Mar 14, 2023
Last year, the Forge Studio team attended the CSS Day event in Amsterdam. The two-day event was dedicated to exploring the intersection of design and development. The talks were varied, but one common theme stood out: in this era of rapid change, are we, as product people, equipped to design for automation, machine learning, and AI?
Only a few short months later, they were right. With the meteoric rise of AI such as Chat GPT and GPT-4, we've quickly entered a new era, and thought it was worth taking a look back at some of the key take aways from the experience and share them with our clients and network.
Designing with Automation, Machine Learning, and AI in Mind
As designers, it's hard to work on a product team that hasn't automated some part of their workflow. By allowing machines to handle the heavy lifting and repeatable tasks, we can focus on doing more meaningful work. However, it's important to consider how we use the work being created by machines, particularly in terms of digital experience design and the drawing of good design.
Josh Clark, founder of Big Medium, gave a thought-provoking talk called "A.I. is Your New Design Material". He highlighted how facial recognition, predictive text, and image search, powered by machine learning, have made impressive advancements in recent technology. However, as humans, we often assume that when facial recognition fails, the whole process is inherently flawed. But was it really? Machines are built on logic, so we need to understand that not meeting our human expectations doesn't automatically make the technology a failure. Instead, algorithms and logic-based solutions should provide humans with better insights to arrive at better solutions, faster.
Designing for the Future with UX and UI Theory
As designers and researchers, we always need to think about designing products for the future, even as we meet the demands of present-day design. Jared Spool, Co-Founder of UIE, asks, "What was the most important thing you learned yesterday, and how will it impact what you do in the future?" Jared advocates for looking back at the ways in which our design processes have already changed, such as the shift towards prioritizing user experience. This helps us gain input into how UX and UI have looked over the years, which might give us a better idea of what these concepts will look like moving forward.
It's important to note that designing for users isn't always straightforward. People don't always know what they want, even if they think they do. As Joe Leech, a UX psychologist says, "People want more choices, but can't deal with them.” This is where extensive UX research comes in, helping teams get as close as possible to the root of a user’s needs over their wants. By studying responses on a larger scale, we can form the foundation for true UX.
Designing Beautiful and Functional Digital Experiences
At Forge Studio, we believe that designing for automation, machine learning, and AI requires a fundamental understanding of the technology and how it can empower humans to arrive at better solutions. It's our job as designers to stay ahead of the curve and design for the future, while keeping our focus on the needs of our users. We use our expertise in digital experience design to create visually appealing products that are not only visually compelling but also usable and accessible.
Our design process involves using UX and UI design theory to create beautiful and functional digital experiences. We first conduct extensive research to gain a deep understanding of the users and their needs. We then use that information to create wireframes, prototypes, and visual designs that align with the brand and meet the user's needs. We always keep accessibility in mind, ensuring that all users can interact with our designs, regardless of their abilities. Our focus on visual composition and visual fidelity ensures that our designs are not only beautiful but also functional and user-friendly.
We at Forge Studio believe that designing with and for automation, machine learning, and AI requires all to have a fundamental understanding of the technology and how it can empower humans to arrive at better digital solutions.