The Flash Cards Action template lets you create Actions without writing a single line of code. The template lets you choose a personality and specify the questions, answers, hints, and configuration for the Action in a Google Sheet. Then, after completing these quick steps, you'll have a fully working Action that you can test and submit for approval.
Build your Action
To build your Action using a flash cards template:
- Go to the Actions Console and log in with your Google account.
- Click on Add/Import Project to create a new project. The Add project window appears.
- Select which language you want your Action to support. You can add additional languages later on if you'd like; this decision isn't final.
Give the project a name and click on Create Project.
Under More options, pick Templates.
Click on the Flash Cards option. You'll now be taken to an Overview page where you can enter information about your Action.
Click Build > Actions, followed by Add your first action.
In the Create Action window, you should see the Flash Cards option appear. Click Build.
In the Personality section, select one of the available personality options and click Next.
Use the players below to hear audio samples of each personality. Note that not all personalities are currently available in every language.
Voice Sample Regal Queen Mr. Montgomery Beeps the Robot
Each personality has different spoken prompts and sound effects that users hear as they play the game.
In the content section, click on Bulk upload the content for your Action using Google Sheets. You will see the following prompt:
Click on the Make a copy of the pre-filled Google Sheet for editing link and click Make a Copy.
Update the Questions & Answers tab of your sheet copy with your own questions, answers, and hints. Try adding fun follow-ups that give users extra facts about the answer.
Update the Configuration tab of the sheet with the name of your Action. You may also want to specify a QuestionTitle and AnswerTitle, which describe the subject of your questions and answers to the user. You can further customize your game by providing custom sounds via audio URLs. For more information on custom configuration options, see the configuration parameters section.
When you finish filling out the sheet, go back to the Actions Console and click Next to move on to the Connect Sheet step.
Copy and paste your Google Sheet's URL into the Add your sheet's URL to upload your content field and click Upload:
Click on Create App. The Overview page appears, showing you a notification that says Created. It might take a minute before the page refreshes and the notification appears.
Edit the content of your Action
If you want to change your Action's content, click on Actions > > Edit Actions.
Add additional languages to your Action
Once you've successfully uploaded a Google Sheet for your first language, you can add additional languages by uploading additional sheets for each new language. On the Overview page, click Modify languages to add a new language, then navigate to Build > Actions and select the new language from the dropdown.
You'll be prompted to select a personality and upload a new sheet, so follow the Build your Action instructions above to walk through the setup for each language.
You can customize your Action with custom audio files to build your own personality. To configure a custom option, type the key and value in the Configuration tab of your sheet.
You can add the following optional keys in the Configuration tab of the Google Sheet to further customize your Action:
||Used in prompts to describe the subject of your questions.||Short string|
||Used in prompts to describe the subject of your answers.||Short string|
||The "ding" sound played after each question to prompt the user for their response.||Audio URL|
||The intro music played when the game starts.||Audio URL|
||The music played at the end of the game.||Audio URL|
||The music played when the user gives a correct answer.||Audio URL|
||The music played when the user gives an incorrect answer.||Audio URL|
||The music played when the round ends.||Audio URL|
||The music played while the game calculates the score.||Audio URL|
||When value is set to 'no', the questions are serially asked in the given category/difficulty or grade level. Useful for testing the pronunciation, grammar, and time-length of the question. This parameter only works when the total number of questions is less than 50. This parameter should only be used for testing purposes.||Yes / no|
||To record analytics associated with the Action using Google Analytics. Note that you can also use the Actions Console to track analytics for your Action.||Add the Google Analytics tracking id|
||To customize the exit message used when the Action ends.||TTS message|
Test your Action
Click on Simulator in the left column to test your Action via a web interface. To invoke your Action, say or type Talk to my test app in the simulator. You can also test your Action via Google Assistant on your phone or Google Home if your device and Actions project are using the same Google account.
If your Action is set up for multiple languages, you can test each language by toggling the Language dropdown menu in the simulator.
Submit your Action
When the Actions section is complete and you have tested your Action, you may submit your Action to Google for review. If your Action is approved, it will be available to Assistant users.
To submit your Action, do the following:
Go to the Overview page for your project in the Actions Console.
Navigate to Setup > Invocation.
- Invocation name: Enter your Action's invocation name. This name is how users invoke your Action.
- Directory title: Enter your Action's name for the directory. This name is presented to users in the Assistant Directory.
- Google Assistant voice: Pick which voice you would like your Action to use. You can hear audio samples of each voice on the Languages and Locales page.
Navigate to Deploy > Directory information.
- Details: Add your Action's introduction, short description, and a full description that clearly explains what the Action is used for and what it does. You also need to add useful sample invocations,
- Images: Add two images, one for the banner and one for the logo.
- Contact details: Add an email contact. Our review team uses this email address to give feedback on your Action. Users can also see this email address to contact you.
Category: Select the most appropriate category for your Action to live under in the Assistant Directory.
For Families: If you would like your Action to be targeted to kids and families, select Yes.
