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I talk to a 8 year old kid about how he uses Alexa. Here’s what happened.


I just talked with Makaio Popp (8 years old!) about how he uses Amazon Alexa. I came away pretty impressed. Here is what I learned.


1. Voice interfaces are SO natural for kids. 


Kids don’t need instruction manuals to use voice interfaces. They don’t need lessons. Kids are able to seamlessly talk with these devices from the beginning. It’s important to note that kids naturally treat these devices as friends and humans from the beginning too. They display a kindness and openness to the devices in a way that adults just can’t match.

As a marketer, this means that I don’t want to dumb down my voice skill and pod messaging for kids. I want to create clear, basic experiences, but kids don’t need a junior version at all. I also want to make sure that my voice skills and pods feel friendly and open– like a friend, not a servant.


2. It’s the simple stuff on Alexa that kids love. The jokes.


If I learned anything from Makaio, it’s that a sense of humor shines more than anything on these devices! If you don’t get humor into your voice interactions, you’re missing the game. Humor is one of the greatest weapons in our toolbelt. To not use humor is to simply not communicate correctly as humans (and devices).

From here on in, everything I build and create needs more humor. Thanks Makaio.


3. Word of mouth and simple words are how kids find things. 


Kids talk to other kids. When you create a friendly voice skill or podcast that uses humor to communicate, kids WILL tell other kids. I realize that my messaging needs to be extremely straightforward and simple, so that a 8 year old kid can describe to another 8 year old kid in a sentence or two. I’m not dumbing down my content, I’m creating focus and simplicity in my message. Kids know the difference. if you succeed, they will share and reward you for the hard work. I always thank the people in my life who can make a complicated concept seem simple.


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