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With the huge number of Skills and Actions now available on Alexa and Assistant, there are two areas that both Amazon and Google are likely to focus on. The first is discovery. There are now so many things that both assistants cane do and educating users or at least making easier to serve the appropriate applications is going to be critical to creating a good user experience. The second is increasing the quality of third party experiences.

Three years ago, Amazon was on a tear to get more Skills in place. The result is a great community of Skill builders and support infrastructure. The downside is that there are a lot of Skills that get little usage or frustrate the user and are abandoned. This isn’t good for anyone.

So what are some ways that these companies can gently push the developer community to improve the quality of their Skills?

  • Raise the bar for acceptance / listing. Maybe add a quality checklist for this that follows best practices?
  • Review existing Skills to see if they meet new quality criteria. Warn and de-list if they don’t.
  • Require recertification of Skills on an annual or semi-annual basis to ensure that they meet new standards.
  • De-list unused Skills. Maybe if a Skill has very high user attrition it gets a warning and then gets removed.

Alexa doesn’t need more Skills, it needs better ones. Maybe some of the items above could help move it in that direction.

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