– by Mika Meskanen and Gemma Church with illustrations by Josh Jones
UX is everywhere. This mindset, where the user comes first and technology must be built around and serve our human needs, sits at the heart of our smartphones, computers, cars and a myriad of other consumer products and services. It helps our everyday lives run a little bit better and provides us with a seamless interface between human and machine.
In the world of work, consumer technologies are now ousting their enterprise equivalents. Why? The reason comes down to UX. The world’s workforce doesn’t want to switch devices or platforms to carry out its day-to-day-duties. Instead, we increasingly rely on consumer technologies to provide the consistency and seamless user experience we now demand in every aspect of our lives.
But when you’re designing the user experience for an AI engine for enterprise like the PROWLER.io Decision Engine, delighting the end user is not enough. You also need to build trust between the human user and the artificial intelligence system.
This is no mean feat. Even if AI was infallible, free of bias and thoroughly transparent and explainable, its efficacy would still come down to the trust we humans place in it. Building trust in external systems is a problem that’s been around for centuries. Even in Greek mythology, Cassandra was cursed to utter prophecies that were true, but no one believed. Despite prophesying the fall of Troy, her warnings were ignored and the destruction of Troy ensued.
AI faces similar challenges. Even when machine learning systems make the right decisions, these decisions are worthless unless humans can trust them and follow their advice. Unfortunately, too many deep tech companies dismiss UX entirely or treat it as an afterthought, only for it to come back with a vengeance, at significant cost and pain.
At PROWLER.io, we see building AI and building trust as inseparable. We have a dual responsibility to ensure that our technology helps users make better decisions – and to explain how our AI generates those decisions.
With this in mind, our UX plays an integral role in building trust between human and machine by providing the necessary level of control, transparency and explainability to every end user through user experience design. Thus, ultimately helping our end-users make better decisions that are powered by people; and empowered by AI.
User experience design is a conscious, collaborative effort to make technology meet the goals and needs of its users within our human mental and physical capabilities.
We tap into a range of skill sets from the different UX professionals in our team.
When our UX team iterates on a product or starts working on a new customer project, our user researchers try to discover what the end users’ motivations are through a programme of observing, interviewing, co-creating and testing.
This information helps our UX designers develop a mental model and narratives centred around the people we’re building technology for, not the other way around, allowing us to create a user journey to better understand any bottlenecks and problems with the current system. We also use bespoke tools like decision stories to drill down into the fine detail of each user journey, creating clarity and contextualising each user’s role and requirements going forward.