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Certification Essential: Skill description must be relevant to its core functionality   

Certification Essential: Skill description must be relevant to its core functionality

A well-written skill description aims to showcase what value a skill is going to offer to the user. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the skill description follows the below guidelines which facilitate ease of understanding for end users and also helps in optimizing skill search-ability.

1. Ensure that you use complete sentences with proper grammar and structure. Always read your text a few times before submitting it. Make sure that all sentences are complete, meaningful and free of any grammatical errors or typos.

For example “This is a skill about ____________. To share your feedback, you can contact us at xyz@_________.

2. The description must not misrepresent the core functionality of your skill and should be clearly outlined. A skill description is like a manual for the end customer, as it helps them understand what functions and tasks it can perform.

Bad Example: The skill plays a live radio channel and the description is as follows: “This skill plays music from the 60’s.”

This is considered as a bad example as it misinforms the user if music will be played from a “radio channel” or “a collection of 60’s music”.

“This skill plays hip hop and jazz music from the 70’s to the 90’s. It has 100+ tracks and new ones are being added every few months. Keep listening to explore new songs from the genre and time.” Is a good example: The skill plays hip-hop and jazz music from the 70’s to the 90’s. The description is as follows:

Good examples

For Custom Skill – Amazon Wiz can read your mind and tell you which character you have in your mind, just by asking you a few questions. You can think of a real or fictional character and Amazon Wiz will try to predict who it is.

Venture into the challenge with Amazon Wiz Genie?

Also, this skill offers premium content in the form of onetime purchase to add several themes: animals, movies, objects.

For Smarthome: Describing all features, which are important your skill can perform.

For the zego system, you can now use Alexa to control lights, switches and thermostats with the comfort of voice. This skill requires the smart home solution powered by Zego, which includes a zego's hub and z-wave edge devices. Currently, the support includes lights, switches, plugs, outlets and thermostats. You would need to sign in with on zego System to use the skill feature.

For Flash briefing skills. These skills must have fresh and updated feeds which are not old than 7 days. Make sure to update the skill feed regularly in order to maintain high quality content for Alexa customers.

3. Confirm relevance of the skill description to the skill core functionality. The skill's core functionality and features must be included in the description.

For example, a game skill might only work with the Xbox One. If a customer has a PS4, they would get confused trying to configure the wrong device (in this case PS4) with this skill.

Bad example: “Play games using Alexa.”

Good example: “Now play games on your Xbox One with the help of this Alexa skill. Choose from a wide variety of game versions and turn your place into a game station.”

Including the skill's core functionality and features in the description is especially important in the case of smart home skills, and it must mention compatible device(s) and all functions the skills can perform. For example: “Turn On Wifi”, “set thermostats to 180 degrees”, “show camera”, “turn up the volume to 2”, etc. In addition, especially in case of smart home skills, it should explicitly state that account linking is required. If you have a smart home skill that only works with a specific device, please mention that in the description. For detail information, you can also refer to our blogpost.

In case you have more questions, feel free to reach out to us via contact us page on the Alexa developer portal.

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Seema contributed to this article