Optimising Your Skill Ready For Release

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 19/03/2017 - 00:07

The skill store is a fast growing repository of skill for the Amazon Echo. As the skill store is growing at an exponential rate it is vitally important to ensure that you do everything in your power to give your skill the best chance possible.

In this article I will cover some of the considerations you should look at prior to clicking that submission button. Some will be self explanatory and others may come as a surprise.

Skill Name

Hopefully this is something you have considered prior to getting to this stage however it is not too late to change it. The skill name is the first thing that your prospective user will see. You should ensure that this is catchy and that it conveys what the skill does.

Invocation Name

The invocation name is the phrase used by your users when starting your skill. There are certain rules that you should be aware of when choosing an invocation name. Amazon has created a help page to guide you through this. These guidelines of course have to be followed otherwise you face the skill being rejected. There are further considerations however, for example how easily does Alexa recognise the invocation name. If the invocation name is difficult to say or easily confused users will face difficulty in using your skill and therefore will likely give up.

To ensure you have a good invocation name it is vital that you test this prior to submitting your skill. It is also beneficial to have others test this for you, the more accents you can try the better as well.

Skill Description

When creating a skill, within the publishing information you have an area that allows you to provide a short description and a full description.

The full description is essentially your advert. This shows in both the Alexa app as well as on the Amazon store. Ideally your description should contain a quick summary in the first paragraphto hook the person in. This should then be followed by a more detailed description as well as describing any setup requirements (for example if other hardware is required).

Ensure you do not make any rookie mistakes, make sure the grammar is correct as well as spelling. Making grammatical errors and spelling errors will make the skill look amateurish and people are likely to look elsewhere when browsing the skill store.

Store Image

When submitting your skill you are required to provide 2 logo images for your skill. The sizes required are:

  1.  108 px x 108 px
  2. 512 px x 512 px

You would imagine that you could simply create a rectangular image and submit it. Unfortunately if only it were that easy. Of course your image must be compelling. When searching for a skill the image has great prominence and is as important as the skill name.

There are further considerations as well. The logo itself is not displayed as a simple rectangular image, instead it is contained within a circular frame therefore you must ensure that important elements of your logo are not in the corner areas of the image.

I have created a Photoshop PSD document that should help demonstrate how your logo will display. The PSD file can be downloaded from HERE.

Conclusion

As you can see there are some important factors to consider that can help bolster the profile of your skill. By spending time on these elements you will have overcome1 of the first hurdles of getting users trying your skill.