Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) -driven User Experience () and vice-versa

Photo by Dan Roizer on Unsplash

“The present is the past of the future.”

Wojciech Fangor

Humans are outstanding creatures when it comes to imagination and creations of tools to augment their capabilities. Since the 1st Industrial Revolution, our potential has been growing exponential, and today, we are giving the first steps on what can be the next greatest revolution — the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As well as within the onset of the personal computer, mobile smartphones, and cloud computer, now, AI undeniably is shaping the way things work forever.

It is already a cliché refer that data is transforming the business landscape. In meantime, it is not so obvious to acclaim that the data is rapidly shaping , especially the User Experience (UX) field. Humanity is moving fast into a new digital era where Big Data, internet of things (IoT), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR) are increasingly becoming a part of designers’ lexicon.

Technology is changing the way we think about design.

Intrinsic to this transformation we witness data shaping everything since finance to social systems, social media to design. Therefore, what we are fetching is physical systems interacting with social systems, the interaction produces data, and starts to be driven by it. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) & Big Data, are switching the scope of design projects.

“AI will undeniably shape the user experience of tomorrow.”

Joël van Bodegraven

The role of a User Experience Designer (UXD) is evolving daily, and subsequently, their mindset and skills required to keep expanding and challenging their boundaries are too.

Briefly, if we examine the role of a UXD currently, one wear multiple hats inside an organization. It is expected to include skills of a product strategist, a user research, a visual designer, an interaction designer, and the list are growing each passing day. While it is exciting to confront the new challenges of emerging practices and the expanding influence in design, it is also difficult to maintain professional currency under rapid change. And for example, with the rising of AI SaaS, the life of a UXD a priori will not get any simpler.

We are moving forward from designing process towards designing systems.

The touchpoints a UXD needs to considerer in a service are growing in complexity as AI starts to spread around all types of industries. Nevertheless, there is an apprehension in the design field of how the design process has still been seen as a mechanism of just improving the appearance and function of messages, products, and environments. Likewise, AIGA (2018) recent report, shared another apprehension, correspondingly a big portion of today’s designers still focus on an object-driven process that addressed one independent physical constraint at a time. As previously mentioned, through AI & ML, the field is walking into an opposite paradox.

To be successful in solving complex problems designers must recognize how systems-level work is different from designing objects; how inputs, processes, outputs, and feedback contribute to system effectiveness. They must analyze patterns in poorly defined situations, through research, studies of system models and theories of change, and visualization strategies (see also: AIGA — Accountability for Anticipating Design Outcomes). They must build connections across disciplines when design knowledge is insufficient for the problem at hand, and they must collaborate in teams comprised of experts from many fields. This work doesn’t negate the value of formal elegance or functional efficiency but instead acknowledges that planning and analysis require equally creative insight and those complex problems are rarely solved by form alone. SOLUTION is to ally UX with ML & AI in a Design.

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