Thinking what to do something that I like & enjoy on holiday or weekend? Willing to attend some event on holiday or week end but do not know which events and where? I know what different types of events and activities I like but do not know when and where those are happening? This type of questions inspired us to create Alexa Skill - Event Finder. We wanted to have something to whom I can tell my choices, hobbies, interests and basis on that I want her to help me choosing what I should do on this weekend or the specific day into the specific city.
What it does
Event Finder suggests you very interesting events and activities that you would like. To give you better suggestions, it asks you to set your preference for the city you live in and your hobbies and interests. Also you can ask for events and activities happening into other cities on the specific day. You can also modify or reset your preferences any time. It uses Eventful APIs (https://api.eventful.com/) to fetch details.
How I built it
We started with the interesting problem - to suggest the user something that the user really like to do. We brainstormed as a team and came up with different features that would help the user to find & do something interesting. We realized and emphasized that - into conversational interfaces, engaging the user experience is key and very important. So we very carefully defined and designed dialogs between user and the Alexa.
Challenges I ran into
Conversational interfaces are challenging but very powerful when done rightly. We accepted it as challenge and worked hard to define and design every conversation carefully. It is very important that - user gets what user need with minimal dialog and we did it.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Simple but powerful skill that helps the user to find & do something interesting.
What I learned
It's quite different when developing conversational interfaces. And it is equally important and challenging to test it so it understands quite of different utterances from various users.
What's next for Event Finder
Working to add Artificial Intelligence into the skill that will make Event Finder more & more smarter and understands the user better.