You don’t have to be a tech expert or a big business to develop great Alexa skills. In fact, Amazon has made it easy for everyday users to develop their own personal skills with Alexa skill blueprints. Alexa skill blueprints are essentially templates that users can customize simply by filling in the blanks. The skills are only for personal use. But, users can easily share their custom Alexa skills with others.
There are tons of blueprints available that range across different categories. Examples of Alexa skill blueprints include designing a customized, interactive bedtime story for your child; informing houseguests of essential information for their stay; simple greetings to friends and family and more. To see everything you can do with Alexa skill blueprints, check out the dozens that are available for customization here.
How to Use Alexa Skill Blueprints
Using Alexa skill blueprints is easy. First of all, begin by selecting a skill from the Alexa skill blueprints library linked above. For this guide, we’ll use the “Houseguest” skill as an example for how an Airbnb host might use custom Alexa skills.
Once you’ve selected one of the Alexa skill blueprints, you’ll be taken to its content page. This is where you’ll input the responses for various Alexa skills intents. They are all provided as a series of categories. For the Houseguest skill, the content page includes topics such as:
- Where to find things in the house
- How to do things in the house
- Contact information
Alexa skill blueprints include sample content. However, you should add some of your own for building custom Alexa skills. Consider the context in which users will seek out the information provided by the skill. For example, an Airbnb host might want to use this page to inform users of:
- Where they can find extra linens or a spare house key
- What the best restaurants in the immediate area are
- Local attractions they might want to check out
- How to connect to the home’s wi-fi network
- Local emergency service numbers
Next, you’ll see an experiences page. This is where you’ll further add some flavor to your custom Alexa skills by writing a custom introductory message. These include a series of greetings as well as a goodbye message for when the skill is closed. For bed and breakfast app, our introductory message will be customized to say: “Welcome to [city name]! We’re happy to have you. If you need any help over the course of your stay, feel free to ask.”
Finally, you’ll be prompted to name your custom Alexa skill blueprints. After you complete your custom Alexa skills and go live, you can even share them with friends or family. To share your custom Alexa skills, simply visit the Skills You’ve Made page. Then, click “Access” and then “Share with Others” under the Skill Actions section.
Making Public Alexa Skills is Just as Easy
How to use Alexa blueprints is easy, but they’re only available for personal use. So, you can’t publish skills made this way to the skills store. But after playing around with Alexa skill blueprints, you might be confident in trying your hand at building public skills. Doing so requires no coding knowledge, since several voice app developer platforms offer drag-and-drop tools for easily designing conversation flows and intents. Hence, great options include Storyline and ApiToBot.
After publishing public Alexa skills, don’t forget to track app usage with a voice chatbot analytics tool. By keeping an eye on conversational analytics, you can easily troubleshoot bugs or improve the user experience in real time. Hence, with conversational analytics and a simple development platform, developing great custom Alexa skills is easy for anyone.