Build Your First Alexa Skill – Test the Skill

This is the final post in a step-by-step Alexa skill creation guide:

In this post we’ll go back to the developer site and finish configuring the skill.  Once that’s done, we’ll look at a few ways to test the skill.

Configuration « Back to Top » 

Go back to the Amazon developer site, and on the Alexa Developer Console, click “Get Started” on the Alexa Skills Kit category.

On the list of skills, click your skill name, or the “Edit” action icon for your skill.

Click “Configuration” on the far left and do the following:

  • Select “AWS Lambda ARN” for the “Service Endpoint Type”.
  • Enter the lambda function’s Amazon Resource Name from the last post.
  • Select “No” for the “Provide geographical region endpoints?” question.

Scroll down and click “Next”.

On the Test screen verify that the “Enabled” switch shows your skill is enabled for testing.  If your skill is not enabled for testing and toggling the switch doesn’t enable your skill, go back to the Interaction Model and build your model.

At this point, your skill is ready to test!

If you have an Echo device registered with the same Amazon account you used for developing the skill, try out your skill by saying, “Alexa, ask Skill-Name for a fact.”

If you don’t have an Echo device, you can still test using the Test Simulator, or the Amazon app on your phone as we’ll see next.

Test with the Test Simulator « Back to Top » 

On the Test screen, click “Go to Test Simulator”:

When you first start the Test Simulator, you’ll be prompted to give permission for the site to use your microphone.  If you don’t have a microphone, or you don’t want the browser to use your microphone, you can still use the test simulator by typing in commands, but ideally you’ll be able to test using voice commands.

In the input area, you can either type in your command, or click on the microphone icon and speak your command (hold down until you finish speaking).  Try both patterns of commands:

  • Alexa, start Your Skill Name
  • Alexa, ask Your Skill Name for a fact


Test with the Amazon App « Back to Top

If you have a mobile phone, you can also use your app with the Amazon shopping app if you sign in with the same account you used to develop the skill.  These screen shots show the app on iOS, but the Android app also has a microphone icon that will let you use Alexa.

If you have the Amazon shopping app, you’ll see a microphone in the upper right corner of your app.  For iPhone users, if you have the Alexa app installed, you’ll see an Alexa icon instead of the microphone (the Android app still shows a microphone).  Note:  if you have the Amazon app running when you install the Alexa app, you may have to restart the Amazon app to see the change.

You may have already used this before, but if not, clicking it will bring up an introduction to Alexa.  On that introduction screen, click “Try Alexa”, and on the following screen, click the “Tap to Speak” Alexa icon:

The blue bar at the bottom of the screen indicates that the app is listening for your command.  Be sure the blue bar is indicating Alexa is listening before you start speaking; it’s easy to start speaking too soon and have problems with Alexa recognizing your speech.

Try asking your skill for a fact, “Alexa, ask Your Skill Name for a fact”.  If all of your tests to this point have succeeded, you will hear your skill respond with one of your facts.

Congratulations!  You’ve created your first Alexa skill, and even if you don’t go through the process of certifying it for the skill store, you can have fun showing it off to friends and family on your own Echo devices or on your mobile phone.

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