Alcohol and Tobacco: If your Action references alcohol or tobacco at all, select Yes.
Testing Instructions: Add any specific testing instructions if required. These are only visible to our review team. Generally, for Actions that you build with the trivia template, you can leave this blank.
Transaction: Template Actions don't perform Transactions, so you can leave this blank.
Navigate to Deploy > Release.
If there are any error messages on the top, you should follow the instructions provided to address the issue. Otherwise, click Submit for production.
If your Action isn't working, see if you're running into one of the issues below and try following the recommended troubleshooting steps:
Change the default title in the Configuration tab of your Google Sheet
Go back to your content sheet and open the Configuration tab. Change the name of the Action by using a new title instead of The Fun Flash Cards Game. Go to the Actions Console and connect the sheet again.
Unsupported Google Sheet Configuration tab key
This error means one of the key-value pairs in the Configuration tab of the your content sheet is incorrect. Refer to list of Configuration Parameters and make sure your keys are all spelled correctly.
Failed to get conversion
If you see this error, refresh the web page and try again.
Request Access Error
You might see a screen requesting access permission when you try to access the pre-filled template content sheet. If this occurs:
- Log out of all Google accounts and close all browsers.
- Reopen your browser and log back in with the account that you're using for your Actions Console project.
- If the error message persists, try using Incognito mode in Chrome.
Simulator Not Responding
If the simulator doesn't show the Test or Authorize button, refresh the web page and try again.
Content Best Practices
- Question Format:
- Keep questions clear and short. Don't force the user to hold a lot of words in their heads.
- Keep the answers even shorter. One or two-word answers work best.
- Make sure your questions are actually asking the user a question.
- Try to start with question words such as who, what, when. Guide users to the kind of answer they should give.
- Synonyms: If you think there are multiple correct ways to answer a question, you can set multiple synonyms by using the "|" key as a separator. For example, if a question's answer is set to "United States|USA|US", a user could say any of these synonyms to correctly answer the question.
- Cultural Reach: To engage the maximum number of users, try to offer questions that many people can relate to, regardless of their ethnic or class background. Remember that not everyone has been exposed to the same classical and cultural references.
- Understandability: Answers work best when they require three or fewer words. If the user has to give a lengthy response, the voice-detection error gap widens.
- Efficiency: It's best to use contractions wherever possible ("I'm" instead of "I am") to speed up TTS playback.
- Age Appropriateness: Determine your target audience before you create your questions and answers. We recommend targeting your content for age appropriateness.
- Gender Diversity: For maximum user engagement, remember that you're targeting diverse genders. Try to use pronouns, examples, and subject matter that a maximum number of users can relate to.
General Guidelines and Restrictions
- The maximum question length is 200 characters.
- Try not to include complicated or very long words that may be hard for the computer speech to pronounce or users to understand. For example, mechanoreceptors or proprioceptors.
- Do not ask two questions such as "How many x are there? What are they?"
- as a part of one single question.
- The maximum answer length is 25 characters.
- The maximum questions per round is 10 questions.
- You can add up to 1000 questions per Action. If you have more than 1000 questions, you can replace the content periodically, or create multiple Actions and categorize the questions accordingly.
- In the absence of a follow-up statement, leave the cell empty. Do not add programming characters such as \n, \n\r.
Refrain from using questions with multi-word answers that have overlapping words. For example:
- Question: What are the necessary ingredients for XYZ?
sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water
sunlight, carbon dioxide and oxygen
sunlight, oxygen and water
Be cautious while using multi-word, non-overlapping answers, because it might be difficult for users to repeat back the whole answer. For example:
- Question: What are the necessary ingredients for XYZ?
sunlight, water, carbon dioxide
oxygen, nitrogen, selenium
Do not include special characters such as "^", ":" , "(" , ")"
You may include "&", "$", "#", "@" in your questions and answers. If you do, please test them on a device to ensure they are spoken correctly and the answers are speech-recognized correctly.
If you have abbreviations or mathematical symbols as a part of the question or answer, make sure you test each phrase to hear how the Assistant speaks it and if the speech recognition works. For example, "O2" (for oxygen), "NAACP," and "a+b=c+d" may not be spoken or speech-recognized as you expect.
To test how the Assistant speaks a single question containing the abbreviations or symbols, update the sheet to contain that single question as the first question, set 'RandomizeQuestions' = 'No', and re-test it with the Actions simulator.
What does it cost to create a template Action?
There is no cost; we host everything for you for free.
How do I add custom audio to my Action?
Use the Configuration Parameters tab to provide audio URLs as key-value pairs. Ensure your URLs use HTTPS links and your audio files are in one of the supported formats listed in SSML audio.
How do I track analytics associated with the Action? Can I customize the metrics?
Can I submit my Action to the Actions for Families program?
Depending on your Action's content, template Actions can comply with the Actions for Families. You just need to submit your Action for the program, as described in the Submitting your Action section of the Actions for Families guide.