I was recently asked a question while presenting about how to build voice apps that caught my attention. The attendee asked if I thought that human interaction would change to a dulled down monotone voice with each other, because so many people are talking to Alexa, and that’s how Alexa talks.
My answer is NO, because as developers, we can actually replace Alexa’s voice in our Alexa Skills, and do the same with Google’s voice in our Actions on Google Assistant. Case in point, these voice apps I’ve built for clients, use our client’s voice, instead of the robot voice.
We can also add effects to Alexa and Google’s voice using tools like Voiceflow’s SSML editor.
I show you how to do both in this video.
These techniques make for a much improved voice user interface design experience.
There are basically four main ways that I build Voice Apps (Alexa Skills and Google Actions).
1. Amazon Alexa Blueprints and Google Action Templates – these are pre-built Voice Apps that allow content marketers and developers to change and customize the content in the flow. These can include some cool functionality though, such as Business Onboarding Guides, Games and Quizzes.
2. The Voice Designer – TheVoiceDesigner.com allows you to download a WordPress plug-in that content marketers and business owners can use to build and deploy Alexa Skills and Google Actions directly from their WordPress dashboard. This is an amazing tool, and easy to use, allowing businesses to build a Voice presence that is in alignment with the content on their website.
3. Engage By Voice – EngageByVoice.com is a product that follows the “template” concept, but allows businesses to engage with their audiences via functionality such as voice-based SMS messaging, voice-based user surveys, email sign-ups via voice and even a Net Promoter Score survey. These templates are pre-built yet easy to customize.
4. Voiceflow – Allows you to build custom voice apps for Alexa and Google using a block-based, drag and drop CMS system that includes Logic. Like TheVoiceDesigner.com and EngagebyVoice.com, Voiceflow requires no coding, but allows for coders and non-coders to collaborate within the same project, as well as deploy it to Alexa and Google at the same time. It also allows Voice App builders to create Video Skills using Alexa Presentation Language (APL), developers to layer in outside API integrations, content marketers to replace Alexa’s voice with audio files, and more.
For this blog, I’m focusing on #4, Voiceflow.