The Wizard of Oz Tool (WoOT) is an internal Amazon tool that allows Alexa voice designers to rapidly prototype new voice experiences. WoOT is web-based and eliminates the need of an engineer to program the experience, allowing non-technical designers to iterate fast and experience the end result on an actual Echo device.
The interface is simple and intuitive and uses a node graph that allows "actions" to be dropped onto a board. Each action is the dialog that is spoken by Alexa through an Echo device. The designer can quickly write a new conversation, with multiple possible paths and link one action to another to express a conversation's flow. The nodes can be colorized to help organize different flow paths or possibly separate normal responses from error responses.
Once a new conversation's dialog has been created on the board, the user can choose which echo device they want to send the output to and when they click on an action node in their web browser, the action's dialog is sent to the device, spoken by Alexa. Think of the tool as an advanced conversational sound board that is controlled live by a designer. Or, as we like to say, controlled by the wizard behind the curtain.
This image is of the WoOT prototype I built early in production to prove the idea and get hands on testing from our early adopters & stake-holders. Once the idea was proven, the production tool was created by an engineering team.