fwd: Generative AI: Put designers in charge
Don’t mistake Generative AI for a technical challenge, it’s a UX challenge. Businesses that follow a design-led approach will have a competitive advantage in the chaotic, but promising, years to come.
Who will forget their first experience with Generative AI? I felt it in my gut when I first experienced Midjourney and ChatGPT. I understood that the world had changed and that it would take a decade to understand just how. We’ve been here before. For me, it was my first experience with the iPhone. Bill Gates compares it to the first time he saw a desktop interface on a pc in his recent essay “The Age of AI has begun”.
We’re witnessing a tectonic shift in user experience. Not a technological revolution. The field of AI research has been around since the 1950s. Machine Learning in its modern shapes has been making steady progress for over a decade and GPT-models have been around for five years.
"We're witnessing a tectonic shift in user experience. Not a technological revolution."
Technological progress happens “slowly” from a human perspective: the smartphone had been around for over a decade when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone and the personal computer had been around for over 20 years when Bill Gates first saw a desktop interface. But shifts in user experience can redefine our relationship with technology overnight. Since GPT-3, we can talk to computers. After the mouseclick and the tap comes the most intuitive interface yet: natural language.
If we have learned anything from previous paradigm shifts, it’s that things will be chaotic for at least a few years. In that chaos lies risk and opportunity, as always. The companies that adapt will thrive. But how can we adapt?
For me, it is clear: put designers in charge. Don’t mistake Generative AI for a technical challenge, it’s a UX challenge. Creating a Generative AI app is easy. Creating value for customers in times of change is hard. This is especially true for designing products with AI, where managing trust and expectations is a balancing act.
“Design-led” companies will reliably outperform their competition. According to McKinsey they increase their revenues and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry counterparts.
It’s time to revisit every aspect of your business. Your way of working, your enterprise architecture, your customer channels, your business model: everything deserves a fresh look through the lens of AI. But don’t get distracted: you are doing it to redesign your relationship with your customer.