Giunti, a company always at the forefront of technology, wanted to create a voice application in order to immediately enter the market of Alexa Skills.
Giunti Editore, historic publishing house from Florence - heir to a long publishing tradition which started in 1841 with the founding of Paggi, a print house and bookstore - is the parent company of Italy's second largest publishing group.
It operates in the printed and digital book publishing sector, covering the entire production chain through its subsidiaries, from publishing and printing to marketing, with over 150 agents and dealers, and with an important presence in the retail channel. Giunti al Punto is also the first Italian chain of bookstores with over 215 points of sale.
Following a direct invitation from Amazon, Giunti had therefore decided to enter the market of the Italian Skills, way before Amazon Alexa was launched. Giunti understood it was a great opportunity to create an attractive product for both children and parents.
Giunti Editore has a wide-ranging catalogue with more than 14,500 active titles and more than 1,000 new releases per year, covering every area of the book sector.
The real challenge was on the design side; conceiving a Skill requires an approach similar to that required to design a graphic interface, but with some necessary differences. The Design Strategy team, together with the client, took the following steps:
- elaborate the personas both for the target user and for the system; define the different "profiles" in order to identify the correct type of language (scary, colloquial, friendly, and/or simple) with respect to the Skill that is being created
- create scenarios of use, i.e. scenarios that set the outlined personas in the situation of real use. This helps us confirm that the vocal interaction is the most suitable for the user experience we are planning or maybe it helps us understand that it is only a collateral part of it
- create the scripts determining the conversation between the user and the application. It was the moment when we gave our all to make the interaction with the app as natural as in a conversation between friends
- define the conversational flow. The conversational flow helps us to outline what is the shortest way to complete the task, what are the alternative tracks and to define the decision tree. Furthermore, there is a set of decisions that the system has to take (e.g. whether new or returning users are showing up)
- repeat usability tests: we made five tests, with parents and children aged 2-5, to check the points where the conversation flow could need improvements and adjustments
Being a completely new technology and not yet available on the Italian market, we kicked off with an Operative Workshop with the client to define goals and expectations by making use of Customer Interviews. At the end of the design and assessment phase, we moved to the development of the Skill itself with Node js.
We created the Skill in Node JS which today is available on Amazon Skill Market Italy and we reached the goal to be the first to release a Skill in the Italian market place.
We immediately decided for Node js because it is a technology we know very well, therefore we are particularly capable with it.
The working team included a designer, a PO and two developers. The perfect team to design Alexa Skills where you need synergy between design and development. The design phase is, in fact, the most intricate one.
The client was extremely satisfied with the job and so impressed by Alexa’s potential that a second version might come soon.