An Alexa Skill for Harrogate Community Radio

The problem

There is a large aging population in Harrogate and senior citizens may not have the patience, capacity or eyesight to navigate the mobile app for Harrogate Community Radio – the station admin wanted the station to be as inclusive as possible. And, I was not allowed to use the word “Play” to activate the station, as stated by Amazon. This is a content-related concern because all of the concerns start out as being typed.

The strategy

Amazon Alexa is a voice controlled smart speaker that works off three instructions, after the Alexa Skill has been installed:

“Alexa, enable Harrogate Community Radio.”

“Alexa, open / start / launch Harrogate Community Radio.”

Why you should care

There is content on Harrogate Community Radio tailored specifically for people 70+ years old – the station’s mobile app would not cater for senior citizens. Listener levels to the vintage shows has increased >20% year on year as a result of the Alexa Skill being deployed. 

I really think this is a content-concern, I started the app with a written workflow and UI. The outcome is an accessible form of content and after all voice apps are content-based.

an image of Harrogate Community Radio's Alexa app on the Alexa skills website on a computer.

What is “Alexa”?

Alexa is a voice activated App that has been built by Amazon available across digital devices – from phones to TVs plus their own smart speakers.

There are stand-alone Alexa smart speakers that allow the direct playback of music, or in this case Radio.


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