Let’s Welcome the New Era of Design Where AI Is Entwined With UX

We people are great attention-seekers; just one spotlight and we tend to hold it for the long run. And when it comes to shining your business, this can only be possible with the help of a well-designed website or an app.

For a layperson, developing or designing an app might sound like a team of professionals working too hard for all day long in a crowded office, coupled with sleepless nights and a huge investment of accounted money.

Earlier, if you would have asked me – I would say that things were like this only. But the table has turned now. With the recent advancement in technology like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality, machine learning, virtual reality, the quickest desire is to latch on to the trendiest tech offerings- – but this movement, in particular, turns out to be challenging to businesses trying to keep up.

The internet has exposed us to threats and risks previously unheard of- one of which is human intelligence being replaced by machines, which is never going to happen! However, all those who have previously worked with machines realized the fact that machines make imprints of languages based on rules provided by humans. In addition to this, sentiments and emotional contexts shape the core of languages and reflect the identity of the people speaking it.

Here Comes Artificial Intelligence (AI) Into Play

Having the potential to fall into the endless pit of buzzword-vagueness, artificial intelligence is shaping up to be the next big thing in the technology sector. In 2017, AI was widely accepted in Uber’s self-driving car, chatbots of customer representatives, Amazon delivery drones- fearing people to get replaced by these robots anytime soon. Now AI seems to be inextricably entwining in the world of designing. The following post emphasizes how is it going to affect the concept of UI design?

In the pursuit of increasing the speed of everything we do, AI turns out to be a strong asset possessed by us. Learning how to code becomes way easier than it used to be decades ago and its credit goes to the media that made learning more accessible. More and more UI controls of foreign languages are achieved, for example- do you rely on handwriting these days or how many spells check you do by yourself? Haven’t you started dictating messages to personal assistants like Siri and Google yet?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Into Play

Types of AI
  • Narrow artificial intelligence– This type of intelligence can learn and infer, but cannot generalize. Narrow intelligence is focused on one task. This is the AI that exists today.
  • General Intelligence– A computer intelligence which would be like that of a human brain.
  • Super Intelligence– Intelligence that would far surpass that of humans.
AI-Enabled User Interfaces

In order to use AI, it is imperative for humans to have a user interface (UI). User Interface is nothing else but the medium where interactions between humans and machines occur. AI-enabled UIs is the interface with simulated cognitive functions that facilitate the interaction between humans and machines.

Artificial Intelligence has the ability to understand a user’s command and present the user with the best possible predictions. These predictions are based on all the available data it has. Besides, AI should be easy in terms of use and efficient so users can easily accomplish their goals.

To design for AI-enabled UI
  • Discovery and expectation management– Users should be aware of what the tool can, and cannot do
  • Design for forgiveness– AI will make mistakes, so humans must design UI
  • Data transparency and tailoring– Be transparent about collecting data
  • Privacy, security and control– driving privacy, security and the ability to control the AI.

How AI Wipes Out UI?

As of now, you don’t need to fret much. No matter how many jobs are taken over by robots to perform a repetitive and mechanical task but web designing is filled with complexities and humans have that unique capability to come up with something that features empathy for users. Honestly speaking, it will turn out as a collaborative effort for designers and robots. Instead of the problem, there will be a series of opportunities, including:

#1 Trained Robots

Even in the creative process of web designing, several works of image resizing or color adjustment turns out to be monotonous which can be automated. Instead of roping in the best professionals why not train a few robots and increase the productivity of your web designer. It may quite interest you to know that Airbnb recently announced a technology that identifies the design sketches and then converts them into coding in real time. Which means professional will have more time and energy for the strategic decision-making process that is beyond the capacity of any computing device.

#2 Intelligent & Modular Design System

Whether you are running a startup or a well-established large-sized enterprise, designers must consider the system consistency so that everything remains consistent between product and users. With the help of these systems, one can easily predict how users interact with UI elements when coupled with a layer of intelligence. One of the best website building platforms that have begun using AI technologies are Squarespace and Wix.

Intelligent & Modular Design System

#3 Personalized User Experience

As the point itself implies, the end product gives visitors a more personalized experience. And this is because of collected user data, such as where those users come from, what type of device being used, etc. It will also be pretty helpful for them to find what they really need, and thus results in more conversion rate.

