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AI Innovations to Enhance UX

Artificial intelligence – AI – was a mere computational theory back in the 1950s when Alan Turing designed the first Turing Test to measure a machine’s intelligence. In just half a century, AI’s role in society has become firmly established. It has transformed both UI and UX design, breaking down the physical barriers that exist between humans and digital interfaces.

We already interact with AI all the time – it’s part of UX design already. Google’s auto-suggest function, customer service bots, and YouTube’s search algorithm are all examples of AI integrated into UX.

AI inhabits consumer electronics in the form of Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant – these forms of AI remove the need for humans to interact with information ourselves – the AI does that for us.

This represents a fundamental transition in UX design.

AI in UX Design

Perhaps one of the most influential publications in UX and UI design lately is Golden Krishna’s The Best Interface is No Interface where he argues that digital interfaces – such as screens – will become secondary to UX – which is the human experience itself.

This can be visualized through science fiction that depicts humans alongside intelligent robots that respond to human commands and environmental cues. Instead of manually inputting information into a digital interface (e.g. a screen), humans navigate digital information through AI.

The frontiers of AI-driven UX revolves around humanizing autonomy. Exceptionally intelligent chatbots like the award-winning Mitsuku can equip humans with a ‘partner in UX’ – an AI bot that navigates information on our behalf so we don’t need to navigate it ourselves.

This may pretty much end the traditional UI:UX relationship as we know it, and as Golden Krishna predicts, propel us into an age of no UI. For now, though, there are many other ways that AI is being used to enhance UX:

Increase Speed, Reduce Error

Modern AI is adept at working with sparse, or noisy ‘organic’ datasets, allowing it to mimic and simulate human behavior. AI’s ability to crunch through calculations enhances UX chiefly by saving time and minimising the number of interactions humans need to have with an interface. For example, in the healthcare industry, AI allows operators to process results across numerous variables to speed up clinical trials, diagnostics and treatment, as we have seen recently throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

This enhances UX by circumventing the need for humans to manually calculate and input data themselves – AI takes care of these repetitive tasks, streamlining our user experiences.

AI Cuts the User out of the UI

AI here removes the barrier between humans and important data. This means fewer menus, less button clicking, less data input – AI performs these rudimentary tasks for us so we don’t have to waste our time on them.

AI facilitates a life without menu and button clicking. Provide AI with a complex, specific term or query and it will navigate the data for you, pulling up relevant information without the hassle of searching through databases.

AI can then analyze that data automatically based on complex human commands. Dated data studio software is replaced by swift voice-commandable AI that can instantly draw up graphs, highlight insights and suggest improvements.

Analyze UX Data in Panoramic Detail

AI algorithms are able to document and analyze datasets – this yields important benefits for UX design. Huge volumes of app and web user data can be collected and analyzed with reference to:

  • Device type
  • Location
  • Session time
  • Pages visited
  • Bounce rates
  • User flow

These datasets can be analyzed in meticulous detail to uncover a multitude of trends and actionable insights for better UX design.

The potential of AI-powered data analysis is encapsulated by AI platforms such as Avora’s ‘augmented analytics’ platform that works seamlessly across many sectors and industries to provide an unprecedented deep analysis of a business’ finances and inner workings.

Embrace Automation

The sci-fi dream of an automated society powered by robots is nightmare fuel for some. The rise of robotic automation and AI has raised legitimate ethical and existential concerns as highlighted by Elon Musk and the late Sir Steven Hawking. Immediate concerns tend to revolve around the capacity for automation to strip us of our jobs, replacing various departments within businesses almost wholly. Whilst we need to always remain cautious and vigilant of how new technologies impact society, AI right now mostly enhances jobs rather than replaces them.

By dealing with menial, repetitive tasks such as data input and analysis, AI enables human skill and talent to be directed elsewhere – this emphasizes the most important tenets of UX. AI can do a lot of things and we’re always adding new skills to its burgeoning repertoire. But, for now, AI will complement your business and allow you to direct precious time to tasks that require a human touch.

About the Author

Charlotte Murphy is a freelance writer focused on AI, big data, and how business is in the midst of a truly digital overhaul. When she isn’t writing, Charlotte can be found in the kitchen recreating Chinese fake-away dishes, or walking in the local park with her cocker spaniel Ringo.

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