Tag Archives: Alexa Skills

Creating Alexa Skills

Creating Alexa Skills

The Lab team here at Macadamian has been exploring the Amazon Echo and the associated Alexa Voice Service. This is the collection of their findings to date along with examples of Skills we have built for clients. From designing for voice UIs and developing Skills for Alexa to naming your Skill and getting it approved can all be found here.

If you are thinking of extending your product/service to the Echo or other Alexa Voice powered devices, contact us to explore how we can help bring your Skill ideas to life.

Developing Alexa Skills Locally with ngrok and Node.JS

How you can start developing Alexa skills locally using ngrok and your NodeJS server. Read more

Unit Test Alexa Skills Locally

Is it even possible to test an Alexa skill? That's the question our lab team was asking. We outline a solution to test Alexa skills locally. Read more

Analytics for your Alexa Skills

Without solid analytics, it will be almost impossible to understand what is and isn’t working with Alexa Skills. We went on the hunt this summer for an analytics solution that could help us better understand how users were interacting with our new skill and where they were having issues. Read more

Alexa Skills 101: Before the First Line of Code

With the explosion of Amazon Alexa enabled devices entering consumers homes, developers are flocking to the platform. This getting started guide will focus on Alexa Skills 101, and things you need to know before digging in to write the first line of code. Read more

Meet LifePod, Your Amazon Alexa Powered Virtual Caregiver

The Alexa Voice Service and other voice assistants are becoming commonplace as a way of interacting with our favorite products and services. One client came to us to help bring their idea of a connected virtual caregiver to life. Read more

Three Ways to Make Alexa Interactions More Natural

As the language model of Alexa expands, the interactions will be more and more natural. With these and other capabilities, richer experiences will be possible, which will bring us closer to seamless ambient computing. Read more

Tips for Choosing Alexa Skill Names

After the first couple certification attempts, selecting a name for an Alexa Skill seemed as hard as finding a nice and affordable .com domain name. For a Store with, at the time, less than 500 Skills, that was surprising. Read more

Four NLUI Design Ideas that Make a Big Difference

It seems obvious that interacting with a product, app, or skill via speech is very different from interacting with a screen, yet many early offerings use the same design metaphor as traditional graphical user interface (GUI) products. Read more

Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service in Healthcare

The Amazon Echo and Alexa voice service have been a hit in the consumer market with skills that help you order a pizza or call an Uber. Now with the introduction of the "KidsMD" skill, the Alexa voice service is making its way into the healthcare market. Having focused on healthcare IT and stressing the possibilities of voice interaction for years, it’s great to see Alexa for healthcare finally in action. Read more

Creating the Fantasy Scoreboards Alexa Skill

We have officially submitted our second Alexa Skill for review. It’s called Fantasy Scoreboards and allows users to control their WiFi connected NHL scoreboard with their Amazon Echo. While building this Skill we learned a few more valuable lessons about extending the capabilities of Alexa. Read more

Four Enhancements We Want for the Amazon Echo

Our annual MacHack happened a few weekends ago and as always the teams at Macadamian put in 24 straight hours of hard work to bring some amazing ideas to life. This year many of the teams focused their efforts on creating IoT solutions, many of them using the Alexa voice service of the Amazon Echo, highlighting how interactions with Alexa could be made more natural. Read more

Applying User Experience Principles to Alexa Skills

Crafting a voice controlled interface for our text message skill posed some interesting design hurdles. To have a truly successful skill, expect to commit some time to the wordsmithing that likely kept William Shakespeare up at night. Read more

Creating a New Alexa Skill

Over the last several weeks, we went through the entire process of designing and developing a new Alexa Skill for Amazon’s Echo and then submitting it for approval by Amazon. The skill in question? One we would likely use many times a day: sending text messages. Read more