Last updated January 9th, 2019

What you'll learn

  • The different terms used in Voiceflow
  • The different terms used in Alexa & Google development

When building something new like Voiceflow, we had to invent a couple works! Here's the breakdown of everything you need to know, along with the links to those tutorials.

Voiceflow shorthand

The building area where you create your project on VF.

A flow is the project on your canvas. It is the arrangement of blocks on your canvas which make up your project. Below is a flow on our canvas:

Flows can hold other flows by using the flow block, and those flows can hold other flows inside of them too. You can think of this like a library holding books, with each book holding chapters.

A flow that is inside of another flow is called a Sub-flow. You can check to see if you are in a Sub-flow by looking to the 'flow menu' and checking your 'flow tree'. Below is an example of the flow tree for the project 'michelle'. You can see the flow called 'chapter 1' is a subflow of the 'ROOT' flow. 

The ROOT flow is the main flow for your project. It is the 'top-level' flow that every sub-flow will go into/under. The ROOT flow cannot be renamed, or deleted. The ROOT flow is always at the top of your Flow-tree.

Flow-tree (picture above)
Your flow-tree is the diagram that shows you how you have structured all of your flows. It will show you visually which flow you currently have open on the canvas, as well as the order of subflows (which flow is a subflow of what).

Tools Menu
The tools menu is the menu on the far left of the screen which allows you to change the left slide-out menu. Here, you can change between the Flow-tree, the blocks menu, and the variables menu. At the bottom of the tools menu, you can find educational resources and links to our communities.

Blocks Menu
The blocks menu is the menu holding all of the available blocks you can use in Voiceflow. 

Variables Menu
The variables menu is the slide-out menu on the left which allows you to add or change all of the variables within your current flow. More on how variables work here.

Variables let you store data inside of a word with curly braces. As an example, we can store the number of players in our voice game within the variable {number_players}. We can set the value of variables using two methods in Voiceflow: a CAPTURE block which asks the user, or a SET block which we set manually.

Below, we are using the {sessions} variable which holds the number of sessions a specific user has had.

Block Port
Block ports are the inbound and outbound connectors on blocks. These are the spaces where you can drag out a connector to connect two blocks together in your flow. Most blocks have both an inbound, and an outbound port, but, some blocks like COMMAND blocks & START blocks only have inbound ports. 

The speak block has both an inbound, and outbound port. 

Connectors are the lines that connect blocks on your canvas. You can drag a connector out of an outbound block port by clicking on the block port and dragging. 

Connectors naturally follow the closest path to connecting with another block, but you can shape them to your liking by clicking on the connector to create connector nodes you can move around the shape the line.

Connector nodes
Connector nodes are 'dots' on connectors that allow you to bend connectors to follow a shape you define. You can delete connector nodes by clicking on an existing connector node and hitting 'delete' on your keyboard. You can add as many connector nodes as you'd like.

The screen you arrive on when you login to VF. This is your quick-access hub to information, and where you can create a new project, or open an old one. 

Still have questions? Did we miss something? Have a suggestion? 

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