I have now completed my custom Alexa Skill, Fast Foot Work. It has been certified, and is live for users to enable!

Alexa was very interesting to work with. I changed my development perspectives to focus on usability for voice only was a good experience for me and I enjoyed that challenge.

I was disappointed with regards to this skill because it appears, after talking through the problem with the Alexa dev team, that my intended user experience is not fully possible with Alexa. As I wanted my Skill to perform as an instructor, guiding the user through a workout, the session would need to be maintained over a longer period of time than the devs had designed for. This limitation in Alexa will leave my Skill unable to reach the level of usability that I had desired. While the skill works great, it will not be as useful as I wanted. Users will most likely need to take more time in completing each move than Alexa will give them before she shuts down the session.

I can either keep pushing on them to add that type of functionality to the core Alexa framework or I can patch my Skill with a number of looping reprompts, possibly giving the user a frustrating experience, which is obviously not my favorite choice.

Stay tuned…