Tips for Successful Alexa Smart Home Skill API Certification

With Alexa’s growing popularity, developers across the world are building skills to connect the Amazon device with smart home devices through the smart home skill API or a custom model. Amazon has seen issues with some submissions for skill certification. Aaron Tang at the Alexa blog gives some handy tips so you can avoid pitfalls and cruise thru the certification process.

Aaron starts by enumerating the pitfalls the Alexa team have seen that have held up submissions. First off is a developer offering an inconsistent user experience across target languages. You need to make sure your skill works well in every language you plan to offer. Not only that, make sure you explain your skill in all the target languages too!

Just as bad is forgetting to provide test account credentials to the Alexa team. You must provide username and password for a cloud-based device to show how your skill will interact with a smart home device. 

Another basic pitfall is to forget to provide links to your privacy policy and terms of use that work on mobile and desktop. Aaron advises testing these pages before submission to avoid silly mistakes.

Lastly, stick to the script. Aaron emphasizes that you should make sure your example phrases are in line with Amazon’s smart home guidance. Otherwise you could see your submission in hot water. 

Aaron ends by listing some best practices to smooth the certification process. One, consider adding a user guide as part of your supporting documentation. Two, the user guide and any other docs (the description included) should be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Amazon reads every text carefully and you will be penalised as though you were at school for bad writing. To help tongue-tied devs write docs, Aaron recommends you use the description template provided by Amazon.

Original Article

Tips for a Successful Alexa Flash Briefing Skill Certification

Seamus Holland

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