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Create a Voice User Interface

Learning Objectives

In this project, you’ll:

  • Create a skill using the Amazon Developer Portal.
  • Implement a voice user interface using the Alexa Skill Builder.

In this project, we create a fully functional Alexa skill. You’re introduced to important tools like the Amazon Developer Portal, which contains the powerful Skill Builder tool to implement voice user interfaces, in addition to AWS Lambda in future units to build skill functionality.

In the spirit of learning new things, we build a skill that gives facts about space. By the end of this project, you can adjust it for whatever you need.

Amazon Developer Portal

1. Go to the Amazon Developer Portal. In the top-right corner of the screen, click the Sign In button. (If you don’t already have an account, you can create a new one for free.)

2. Once you have signed in, select Alexa.

Amazon Alexa button in Developer console menu

3. Click Skill Builders to open the dropdown and Developer Console to navigate to the Alexa Console.

Skill Builders option open and Developer Console highlighted by a red box and arrow

4. Click Create Skill. This takes you to the first page of your new Alexa skill.

Create Skill button

You are now in the Create a New Alexa Skill page. First, we choose a name for the skill. This is the name that is shown in the Alexa Skills Store, and the name your users refer to. 

1. Enter Space Facts for the name. Don’t worry, you can change this later.

2. For Language, choose English (US). You can always add additional languages later.

3. Make sure the Custom model is selected.

Skill configuration with Space Facts in Skill Name, English (US) as the Default language, and Custom model selected

4. Further down, ensure Provision your own is selected from the methods available to host your skill’s backend resources. Click Create Skill to proceed to the next step.

5. On the Choose a template page, select the Start from scratch template and click Choose.

This takes you to your Alexa Skill Dashboard. You can navigate using the menu on the left or the checklist on the right. Here, we create the sample utterances and intents for the skill. 

Alexa Skill Dashboard

Create a Voice User Interface

Starting with the Invocation option, this is the name that your users say to start your skill. 

1. Under the Skill Builder Checklist, click Invocation Name.

2. Enter space facts as the Skill Invocation Name. If you want to choose your own invocation name, check out the Alexa Skills Kit invocation name requirements.

3. Click Save Model. A popup message will appear, indicating the save was successful.

4. Click the JSON Editor on the left side of the skill builder menu.

5. Replace the contents of the Code Editor text box by copy-pasting the contents of the en-US.json file. If you have downloaded the file, you can drag and drop the file as well.

6. Click Save Model. Look for the popup message, indicating the save was successful. On the menu, you see that a new intent has been created based upon the interaction model that you just imported.

7. Click Build Model.

And now you’ve created a voice user interface using the Alexa Skill Builder! The skill isn’t finished yet. We still need to build the backend service to power it, finish wiring everything together, and test it. 

Resources

We won't check any of your setup. Click Verify Step to go to the next step in the project.