Hands-On Developing for the Google Assistant

Allen Firstenberg

Cambridge GDG Nov 2 2018

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

Allen Firstenberg

Software developer / Consultant

 

Google Developer Expert for Assistant, IoT, Wearables, Identity

 

http://spiders.com/

http://prisoner.com/

 

http://prisoner.com/ubi/

Tell me about you

  • Mobile or web?
  • Alexa or Assistant?
  • Mac vs Windows?
  • JavaScript?
  • Kirk? Picard? Sisko? Janeway? Archer?

The Plan

  • Prerequisites
  • Conversation design / Overview
  • Build from your browser (beginner)
  • Build from a dev environment (intermediate)
  • Hackathon pitches

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

Assistant: Part 1

  • Your browser
  • A Google login

Assistant: Part 2

  • Node.js (v6) / npm
  • firebase command line (npm install -g firebase-tools)
  • ngrok (ngrok.io)
  • An editor of your choice

https://codelabs.developers.google.com/

What are we talking about?

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios / Paramount

What is the Google Assistant?

A conversation

between you and Google that helps you get things done

in your world.

What are Actions on Google?

Actions on Google is the API

that lets you engage in conversations

with other services

through the Google Assistant.

Where Actions Run

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

How do we build an Action?

  • Design
  • Develop
  • Deploy

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

What can Actions do?

  • Query databases based on what the user is asking.
  • Collect information for some reason, such as a form.
  • Fun things: Quizzes, personality tests, RPGs, quotes.

 

Can you express it as a conversation?

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

Conversation Design

You're doing it wrong

  • Figure out what you want your code to do.
  • Decide how you're going to present those results.
  • "Build a screen" to get inputs.

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

Conversation Design

Personality

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

Conversation Design

Scripting

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

  • Keep in mind how people talk - not how they write.
  • Don't make "audible buttons".
  • Users may not respond for many reasons.
  • There are no errors.
  • Users have intent - help them get there.

Test it with developers back to back - one of them acting as the Assistant.

Simple Conversation

  • User: Talk to Color Magic
  • Action: Welcome to Color Magic, what's your favorite color?

 

  • User: Green
  • Action: Your magic number is 5. Goodbye.

Simple Conversation

Deep Linking

  • User: Ask Color Magic about green
  • Action: Your magic number is 5. Goodbye.

Simple Conversation

"Happy Path"

  • User: Talk to Color Magic
  • Action: Hi there, to get to know your better, I'll just need to get your name from Google. Is that ok?
  • User: Yes
  • Action: Hi <name>. What is your favorite color?
  • User: Blue
  • Action: Your magic number is four. Would you like to hear some fake colors?
  • User: Yes
  • Action: Which color: Pink unicorn, indigo taco, or blue grey coffee?
  • User: indigo taco
  • Action: Here is what indigo taco looks like. <display color>

Simple Conversation

"Unhappy Path"

  • User: Talk to Color Magic
  • Action: Hi there, to get to know your better, I'll just need to get your name from Google. Is that ok?
  • User: Yes
  • Action: Hi <name>. What is your favorite color?
  • User: Blue
  • Action: Your magic number is four. Would you like to hear some fake colors?
  • User: Yes
  • Action: Which color do you want to see: Pink unicorn, indigo taco, or blue grey coffee?
  • User: indigo taco
  • Action: Here is what indigo taco looks like. <display color>

Questions?

https://codelabs.developers.google.com/

https://actions.google.com/design

Photo Credit:  CBS Studios

Introduction to Actions on Google

By Allen “Prisoner” Firstenberg

Introduction to Actions on Google

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