One of our team members wanted to track how much time they were spending reading on average every day. They started by keeping track via a stop watch, but that go tired quick. So, since we are in the voice business, we said, hey: how about if Alexa helped us!

What it does

Simple Time lets you track the time you have spent on something over a period of time by starting and stopping the clock, and the starting it, like a stop watch. Except that the stopwatch is controlled by voice and it can talk back to you and tell how much time you have racked up.

How I built it

We first fleshed out a full design then did some wizad of oz testing, then we built a simple start and stop mechanism, then added pausing. Sound effects were then added as they are very helpful in minimizing verbiage.

Challenges I ran into

It took us a while to settle on the MVP. We started with too many features and had to get the skill down to its core essence. For example, we started by thinking of tracking hours during a 24 hour period and then had the skill reset. After some more thinking, we simplified.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are using our skill for real!

What I learned

Its VERY HARD to create something simple but also delivers value. And it's harder to simplify something to its essence.

What's next for Simple Time

Tracking more than one thing at a time and some visual reports that the use can go back to.

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