Three office hours sessions that will help you boost your skill design

Staff Writer Mar 28, 2023
Alexa Skills

Alexa’s developer Office Hours offer skill builders with actionable tips on building  with Alexa. With tips from leaders in voice development, and in-depth insights into best practices for leveraging new features, Office Hours are designed to help you take your voice development skills to the next level.

Recently, we’ve featured experts who help de-mystify what goes into building high-quality voice experiences. From creating multi-modal skills to optimizing your voice user interface, catch up with the latest in Alexa development with these three on-demand sessions.

Expand your developer toolkit with Alexa Learning Lab

Alexa Learning Lab is a central hub for trainings and workshops that help developers add new capabilities while writing code and receiving real-time feedback.

To take a closer look at the program, Jeff Blankenburg and Alexa Community Manager Amanda Lange sat down with Kabila Williams and Santosh Gowda. As part of the Alexa Learning Lab team, Williams and Gowda use developer feedback to identify high friction areas that slow skill builders down—then create specialized pathways to help the community overcome them.

Gowda described: “Our goal is to create e-learning solutions that help you grasp new concepts quickly, but also to make it easy and fun.”

“With Alexa Learning Lab, we want to make sure the developer community has a trusted location for reliable, valuable content,” said Williams.

Today, you can take courses on Alexa Presentation Language (APL), learn monetization strategies like In-Skill Purchasing, go through the full process of creating multi-turn skills, and more.

Get to know the Alexa Design Guide

Conversation design is an essential element of successful voice experiences, helping to drive retention through natural interactions. So how can you optimize it and develop fresh interactions that keep customers engaged? That’s where the Alexa Design Guide comes in. 

Alison Atwell, Senior Voice UI Designer, has designed and helped launched hundreds of skills—and now, her team compiles best practices and actionable instructions with the Alexa Design Guide. She joined Office Hours to discuss this comprehensive resource on voice design, plus how it can benefit developers of all backgrounds.

Atwell said: “In addition to detailed guidelines, all of our articles contain checklists. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to dive into a resource, these give you something to implement into your skill for a quick win.”

The Alexa Design Guide also features voice samples in order to provide more context and help you experience how a user might interact with your skill. 

Add a new dimension to skills with APL

Incorporating visuals like videos, graphics, and animations with Alexa Presentation Language (APL) is a powerful way to reach new audiences and create a deeper skill experience—but it can also be complex to carry out.

To clear up confusion and answer questions directly from the Alexa Slack channel, Jeff Blankenburg hosted a special Office Hours session dedicated to APL. Featuring Karthik Ragubathy and Kay Lerch, Solutions Architects specializing in APL, this talk includes wide range of live demonstrations focused on multi-modal skill development. 

[Watch the full Office Hours session here]

Tune in to Office Hours every week at 9 a.m. PT to unlock even more insights and get your questions answered, plus check out our library of past episodes.

Recommended Reading

Drive engagement by making your skill a part of customers' daily lives with the Alexa Routines Kit
Certification requirements for privacy policy URLs
Six tips for designing smooth Alexa shopping experiences to help grow revenue