The future is here: How artificial intelligence is influencing UX design

December 14, 2021
5
min read
The future is here: How artificial intelligence is influencing UX design
Tammy Wood
by
Tammy Wood

AI has become deeply integrated into every aspect of our lives in recent years - from disease mapping to web design basics. And, generally, we have benefitted hugely from this development. AI is expanding its reach to every industry and sector; it’s having an impact on the way we do business and the way we design products and systems. 

In terms of UX, AI is assisting designers and developers in almost every area of their work and, ultimately, empowering them to do their jobs better. Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics are aimed at determining what people require or how they behave in a given environment, which means UX designers can make more user-friendly products.

The future really has arrived: here are several ways that AI has an influence on UX design. 

Helping designers

Designing is a creative endeavor, but everyone can all suffer from creative blocks. AI is being used to help designers through using algorithms that are programmed to create flow diagrams based on pre-fed patterns and data. 

Producing client-focused design

AI can be used to rapidly analyze client data. This allows UX designers to better understand client needs; they can then create more satisfactory customer experiences.

AI can also lead to hyper-personalization, which focuses on going beyond a simple understanding of a target audience through analyzing genuine customer data. Algorithms help designers access vast amounts of data from multiple channels. This deeper insight allows them to drive more advanced customer experiences on the product or service they’re creating - from cloud native applications examples to client websites. 

It takes the marketing experience to another level. 

Democratizing creativity 

Technology in general, and AI specifically, has a democratizing effect in which it quickly becomes accessible to more people. This has empowered more people to become involved in UX design, creating their own products such as .ai domain websites, and has also upped designers’ games, so they design the highest quality products for a global audience. AI has supercharged creativity and allows products to be bought to market in record time.

Conducting data analysis

AI analyzes large amounts of data to reveal patterns. This has also influenced UX design, in that it can drive the qualitative and accessible design process. For example, AI can be trained to produce questionnaires for data collection and then analyze them using software such as an OCR application. AI can also be taught to respond appropriately to users based on their needs in order to do qualitative data analysis. This ensures accuracy and allows the parameters to be adjusted as needed.

Automating UX design 

A UX designer needs to make inferences from huge datasets - and the quicker the better. This involves a lot of repetitive tasks. AI can help by automating repetitive work and also make inferences from large datasets.

Additionally, there are other further automation possibilities that are currently being developed, which will start to have a huge impact on UX design.

For example, UX designers generally map out user journeys and information architectures after conducting research. They might then produce anything from a sketch to a wireframe, for example, which could take a long time to produce. This stalls development as the design process must be complete due to it providing guidance for the rest of the project.

AI is being developed to optimize the effectiveness of the entire usability-testing process - which allows quicker cycles of feedback and validation. When it’s possible to create a quality user interface in a shorter period of time by using AI automation to UX design, the whole project will advance far more quickly. It will be possible to conduct research with much broader groups of participants and speed up every part of the UX research and design process.

Affecting ethics

Designers have the ability to do many things, but just because they can does not mean they should. Using AI means that designers have access to far more information and can design much more powerful products - AI is playing an ever-bigger role in molding the UX of products and services. 

This means that designers are having to become even more ethically aware. They’re finding themselves in more situations in which they must consider whether having and including certain information poses a risk. With increased information comes increased responsibility, and UX designers are finding themselves constantly questioning the ethics of the products or services they are designing. 

The benefits of AI for UX

Although there are two sides of the coin for any technological progress, there have been some overwhelming benefits of AI for designers. Here are the top four ways that designers’ lives have been made easier and, ultimately, helped them to create better products.

Decision making

UX designers can use AI to find out about their options and then make design decisions more rapidly. 

Efficiently analyzing Data 

UX designers create user interfaces based on data analysis. This is a laborious task. AI can sift through massive volumes of data and produce valuable findings in extremely short timeframes. And the more data that is used, the better the user experience will be. Information is always power, and the more information designers have, the better the final product.

Building bonds between humans and AI

Voice assistants have demonstrated how humans can form relationships with AI. This is because AI can predict human behavior after collecting and analyzing massive amounts of user data. UX designers can use human-AI bonding to improve user experience.

To the future and beyond

By providing more ways of channeling user input and allowing products and services to adapt to user preferences, AI is helping designers and significantly improving UX. This is already resulting in more efficient and productive product development and also has the potential to develop this even further. 

The use of AI will give us ever-more insight into human behavior through a deeper understanding of what motivates human desire and worry. If used correctly, this information has the potential to continue benefitting products and services; however, designers must also strike a balance between UX and ethics.

Perhaps there will even be a place in the future for AI to contribute to making ethical decisions - by helping reduce unconscious bias, for example. 

About the author:

Tammy Wood has been involved with SEO for two decades. Her current role is Director of Technical SEO, for Automation Anywhere, an intelligent automation ecosystem that offers robotic process automation training. While not chasing keywords Tammy enjoys reading, buying shoes and writing articles about both RPA and SEO.

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