When Amazon created Alexa, it gave the world a brand new and more enjoyable way to digest information.
At the same time, it created for entrepreneurs and marketers a completely new and more personal way of getting closer to customers and potential customers.
What made things even more interesting was the introduction of Alexa Skill Kit.
It allows the creation of new skills for those interested in leveraging Alexa’s ability to create personalized experiences for its users.
Given the endless possibilities of use and application, users inevitably find themselves in front of both great skills and really bad skills.
In this article I want to talk to you about the method I use to create the best skill possible.
We’ll see how to decide what features to make it effective and what to evaluate to create something that your users will love.
What is the right skill?
On the one hand, the integration of skills with existing web applications gives us the possibility to control and manage, for example, the calendar with simple voice commands and order or reorder products, like office supplies, in half the time.
On the other hand, we have to deal with skills that disappoint us because they are simply useless.
One example is Taco Facts which provides information and facts about taco upon request, giving nothing of value to the life of the user who uses it.
Not to mention the fact that the skill creation platform is open to anyone in the world, regardless of the level of programming skills.
As a result we get skills that do not respond to commands, do not correctly perform what they were created for, or give answers simply of low quality.
From these facts we can come to 2 important considerations:
- With so many low-quality skills it will be even easier to stand out with a skill properly made
- To be able to create a skill properly made, we need a method that guides us and guarantees a high level result
So let’s now figure out what, in my experience, are the most important steps to follow to create a successful skill.
The method to find the right skill
The first phase of the work must be dedicated to taking measures to ensure that the skill fits our target users perfectly.
In concrete terms, we need to identify which product or service will come with the skill and then to understand concretely who is the type of user to whom we would like to use the skill.
With these first two elements we are able to work with precise references, trying to imagine as vividly as possible the situations in which our type of user could use our Skills.
To do this, however, it is not enough to assume, for example, the age of our public, the level of education, the work and family situation and so on.
To make a truly perfect skill, we need to understand what would drive him to use it.
Here it can be useful to imagine where this user is while using our product or our service.
- What goal does he want to achieve?
- What transformation can you bring with what you offer?
For example, he just wants to enjoy some fun content to relieve the stress of the day or his aim is to increase his productivity and organization so he can have more free time for his family or hobbies?
You will understand that depending on his goal, what you offer him can take quite different forms, and without analyzing your audience properly, you wouldn’t be able to identify those forms.
Now that you have some initial guidelines, you can move on to designing the different steps to be taken.
What concrete operations must or can your stressed worker perform in order to get a little fun?
For example, he should take his smartphone, open YouTube and browse until he finds the right content, watching some that then turn out to be wrong for that moment.
Now you need to understand what are the functions that can’t be missing in your skill and those that can be avoided, skipping optional and non-essential steps to the use of what you offer.
In addition to this list of functions, you should take one step further and think about each of them to understand if you can simplify or speed up the process and whether the operation in question will be repeated several times during the lifetime of use of the product or service.
The most important thing is that your user has a pleasant experience while using the skill and therefore the effort to cut some operations and improve the performance of others will pay you back.
The more a user perceives that what you’re offering can improve an aspect of his life that matters to him, the more likely he will continue to use the skill and talk to other people about it.
Now we have come to the decisive test.
Is the skill planned so far effective?
To understand this you have to go and evaluate the individual voice operations you have identified and ask yourself if they are really useful, useful enough or unuseful.
For example, navigating through a list of items will be much more intuitive with a graphical interface rather than with a voice, which could be difficult and annoying for your user.
In descending order of utility you can evaluate operations according to 4 categories:
- operations that perform a task (such as asking to notify us of the release of the next content).
- operations to search for specific information (such as asking to play the latest content).
- operations that give generic information.
- navigation operations (as it could be browse a list).
Once all these identification operations are done, it’s finally the time to understand if and what kind of skill you can realize that is useful and valuable for your users.
To do this the rule to follow is this:
“If there is at least one essential and repeatable operation that can be simplified with voice compared to current methods, this is the right skill for your Business that your customers will love.”
The effectiveness of your skill is determined based on the average of Voice Utility Spectrum (VUS) grades.
Based on the different ratings and degrees of the spectrum of speech utility, I’ll try to clarify the concept for you with an example: the skill of ToDoist.
If you don’t know it, ToDoist is an app that allows you to create to-do lists and has a number of management functions.
For the creation of their skills they evaluated the type and usefulness of the different operations that their users could do to achieve their goals and in the end they decided to focus only on the addition of entries to the list.
They decided to omit the operations for managing lists, exactly because the utility, based also on the spectrometer, would have been low and ineffective.
If you’ve followed me all along the article you get that an effective and useful skill is not a skill that has tens of features or that performs incredibly complicated tasks.
It’s right to insert even just one function, as long as it is useful for people’s lives and that as a result leads them to bond with the brand.
So read again the article, face every step of the method and build a skill that will stand out in the Alexa skill store.
And remember that if you want to create your skill in the easiest way possible, with IPERVOX you can do it in just a few minutes (even if you don’t have any technological skill).
All you have to do is click down below on “Start for free” and we will guide you through the process.
I’ll see you soon,
CEO and Founder of IPERVOX