As UX professionals, it’s important that we stay abreast of the latest technologies and consider how they might impact UX design. So, over the past year or so, I’ve read more than half a dozen books, as well as numerous articles on various aspects of artificial intelligence (AI)—ranging from highly technical books for developers to more accessible works whose targets are business leaders, product managers, or even the general public. The most valuable of these books: Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI, by Paul R. Daugherty and H. James Wilson. This book is targeted primarily at business leaders and the professionals who influence them. Anyone who works for a corporation that deploys software to achieve its business goals would benefit from reading this book—and today, that’s just about every business. Those in government and education should also read this book. In addition to applying its lessons to their own unique contexts and ensuring that the workforce is ready to contribute maximal value in the age of AI, they can also influence business leaders to choose the right path forward at this critical inflection point. Read More
At networking and business events, I often get asked about where I think user experience is going. A common theme that has emerged during these conversations is the sense that some of the latest trends in software—such as robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence—may do away with the need for UX design. While I understand the overarching fear of this perceived threat to UX designers’ livelihood, I find this very human fear ironic given what the worry is about. People often fear what they don’t quite understand and, certainly, the general hoopla about robots taking over human’s jobs breeds much fear and misunderstanding.
However, our guiding principle should always be: When we, as humans, use a product, we should not have to adapt to the technology. Instead, technology should adapt to us. A product that does this successfully is well designed. To create such well-crafted experiences, companies will need UX designers more than ever. Good design does not just happen. In actuality, the introduction of a new technology has no bearing on the validity and continued value of a mature design process. Read More
Conversations around artificial intelligence (AI) inevitably lead either to dreams of a world in which computers predict every need one might have or fears of the impending doom of humanity through a SkyNet / Ultron / War Games scenario.
As entertaining as these discussions might be, our focus should instead be on what AI needs to do to provide better functionality and achieve greater acceptance by society—that is, by users. Sometimes, technology—including some advances in AI—seems to be advancing simply because developers want to see whether they can build it. But, as UX professionals, we want to see meaningful advancements in AI that deliver useful functionality to users. This is key to the success of AI. Read More