to build skills using Alexa Presentation Language (APL). APL is a design language and set of tools that make it easy to create visually rich Alexa skills for devices with screens. There are more than 100 million Alexa devices, including Echo devices such as the Echo Spot and Echo Show, Fire TVs, Fire Tablets, and devices from other manufacturers with Alexa built-in like the Lenovo Smart Tab devices and LG TVs. If you’re unfamiliar with building skills, start with the Cake Time course. If you are familiar with building skills, you can get started now with the How to Build a Multimodal Alexa Skill course.

Enhance Your Voice Experience with New Modalities

When you build a multimodal Alexa skill, you combine voice, touch, text, images, animation, audio, and video in a single experience. Adding new modalities can enhance voice experiences and make skills more engaging and interactive for customers. You can bring your branding visually to customers and provide unique interactions not possible with a voice-only design, helping your skill to stand out to your customers.

In the Cake Time course, you build a skill that counts down the days until it is your birthday. When it is your birthday, Cake Time will deliver a special message. In the new course, you will make your own version of this skill, enhanced with images, animations, text, and a special birthday video.

Course Components

The course will introduce the important concepts of multimodal skill design:

Each part includes step-by-step instructions so you can easily apply the course material to your skill.

More Training Opportunities to Enhance Your Skills

Once you have completed the Cake Time series, continue to learn with these additional training materials:

Get Started with How to Build a Multimodal Alexa Skill

Click here to get started. And let us know what you think! You can also join us on our Twitch stream on November 21st, 2019 at 9:00 AM PST. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JoeMoCode to share comments and feedback, or send your APL questions to the ASK Developer Forums.