After a long and arduous journey, our two skills, InsultiBot and CompliBot finally made it through certification. We'd love it if those of you in this community took some time to check them out and give us your thoughts. Obviously the people here are probably better equipped to give good, solid feedback than the general public. Obviously these skills are not that different than some of what's already out there (Angry Bard, Demotivate Me, etc) - although I'll note that we've been working on this since even before the first of those was released - so we make no claims that we did anything revolutionary. But we think we added some nice and novel flourishes. We wrote a blog about it, including hardlinks if you'd rather not search the skill store:
This bit was the most interesting part for me: "Gradual prompt backoff: As part of our certification process, we were asked to add the questions you hear at the end of each statement ("Would you like to do more?"). We weren't fans of this approach, but the certification team was adamant, so we ended up compromising with what is essentially a declining prompt the longer you maintain your session, until eventually it's not actually asking you to take actions, since presumably you already know how. As far as we know, we were the first skill to be certified with this compromise solution (in fairness, the idea wasn't ours - props to jjaquinta for that)."
>Gradual prompt backoff I started doing it early on to balance discoverability with usability. (It's in my book!) Although, more recently, It's a variation on the "turn this switch off after certification". If the cert team don't get too deep into the skill, they never get past training mode and, as far as they're concerned, the skill treats you like an imbecilic three year old. Which seems to be what they want. I had to go a level beyond this for Starlanes. For that I put in an interspersed tutorial. It talks you through groups of commands, and lets you practice them inbetween. From the logs, it's being used by a lot of first-time users of the skill. Retention has gone up since this was introduced. The trouble is the number of new users has gone down. With the plethora of new, crappy skills, Starlanes is pushed down into the tumbleweeds area of the skill list. I'm only getting 2-3 new customers an hour during busy times. Without options to advertise and promote, it's hard to make your skill discoverable.