An engaging voice experience starts with great voice design. We’re excited to share a new tool to help you craft a robust voice user interface (VUI). Whether you’re looking to build a new skill or make improvements to an existing one, you can get started quickly with our new VUI testing tool.
Why This Tool Is Useful
With this tool, you can quickly test any VUI with your voice. Just invoke your skill and listen to a detailed description of the request generated by the Alexa Voice Service. The best part: this tool will work with all your existing VUIs, no changes needed; you don't need to write any new code. You can use it with any device with Alexa as well as Echosim.io.
Let’s say I’m building a new skill, and I’m thinking about using the dialog management feature so I can give my customers a better experience by confirming their choices. But I want to test how slot confirmation might work for my VUI before I spend time implementing it. With this tool, I can simply try it out before I build it.
How to Use This Tool
You ccan accessing the testing functionality in three easy steps:
- Build a VUI in the developer portal
- Deploy the code as an AWS Lambda function
- Connect them together by configuring the function as the endpoint for the skill
Once I connect the tool, I might learn that slot confirmation does in fact helps me collect high quality inputs in an elegant way. Or after some testing, I could discover that I want to pivot slightly and use intent confirmation instead. I can also try that out using the testing tool. And once I’ve got it right, I can build my skill to do just that.
This means that testing new features to an already existing VUI would just require a few clicks, and a simple change to point it to a new Lambda function. It also enables me to split the skill development responsibilities. While someone works on the backend code, I can, in parallel, craft a VUI and make sure it works just as I designed it.
Test Your VUI
Leverage this tool to speed up your skill development process. Our source code and a ready-to-deploy zip file are both available on GitHub. We kept the code minimal in order to keep it easy to read and repurpose. We are using the Node.js SDK to route all requests to a single event handler.
If you are looking for a complex VUI to test, we recommend using the one for the plan my trip tutorial. It showcases slot filling and dialog management as well as built-in and custom slots.
Build a Skill, Get an Echo Dot and New Alexa Swag
You knocked our socks off last month with your Alexa skills. So naturally, this month we are bringing back the Echo Dot promotion and adding in some limited-edition Alexa dev socks for you to rock this summer. Use the Alexa Skills Kit to build and publish a new skill this month, then apply to earn perks.
Source: Alexa Developer Blog