AVS UX Notifications


When implementing Notifications, you need to determine how best to inform your user that a Notification has arrived, and how to persistently inform that user that unread Notifications are available in their queue. All products must play the new Notification audio file when a Notification arrives. How your product visually informs the user that a Notification has arrived or that a queue exists depends greatly on:

  • What visual affordances your product supports
  • How you render the standard Alexa Attention States. See Attention System for more information.
  • Whether your product is built on an OS with its own Notifications framework, such as iOS or Android

You should also consider informing end users that your product supports Notifications:

  • As part of your product's setup flow
  • On the Things to Try screen
  • In associated educational materials

For more about implementing Notifications, see the Notifications Overview. The new Notification audio file is provided in the Alexa Sound Library.

Devices using LEDs

For products that use LEDs, a burst pattern should be used when a new Notification arrives. A slow pulse pattern should then be used to indicate that Notifications are in the queue. For both patterns, the LEDs should be yellow to distinguish the patterns from the standard Alexa Attention States. See Multicolor LEDs for additional guidance.

Devices using a high resolution screen

If your Alexa integration is built on a device with a native Notification framework, such as iOS or Android, we recommend using that framework for both indicating the arrival of a Notification and the existence of a Notification queue.

If you do not have a native Notification framework available, or choose not to use an available framework, Notifications should be integrated into the method that your product uses to display the standard Alexa Attention States. For example, if your product uses voice chrome, burst the chrome in yellow when the Notification arrives, and use a yellow burst at the end of an Alexa interaction to indicate to the user that Notifications are available in the queue. You may choose to display a persistent queue indicator on screen, if it will not be disruptive to your users.

Native notification framework

If using a native Notification framework, the user should be informed of a new Notification immediately. If possible, the audio file included in the SetIndicator directive should be played for the user.

For a persistent queue indicator, the product’s implementation of the Alexa Attention State should be yellow when Alexa is not being interacted with. In addition, the product may use its native badging system to indicate queued Notifications.

Low prominence visual attention system

We do not recommend creating a product with a low prominence visual attention system because it is not possible to display all Alexa attention states clearly. If your product has a low prominence visual attention system, playing the Notification arrival audio file is even more critical to consistently informing the user that a new Notification has arrived. If your device has a companion app, we recommend informing the user of new and queued Notifications in the app. See Visual attention system prominence for further information about visual cue prominence.

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Last updated: Nov 27, 2023