Another Alexa Skill

I built an Alexa Skill in early 2016 called “Deals Now”, which reads users the front-page deals from Slickdeals by accessing their RSS feed.

There was no technical challenge but it is quite difficult to offer the right user experience:

  • Listening to deals from Alexa is quite different user experience from reading on the website. The speech and pace need to be natural. For example, “50′ Toshiba 50L420U 1080p LED HDTV, $250” should sound like “Fifty inch Toshiba ten-eighty-p LED HDTV for 250 dollars” from Alexa. I wrote a function to perform lots of text-to-speech-friendly clean-ups but it is still not good enough.
  • There is no clear action that users can take after hearing the deals. One possible action is to make a purchase, similar to Amazon’s own “Alexa, what are your deals?”.

Therefore, I did not publish the skill, but it was a good idea back then.

The code is available on my GitHub.

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