The most important tenet that propels the field of UX design forward and leads companies to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in incorporating it as an important part of their whole strategy, is the belief that customers should get a better experience and be pleased enough throughout their journey that a particular CTA (Call-to-Action) is served.
The process from the landing page to that particular CTA would be meticulously designed so that the user would not lead out midway. This guides user behaviour and increased conversions. Everything from the colours specified for each component of the website or app to the strategic placement of ads and banners is designed to enhance the experience of the user while an interaction takes place.
UX designers have years of experience in creating better design elements and most of the time, the results that the intervention of a UX designer brings, are mostly positive in terms of enhancing engagement and achieving the bottom lines.
However, there exists a gap between the positive change these UX designers bring in and what the ultimate utopian engagement scenario ought to be. The results might have become better, but no UX design in this world could guarantee that every particular user would like everything on the website or app. There will always be some users who bow out during different parts of the UX design-led conversion journey.
The primary reason for this is that there is not enough personalization on the part of the UX design to optimise the interest of each and every user separately. Every user is different and needs to be treated differently. UX design does work on a holistic level, but there is still a noticeable gap and potential that could be fulfilled and help the brands gain more out of investing in UX design.
What Does This Gap Constitute Of?
To fill this tantalising gap in UX design, one needs to identify different consumer triggers by mining data from each interaction a single user has with the brand and then test various types of UX design formations with each user to formulate unique identities or user personas.
The biggest problem between contemporary UX design strategies and this approach is that this particular approach works by relating to design through the medium of context in each interaction. Conventional design strategies only rely on making things “intuitively better”. For example, there is an e-commerce store that has different clothing product categories. Everyone buys clothes, but not everyone likes the same clothing. Thus, every customer will bring with them their tastes and opinions that will guide their buying behaviour.
This gap in UX design becomes glaring when the differentiation in different buying behaviour meets a better but static UX design. Person A might be more attracted towards a more exuberant front page display, brightly coloured CTA banners and exciting language but Person B might prefer a more subdued front page display and banners but would still like the exciting language to remain there. Users themselves do not know of the subconscious decision triggers that drive them, and it is up to the UX designer’s competency to find them out and apply them successfully.
Artificial Intelligence as a UX design Assistant
Every brand’s dream and probably a bit of an unsettling scenario would be to have the power of having an individually tailored design for each user making him/her easily convinced to buy. This might feel like a far-fetched concept, but it is already here.
The recent advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have enabled us to do exactly this and with excruciating precision by not just assimilating all of the data about different user interactions but making sense of it and then rendering optimised interfaces, messages and colours to suit those individualised needs.
AI achieves this through the application of the methods of deep learning. There, it combines data and makes inferences on what result/s each subsequent tweak in the message or design would bring out, ultimately leading to a better-individualised success rate.
AI is based upon neural networks that learn on their own after we provide them with complex data and the desired result we would want them to bring out. Although not a lot of people or even the engineers that develop AI know much about how AI comes to these conclusions, the degree of accuracy AI brings to some areas is so powerful that this dark black box that forms the core of AI’s brain is often ignored.
AI has been leading breakthroughs in the fields of medicine, finance, manufacturing, automobiles and a whole lot of other areas because they operate within a context. Contrary to what people believe about AI in the UX design realm, it is not an improving mechanism in the sense that it can write a “better” version of a previously written tagline. It rather works by paying attention to what works better when talking about each user.
The importance of research has grown manifold in the field of UX, but there has always existed a missing link that could transform that data gathered from all the user interactions into entirely customised UX design components leading towards more positive decisions by the users towards the brand. UX designers, even when armed with research, have to generalise the findings in their design framework and develop something that will feel the same to each user.
They simply cannot develop each component of the design to suit the preferences of each user.
This is where AI can and will serve as a crucial assistant to UX designers, and instead of taking away jobs like feared in other fields, AI would rather augment the role of UX designers and make them even more valuable. UX designers would become more of curators than creators which would mean that they could supply the AI with the set of framework and mechanisms they feel would serve different customer needs best and then the AI could take over and tweak each component and version for each user visiting the website or app.
With the advent of AI, the whole landscape of UX design could experience a paradigm shift and bring in much more user satisfaction, customised experiences and drive positive behaviour than what was believed possible. An AI firm name Persado is already engaged in transforming a part of UX design through the use of its cognitive content platform that does something very similar to what is being described here. It uses data from customer interactions with each form of text and language, and then the algorithm tweaks the content to elucidate much better responses from users. The company makes messages more competent by increasing their emotional intelligence and is already applying them to the different ad and email marketing campaigns with a high success rate.
How Not to Falter with AI in UX Design
It is quite easy to get a bit carried away with AI and the usefulness of this system in the field of UX design, but remember that the results it will provide users with will only be as good as the data it has managed to secure and learn from.
The quality and relevancy of the data matters immensely to AI systems and the more complex and detailed the information gets, the better the decisions and results it would bring out. Supplying it with only primitive information could prove to be highly disastrous, and you need to develop your data sets before you delve into incorporating AI to improve your individualised UX design and power conversions and increase engagements.
The future landscape of AI-led developments could be immensely helpful for brands in that it could create an ecosystem where one AI system learns and supports another, paving the way for unprecedented integration. A primitive form of this integration can already be seen on Google, whose robust image recognition AI can now help brands optimise their logos on their search engine and drive highly relevant traffic from there too.
Previously, such connections and domains were closed off to brands and seemed like a distant reality, but now they are becoming increasingly well adapted to benefit brands on a scale that was previously unimagined. The integration of AI into UX design holds a high degree of justifiable potential and firms should start understanding and incorporating this new standard of driving a better user experience into their UX design strategies and make them much more competent.
If you’d like to…
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If, on the other hand, you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, then consider to take the online course on User Experience. Good luck on your learning journey!
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