Inspiration

DIY is the best way to save money, reduce waste and find funny activities with the kids at home. As a father of 3 kids, I created this skill for the family. We can find easily an activity or a suggestion that can be useful for everyone.

The DIY activities generate a lot of interest on the web or social networks with a wide range of followers / subscribers: senior, parents and kids. Everyone can find a DIY tip or an activity! With the current context of confinement, DIY is an opportunity to spend good time with all the family.

What it does

The "diy tips" skill provides:

  • a daily DIY tip based on the knowledge base of DIY tips
  • a recommendation of DIY activity based on materials and preferences

The skill is using Alexa Conversation in order to guide the user on selecting the best DIY activitiesd through series of questions:

  • available material
  • category of DIY: paper artworks. needlework or beauty
  • selection of recommended activities

At the end Alexa will present a detailed description of the DIY activity to perform.

How I built it

The Font-End is based on Alexa Conversation with a full delegation of the interaction to Alexa Conversation. The Back-End has been developped in Python using the Pyhton SDK The Knowledge base is a JSON File

For this first version, the skill is very simple. I am planning to send DIY links by SMS by Twilio and send a card. But I didn't have enough time to finalize the development of these features.

Challenges I ran into

First time that I have developped a Skill. I have learnt the Skill development from scratch through this project. I had to learn everything!

Not easy to understand the Alexa Conversation logic with the definition of a proper dialog management through responses template, dialog acts, utterances set... The build of my dialog has been a challenge with a lot of failed build at the begining.

The language has been a challenge as well because english is not my native language (I am French).

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I have managed to learn Alexa Skill, prepare myself for the Alexa Skill Builder certificate and deliver a first Skill in less than 2 months!!!

I am proud of involving my kids in building the skill: ideation, test of the skill, preparation of the video...

Opportunity to be part of an hackathon and to interact with a great community through Slack and Twitch.

What I learned

Everything!!! I learned:

  • the design of a skill (definition of the conversation)
  • the development of a skill (front-end and back-end)
  • the submission process
  • participation of an hackathon with the management of the time constraint

What's next

I am planning a lot of evolutions for the "diy tips" skill:

  • improve the personalization of the skill
  • send Alexa cards with the suggested DIY (I didn't have enough time to develop) this feature
  • link the DIY with TikTok
  • send a SMS through Twilio with a list of videos / tutorials links
  • include In-skill Purchase for extended content
  • improve the customer engagement

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