Project Description

Outputs

Alexa Skill, Conversation Design

Technologies

Project Overview

Audible UK and Hi Mum! Said Dad embarked on an 18-month programme to further explore the growing Alexa platform, experiment with new formats for storytelling and to engage with Audible customers in new and exciting ways.

For privacy reasons Vimeo needs your permission to be loaded.
I Accept
Opportunity

Audible, the leading producer and provider of audio storytelling is an audio obsessed company constantly looking to innovate in new ways.

While customers could already listen to their Audible purchased content on Alexa devices, Audible were looking to further explore the exponentially growing voice platform - to engage with customers in new exciting ways and to introduce aspects of the Audible experience, like world-class voice performances, to new customers that might not be familiar with them already.

Rather than approaching voice as a one-off, Audible was looking for a partner that could evolve with them over time and think more long term about how the voice channel could uncover new possibilities for interactivity and storytelling in different contexts.

Together we set out to become world-class interactive skill makers and embarked on an 18-month programme to create, maintain and evolve a number of Alexa experiences - from utility-based skills, allowing customers to find what their next audiobook to immersive entertainment experiences including a choose your own adventure game.

Solution

Pushing the boundaries on Alexa

From the get-go, we set out to push the envelope with the customer experience, which meant using Alexa functionality still in private beta and as such, slightly unproven. This included using functionality prior to the official launch, such as  In Skill Purchasing for monetisation of content and the Skill Connections API to enable users to seamlessly move between Audible’s Alexa experiences.

We also considered the increasing number of Alexa devices with screens including FireTV and Echo Show devices and developed voice-first experiences with rich visual elements for the increasing number of users with screen devices.

Building for flexibility

To be able to push the envelope, Audible needed an agency partner with deep technical expertise.

From the very beginning, Hi Mum! Said Dad approached development in a way that enabled the flexibility required to dynamically respond to business and consumer needs and ensure the skills developed continued to drive results. This meant the ability to:

  • Scale through an increase in usage without affecting quality 
  • Easily manage content by building a CMS to be utilised across all Skills
  • Replicate and template the experiences across titles/ brands 

Working in a truly agile way, running 2-week design and development sprints, user testing and research sessions, Hi Mum! Said Dad and Audible worked closely together to get the best outcomes.

The development was enterprise level, with multiple environments, full automation, highly secure and monitoring from the very beginning.

Result

Over the course of 18 months, we have released a range well-loved of Alexa Skills including Sherlock Holmes: The Great Game, Book Finder, Audible Stories and the Official Harry Potter Quiz (with over 15,000 reviews on Alexa!).

The big measure of success for the skill programme has been its ability to prove that there’s a huge potential for voice in the Audible business and an appetite for creating more experiences on Alexa.

The skills have also gained significant coverage from publications including The Express and Cnet.