Developers aren’t always blessed with the best design skills, which is why they often work in tandem with graphic designers. But small companies or independents may not have the resources for a graphic design team or want to employ the services of a dedicated designer if the work in question is minimal.
With that in mind, Amazon today lifted the lid on a new DIY design tool for Alexa skill developers interested in creating their own attractive icons for the Alexa Skills Store.
The Alexa Icon Builder is pretty straightforward to use. You can search icons by keyword or category, use buttons and sliders to change the size and color of the picture and background, or rotate it up to 360 degrees.
You can also change the icon border size or add a shadow and change its size and rotation. When you’re done, hit the download button and your .PNG image file is good to go.
“When searching for an Alexa skill, one of the first things customers notice is the skill icon,” noted Amazon’s developer marketing manager, Glenn Cameron, in a blog post. “Your icon is one of the first opportunities you have to make a great first impression on potential customers, and it differentiates your skill from the tens of thousands of others in the Alexa Skills Store. Therefore, it’s important to make your skill icon eye-catching, legible, and recognizable.”
The tool is super easy to use, but a decent eye for design is still required — there is nothing stopping have-a-go-heroes from producing monstrosities like this:
The icon builder tool is available globally in English only for now. And in anticipation of all the graphic design professionals of the world laughing out loud, Amazon is quick to note that this is not designed to replace traditional tools, such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
“It’s for developers who don’t design professionally or own premium software, but still want a beautiful icon to represent their Alexa skill,” Cameron added.