A few pointers such as:

  • What time of the day
  • Where users are coming from
  • The type of device they are accessing from
  • Day of the weekend

And such ever-growing list of data points and signals users don’t even know about- all you can get is creative insights that emphasize on what your potential users are more likely to be looking for as soon as they land on your site.

As soon as machines start taking over this part of the process, the ability to analyze, scale, use cases, making them hyper-personal will become more viable and accessible.

#4 Creating Generative Visual Styles

Being a web designer or not, I am sure you must have happened to stumble upon Artisto or Prisma apps. With the help of image recognition tech, these interesting apps tend to apply smart filters to photos and videos. It may quite interest you to know that the technology can identify whether a photo contains a human face of a lemon pie.

Another best example to consider is one of Google’s AI experiments – Auto Draw. As the name suggests, it auto-completes your sketches and turns them into more polished versions within a few seconds. All thanks to the machine learning tech: as you see more and more people engaging with the tool and drawing their own sketches, the more the artificial intelligence learns about what users will end up drawing.

Creating Generative Visual Styles

As a result, designs can become accessible to more people whether techie or non-techie. This also increases the quality and polish of what end users are trying to create, without spending a lot of energy doing it. This can be considered as another best example of AI used as an assistive tech, and not trying to steal your job.

#5 Data Analysis

Sites, apps, digital services: you have huge amounts of data piled on. And each time a user interacts with one of these systems, data is generated. This surely means data analysis procedures will become complicated in no time. The need for cross-referencing more refined and more valuable data will help designers and product owners make more informed design decisions.

In the future, AI will take over the process of collecting and analyzing data which means analytics specialists might feel threatened. In fact, the same number of analysts can be hired to make things more refined (and more in-depth) analysis about users’ interactions with a product or service.

In addition to this, methods such as A/B testing can start to happen automatically. Here machines will be able to:

  • Identify a potential area of optimization in the product
  • Understand how this optimization can happen
  • Implement that change to run the A/B test successfully
  • Analyze the results on the basis of which version is performing best
  • Update the product with the new design, and then restart the cycle.

The Equation of AI and UI/UX Design Tools

Do you think it is possible to fulfill product experience with the help of machines featuring all the composition and color matching ability of human? Probably not! Speaking of enhancing the user experience, Artificial intelligence has given birth to the concept of chatbots which can help a user to troubleshoot problems in seconds. Besides, quick response and effective solutions can increase sales and drive traffic to a website. Like it or not, today’s User Experience (UX) products are soon going to be replaced by tomorrow’s EX (Experience Design) products catering user persona, behavior and context understanding to bring more values to users.

This means tools supporting user interaction and usability testing will still be heavily needed, but the ones that support wireframe or UI mapping might require some transformation or be eliminated gradually. Web designers will require to squeeze their brains when it comes to how to make the best use of tools, empowering themselves rather than being replaced, of which the design thinking and logic seem to be so important.

Therefore, from automobiles, airplanes, entertainment, all of it will undergo a paradigm shift, introducing new applications and windows.

Does This Delegation Stop Anywhere?

The entire issue is about technology taking the workload off but to a certain limit. Of course, we would love to give up all the repetitive manual work. Looking at the present technical advancement, dropping the old ways is the most important requirement but does this mean we have to work three days a week rather than 5 or not work at all? True, AI won’t have a drink with you or understand the simplest thing as we do. This is something that makes us simply “us.”

AI is only limited by the hardware capabilities, agree? As soon as that reaches the point where the average hardware will be enough to outsmart average people, it is assumed that machines will operate on our emotional level without being sensual at all.

Do You Think AI Can Design?

Of course not! The design itself is not a process of evolution and adaptation, affected by the environment as well as deeply subjective circumstances. Even if the designer is well experienced, he might not be superior in a product he comes up with. Overall, he requires creating features which satisfy the needs of users and meet the requirements of owners. UX designs success or failure is highly dependent on the satisfaction of the end users.

In a Nutshell,

The design job isn’t going anywhere folks. Even with a tremendous leap in the present technology, no machine can ever be imbued with the intelligence of a human being.

“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create — this is man.”

-John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

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