Sayspring is now part of Adobe. Read More

There are over 18 million Amazon Alexa devices sold and they’re being used daily for multiple tasks, right out of the gate. The skills that add great design thinking to commonly-used voice skills will tap into some serious growth potential.

Here are the most common uses for Alexa in its first few years of existence:

  1. Set a timer

    84.9% of surveyed users have set a timer with Alexa while cooking, cleaning, or spending time with kids. The perfect egg won’t set a timer for itself.

    The perfect egg won't set a timer for itself

  2. Play a song

    Alexa doubles as a home speaker.

    Dance like Alexa heard you and is playing your favorite song

  3. Hear the news

    Two-thirds of surveyed users have asked Alexa for the news.

  4. Set an alarm

    Rather than reaching for your phone to turn off the alarm, you can say “Alexa, stop” or “Alexa, snooze.”

    Leave the sleeping in to the cat

  5. Check the time

    Why pick up your phone when you can just talk to a voice assistant? Over half of Alexa users check the time on the device.

  6. Tell a joke

    Alexa’s joke-telling is an easy way to highlight her personality. According to the survey, 60.4% have asked Alexa for a laugh at least once.

    Alexa knows jokes.

  7. Control smart lights

    With smart home lights such as Philips Hue, you can adjust brightness, colors, and turn on and off with your voice.

These simple skills work well, and they’re creating daily users out of new Amazon Alexa owners. When there are potentially 20 million or more Amazon Alexa devices, the goal should be to design a skill that could compete with these 7 simple easy uses.

Competitive voice design doesn’t just happen. It requires a design process.

The number of voice interfaces will keep growing, but they won’t get any better, or win any more daily users until more thoughtful design practices are put into place.

Get started on Sayspring. 

Mark Webster

Founder and CEO of Sayspring. Designer. Developer. Follow me on Twitter at @markcwebster.