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How Artificial Intelligence Could Help You Design a Better User Experience

Artificial intelligence is no longer a buzzword. It's a reality. See how you can use it to inform great user experience and great native ads.

Smith WillasBy Smith Willas
freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist
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Artificial Intelligence (or AI) usually seems like a magic trick to most of us, when it is nothing but complex machine language. AI, from being a hot buzzword in sci-fi novels has come to life and is in practice, among other things, informing spectacular user experience. 

AI aside, digitization, in general, is the biggest reality of the times we live in. User experience design (UX), naturally, is at the core of all these digital experiences, and heavily influences the value humans ascribe to them.

These are exciting times, because the forces of AI and UX design are fusing together, reinforcing each other, and paving the way for a digitally powered present and future.

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 11.01.59                                                                                                            Image Credit: microsoft.com

Let’s take a look at how, for the future and now, AI is designing a better user experience.

AI for Better Human Experiences – Cutting The Chaos

The average attention span of the human brain, as a much-talked-about Microsoft-sponsored study revealed, is 8 seconds (less than that of a goldfish). At any given instant, humans face a lot of choices, whether it’s a decision that affects their lives, or a decision that simply governs their app-experience.

AI has a major role to play here, primarily by reducing the number of choices a user has. And AI does so by predicting the choice a user is likely to make, and in this manner, eliminating decision points.

Machine learning powered predictive data analysis – that’s the technology UX designers are interested in. This can help them develop digital experiences that seem to be running on an ‘artificial intelligence’ to the human users, because they always seem to be getting what the wanted from the digital entity, without specifying everything explicitly.

Delivering Real Value to Eliminate Uncertainty and Fear of AI

Let’s understand this with an example. Airbnb’s success is mostly attributed to the willingness of property owners to be onboard. This, in turn, depends a lot on the seamless and empowering user experience that the Airbnb digital platform offers property owners. This, in turn, draws heavily from AI; here’s how.

Property owners don’t want their spaces to go unrented, because they priced it too high, nor do they want to leave money on the table by underpricing it. Airbnb’s ‘Price Tips’ feature uses AI, takes a lot of factors into accounts (locality, day of the month, demand versus supply, listing type, availability, etc.) and helps property owners adjust their rents to the ideal value (low enough to be rented, and not too low so as to leave money on the table).

Takeaway for developers: Think of AI-powered UX use cases that deliver the maximum value to the end users; this inspires confidence in the technology.

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Leverage The Deep Human-AI Connection

AI-systems have been creating a deep understanding and connection with the humans, and all this is happening due to the analysis of oceans of data. The quality of the relationship between human and artificial intelligence is getting enhanced because of this unprecedented number-crunching.

The idea of talking to one’s smartphone might have sounded weird a decade back. Today, voice assistants are an integral part of the human-smartphone relationship. Take ‘Siri‘, for example. You hear ‘Siri’, as a digital-personal-assistant with a friendly voice. Similarly, Amazon’s ‘Alexa’, is another great application of deep human understanding. The two AI-based applications are able to understand and interpret your voice to assist you. Apart from this, the apps also study your pattern and smartly predict your behavior.

This is exactly how an AI-UX works. Web users engage with an application, it collects their usage data, uses algorithms to develop a pattern and learn more. It then uses this data and learning to give users a better user interface.

Takeaways for UX Developers: Leverage the AI-Human deep connections to deliver personalized digital experiences.

Complex Data-Analysis Paving The Way For Better UX Design

Till the past few years, simple tools & metrics were used to develop a user interface. UX teams utilized heat maps, usage data, A/B tests and usability tests which sometimes produced vague results that resulted in even vaguer user interfaces.

But, with the advancements in AI, it is easy to gauge a user’s behavior and then provide an interactive user experience.E-commerce sites leverage this AI-powered capability to enhance user-experiences and then come up with suggestions of something that shoppers would like to buy. How do they get the information?! It’s only by studying usage data.

The deep insights facilitated by advanced data analyses can be used to improve user experiences, which in turn can drive up e-commerce success KPIs, such as customer loyalty, SEO, digital marketing, and sales.

Takeaway for UX Developers: Utilize big data, apply the learnings, build better AI interfaces, and that’s just the beginning of the User Experience.

BONUS: Emotions and AI

There have been common beliefs about what sets AI apart from humans on an emotional front, and it’s not just a gap, but a caisson! Somehow, developers have taken this challenge by the scruff of its neck and have come up with emotion-AI.

Emotion-AIs use machine learning algorithm, data and facial recognition software to gauge the behavior of a human being. The AI system then undergoes ‘training’, in which it analyzes tons of images (both facial and emotional).

After this rigorous process and a few failures later, the AI is able to successfully categorize user responses into different categories. These emotional categories can be happy, sad, angry, or frustrated.

Takeaway for UX Developers: Leverage pioneering research in emotional AI to build workflow branches in digital experiences.

What’s in it for the future?!

Well you must be wondering what else is that AI can do in the future.

The days are not far where all you have to do is snap your finger or just say the word and your mind would be read. AI-systems are getting more user-friendly with every passing day. Very soon, we might not be able to go on about our day without their help.   

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