Adobe’s First Alexa Skill Aims to Improve Voice Prototyping
Adobe has launched its first Alexa skill, the Adobe XD skill. At the same time, the tech giant has debuted its Alexa XD plugin to further connect its technology with the voice platform.
Adobe XD is a popular design tool for developers, used for prototyping new ideas and products. The Amazon Alexa XD plugin and skill extends that into the dimension of voice, enabling developers to test their skills on Alexa-enabled devices. A voice prototype platform for XD was announced last year but didn’t explicitly include Alexa integration. The idea is to allow developers to more easily build and improve their products on Alexa without leaving the Adobe ecosystem.
The Adobe XD Alexa skill is connected to the plugin, the opposite side of the coin. Developers can use the skill to use and test the prototype on Alexa-enabled devices once they’ve finished making it.
Prototyping is a critical stage for any product development. Adobe’s plan to invest in voice isn’t in a vacuum either. The company published a survey earlier this year that found 91 percent of business leaders are making major investments in voice tech, and nearly half of businesses were planning to launch a voice app by the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, another survey from Adobe published just this week emphasizes the importance of making it easier for designers to make voice apps. Of 1,000 voice tech users, 94% said it improves their quality of life, but almost half of them said they at least sometimes don’t know how to start using voice tech to achieve a goal. Prototyping on Alexa could, therefore, help designers to rapidly make their products easier and more intuitive to use, both before they are released and in response to user feedback.
Adobe has been working to expand its platform to prototype voice apps for some time. Adobe acquired New York-based startup Sayspring in 2018 to do just that. Sayspring had created a platform specifically for designers and non-technical developers to build and test voice apps without code.