Long Live UX for AI!

In the age of AI, UX has never been MORE relevant.

This image was created via Midjourney: “imagine/ a proud male lion, with a lush, magnificent mane, wearing a high-tech digital crown, standing on top of the hill. Behind the lion is a starting sunrise. Lion looks with hope, dignity, and presence directly into the camera, inviting others to follow him. Anime in the style of Arcane.”

NOTE: If you look closely, you can see that AI seriously messed up the tail. But it is nothing compared to how Google messed up the first round of the UX for AI. Onward, brave reader!

In the olden days of the monarchy, starting with Charles VI of France in 1422, it was a custom that whenever the King died, the successor would be announced with this phrase: “The King is Dead. Long Live the King!” The king was more than a ruler: he was often considered the avatar of the Gods, the connection to the divine. Thus being without a King, even a single moment, was to be cast adrift in a world full of turmoil, war, and famine. The immediate replacement of the ruler was thus a reflection of the need for continuity, stability, divine providence, and protection. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_king_is_dead,_long_live_the_king!)

In the grand tradition of Chiefs of Staff of old, as we usher in this exciting era, we have started this Newsletter with “UX is Dead.” It is now only fitting that we immediately and seamlessly follow up with our current chapter: “Long Live UX!” Because quite simply, in the age of AI,

UX has never been MORE relevant.

On February 27th, Greg was lucky enough to attend the Tribe AI meetup featuring George Mathew, Managing Director at Insight Partners. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/investing-in-ml-an-evening-with-george-mathew-tickets-547947394407

Among many captivating things, George said that the key to monetizing AI tools like ChatGPT would be:

  1. Workflow

  2. UX

  3. Domain-specific model

  4. Reinforcement learning.

We wholeheartedly agree.

Allow me to demonstrate the importance of AI Workflow and UX for AI using this fantastic video by ColdFusion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

In this video, the author Dagogo Altraide discusses how different Microsoft’s and Google’s recent AI presentations were. It is worth a watch because it highlights specifically the two top points called out by George Mathew: AI Workflow and UX Design. 

Bing has shown mastery of the new AI capabilities with clear use cases, like: 

1. Whether the IKEA loveseat would fit into a Honda Odessey:

SOURCE: Coldfusion via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

2. Which gaming-optimized TV was also the cheapest:

SOURCE: Coldfusion via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

3. Summarizing the results of the long quarter-end financial results from GAP, Inc. in a long PDF document and comparing them in the table with those from Lululemon:

SOURCE: Coldfusion via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

4. Writing a letter:

SOURCE: Coldfusion via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

Although that last one smacked heavily of “The Return of Clippy”:

IMAGE CREDIT: Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft managed to pull it off (this time) because they sold us on the integrated UX Design where the traditional results on the left are integrated with the AI-powered assistant on the right of search results, an integrated “AI co-pilot” which keeps the context and helps refine the results, and AI integrated directly into Edge browser. 

In fact, they hit all of the points Greg emphasized in “UX for Chatbots and Digital Assistants,” published as part of the Smashing Book 6: retaining the context, creating a unified seamless experience, and considering the entire ecosystem (https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/09/smashing-book-6-release/)

Smashing Book 6, Smashing Press, 2018. Co-authored by Greg Nudelman

Conversely, Google has seriously dropped the ball on the Workflow and UX aspects. The chat was stand-alone, not integrated with search, and UX was not all that appealing or innovative:

SOURCE: Coldfusion via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

Google also tried to promote Multisearch…but were unable to because, oops! They had no working demo to show. (Sidenote: Don't watch this part of the video if you can't handle type-2 embarrassment. You've been warned.)

SOURCE: Coldfusion via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X1O5AS4nTc

Even without a working demo, Google could have at least shown us the Cool New UX they were planning to deliver in a Vision Prototype (more on this and other essential UX for AI techniques in future installments of our newsletter – be sure to hit [Subscribe] below). 

Quite simply, this time, Google swung and missed the AI Workflows and the UX for AI.

The cost?

$100 Billion Dollars.

IMAGE CREDIT: Fortiche Production + New Line Cinema + Mike Myers (Via Midjourney: “imagine/ sinister Dr. Evil, wearing a monocle, laughing evilly, in the style of the arcane anime”)

(NOTE: Before you label us as Google haters, Greg is a long-time shareholder of both Google and Microsoft, so he felt the pain personally. We sincerely hope that this is but the first round in the War of AI, and we’ll see amazing future UX innovations from Google. However, at this point, the value the market puts on missed UX for AI play stands at $100B.)

The key takeaway is that, in the age of AI, UX has never been more immediately valuable or relevant. 

And conversely, we would venture to say that in this age of AI, if you do not have an AI strategy as part of your UX effort, you do not have a strategy.

Thus, we attest that: at this point and for the foreseeable future, UX and AI are joined together in lockstep.

Fortunately for you, dear reader, you are now armed for this disruption with our Newsletter, “UX for AI: Dr. Evil Sabotages Demo, Costs Google $100 Billion Dollars”... ahem… kidding, kidding! Our Newsletter is called “UX for AI: UX Leadership in the Age of Singularity,” and it is authored by Greg Nudelman and Daria (Siegel) Kempka, and we have a ton of awesomeness coming your way, like full-proof ways to pick the right workflows and cutting-edge UX for AI techniques that really work – all in our near-future installments, which is why you should mash that [Subscribe] button right now.

Long Live UX!

Greg & Daria

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