Will AI affect UX?

Artificial Intelligence (AI), has dominated current advancement in technology and is transforming the digital world. From Alexa to Siri, AI has become a part of our daily lives. 

I don’t even have to go far to explain my point. I’m writing this article in Google Docs with Grammarly installed. It’s a digital writing tool using Artificial Intelligence. 

With the advent of AI products, we enter a new era where machines start to act differently. They not only perform our orders, but also do things by themselves. Amazon’s delivery drones, Uber’s self-driving cars, chatbots that replace customer service representatives, the robotic revolution is already here.

But, will the rise of AI replace the work of designers, are we in trouble? 

Some people think AI will eventually replace UX designers and the need for human-driven user experience. 


Can human intelligence be replaced by machines? 

Robots are not replacing UX designers!

Well, at least not in the short term. 

Customer service may be better with chatbots, but people are still needed to manage them. 

The brilliant AI technology still lacks certain capabilities and traits that only a human being can offer. Whenever we need a creative thought or a truly innovative idea, it will still be coming from us, humans. 

You don’t decide whether your app needs a tab bar or a hamburger menu simply based on the number of items it contains. You don’t decide on what micro interactions or animations are best, based on any written rules/regulations. 

The actual truth is that technology can help us automate repetitive tasks and free up our time to focus more on the design part, making sure we design delightful user experiences. It’s time we identify these opportunities to work with technology, not against it, not afraid of it! 

Following are a few scenarios where AI accelerates the UX design process. 

  • Every time a user interacts with a system, data is generated. Lots of data! And we know, its analysis is becoming very complex. AI enhances capabilities of data analysis and optimization.
  • As UX designers, we know it’s difficult to remain impartial with A/B Testing & multivariate testing and quite often, man made reasoning can influence results. But, AI can rely solely on hard data and thus eliminates bias in testing. 
  • AI can present the user the right content at the right time. Experiences will be personalized for the user, so we designers can focus more about how to present an experience. Example – Netflix. 
  • There are tools that use AI to automatically convert hand-drawn wireframes into digital designs, saving UX Designers bundles of time, which increases the designers’ productivity a lot. Example – Uizard 

It may sound like AI is doing all the work, however, it still requires input from the designers. AI systems and designers will essentially work side by side. Designers will be the decision makers and will feed information, rules, and conditions to the algorithms that will then conduct the tasks.

From those examples above, we can find that AI technology doesn’t and won’t replace designers, instead help to make us focus more on the strategic part of design. 

So, AI strengthens UX. 

But how UX design for AI applications differs from designing a traditional application?

The fact that some people think AI projects are significantly different from other UX design projects is actually one of the danger points. 

As UX experts, we’ve already experienced a lot of revolutions over these years. And no matter how big or small, we always start with: what is our added value when designing products that will use this new technology? How can we ensure the best possible user experience?

The basic UX design tasks like understanding the people who would use the product, their objectives, their pain points, and the ways the product can help them, all remain the same. AI isn’t going to change the fundamentals of UX. Only thing is we must deepen our understanding of how AI works. That doesn’t mean we have to become data scientists, but we do need to understand our data at a significant level in order to translate the user and business needs.

Year after year, people are expecting more augmentation and automation from their digital experiences. No matter how advanced artificial intelligence becomes, it’s important to be user focused and create the best experiences for your users.

In the past, technology has made us stronger and faster. AI will make us smarter.

Let’s wait a little longer 🙂