Help your users take action with the Google Assistant
Integrate your services with the Google Assistant by building Conversation Actions.
Why it works
We're entering a new era in computing, where advances in machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and artificial intelligence are fuelling widespread excitement in conversational interfaces. Actions on Google places you at the forefront of this new computing wave, by enabling you to seamlessly integrate your services with the Google Assistant on Google Home today — and soon on other experiences and devices where the Google Assistant is available.
Learn the basics
- Understand Conversational UI. Gain an understanding of the core UI principles that will underpin your user experience.
- Discover the development tools. Get the SDK and explore the tools available to build actions for the Google Assistant.
- Get help when you need it. Send a support request to the Actions on Google team, ask the Google+ community, or use the actions-on-google tag on Stack Overflow.
- Promote your service with a custom badge. Take advantage of the "Works with the Google Assistant" badge, provided you comply with the platform's brand policies.
Best practices for design
- Pick the right use cases for voice. Don't simply convert an existing graphical interface to a voice experience. Instead, look for use cases that are inherently better suited for voice (such as when a user's hands are full or eyes are busy).
- Create a persona. Users will perceive a persona for your service whether you plan for one or not, so defining one that makes the impression you want is worth it.
- Write out your dialogs. Consider how you want users to invoke your services and how you will greet them. Go beyond the "happy path" and make sure you account for how things might go wrong, and how to get the conversation back on track. And, don't forget graceful goodbyes, both after successes and when users need to leave early.
- Say everything out loud. Read your dialogs aloud, look for awkward or unnatural language, and adjust the wording as necessary. Alternatively use the Google Home Web Simulator - it's also a good way to test how text-to-speech will sound.
Best practices for VUI design
- Be cooperative...like your users. Prepare your recognition grammars, write robust repair prompts, accommodate diverse user speaking styles, and let people know what they can say, intuitively.
- Unlock the power of spoken language. Make sure your dialogs communicate what the system understood, offer meaningful examples when letting people know what they can say, avoid stating the obvious, and give instructions only if needed.
- Instill user confidence. Provide the user with confirmations and acknowledgments that offer explicit confirmation for clarity around high-risk requests and implicit confirmation for speed around simple requests. Avoid "Go back" instructions. Use "acknowledgers" to reassure people that they've been heard, but randomize them to avoid monotony.
- Comply with the policies for Actions on Google. Make sure the content of your dialogs follow the policies. Avoid prohibited content, respect copyrights and intellectual property, and protect users' privacy and security among others.
Best practices for discovery
- Pick a distinctive, recognizable invocation name. Users will invoke your action by name, so make sure to select an easy to say but unique name that doesn't use homophones. Also, make sure it complies with the invocation name policy. And, test it, ideally with people of different gender and various accents, in the Play Console, the web simulator, and especially by previewing it on a Google Home device.
- Provide example action phrases to aid discovery. Users may not know your service's name but may try to find you with a request such as "Ok Google, I want recipes". Provide a few specific examples as hints to the Google Assistant for the services you support.