📰 3 DESIGN ARTICLES
- Conversational AI has exploded in the past decade, making it easier than ever to chat with your computer. But as AI growth explodes, it’s more important than ever to consider the experience of the user.
- Humans best respond to AI that can make it feel like you’re talking to a real person, with the natural rhythms of speech—this is where UX designers, specifically conversational designers, should come in.
- “It is predominantly technical people that drive the development of these new products and services. Smart folks that know everything there’s to know about AI, but not necessarily about design… It’s one of the reasons why adoption is slow. If you ask me, AI is nothing without good UX and the UX of AI is conversation design.
- Digital designers have long looked to users to help establish innovations by using “desire paths''. These are preferred ways in which a user interacts with a website or app, particularly one that wasn’t planned for in the original design.
- Author Cory Doctorow, however, questions corporations who aren’t simply understanding user behavior—instead, they are spying on preferences to drive users to a specific endpoint, often one that they cannot get around.
- “Spying on your users to control them is a poor substitute for asking your users their permission to learn from them. Without technological self-determination, preferences can't be revealed. Without the right to seize the means of computation, the desire paths never emerge, leaving designers in the dark about what users really want.”
- A mental model is a set of predictions formed by a user about how a particular function will work, shaped by prior engagement. For instance, the model of how to interact with a “shopping cart” on a site is quite common, and predictable with high success.
- When creating something new, it’s important to consider how someone’s mental model might shape their interaction. If a user misunderstands a feature’s purpose from the start, it can be challenging to course correct and lead to an effective experience.
- “If people make mistakes on your site, it’s often because they've formed erroneous mental models. Even if you can’t change the UI at that point, you can still teach users a more accurate mental model earlier in the UX. Or, you might have to acknowledge that users won't understand certain distinctions and then stop making them.”
💜 PORTFOLIO INSPIRATION
Eliana Wu Chen, a UX Academy graduate, centers her portfolio projects around education, designing a site for a preschool and an app to help with study habits. Her warm color tones make the work feel accessible, and the illustration and character choices add a wonderful layer of whimsy.
Got a portfolio you love that you’d like to share with our audience? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERESTING STUFF ...
- Rebrands of 2023: Good, Bad, & Ugly
- ADHD & the Creative Industry: A Conversation
- Onboarding Lessons from Luckin' Coffee
- Considering Creativity
Designers actually can change the world for the better by making the complicated simple and finding beauty in the truth. - Michael Beirut
FROM THE LAB
SAY HELLO TO THE ALL NEW DESIGNLAB
After 10 years in the UX/UI education space, we felt it was time to update our style. We’re excited to introduce the all new Designlab, a brand identity that speaks to our creative core while still keeping people at the center of what we do.
Read more to learn about the work that went on behind the scenes to bring these exciting changes.
DESIGN EVENTS STARTING NEXT WEEK
We're excited to announce a new selection of free events, starting with AI-focused workshops and talks to inspire the way you work. Explore the latest tools, network with other designers, and get the scoop on industry trends.
The next session, focused on using GenAI to alter images, runs this Monday February 5th. You can find the full event calendar on our registration page.
LAUNCH YOUR NEW CAREER IN 2024
The February cohort of Foundations launches on February 5th, now with all-new AI content. Learn how to leverage AI tools as you gain foundational design skills. You’ll also receive 1:1 mentorship and a $500 tuition credit towards our career-switching bootcamp, UX Academy.
Reserve your seat now and only pay when the cohort launches.
EARN $ IN 2024 TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT DESIGNLAB
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If you said ‘yes’ to either question, sharing Designlab with your network is now more rewarding than ever! Earn for each new student you send our way.