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UX-Driven AI: Your Roadmap to Conscious, Profitable Implementation

Applying a UX perspective to AI implementation ensures that the AI solutions are tailored to business goals, user needs, and contextual use, leading to better ROI and reduced risks. By focusing on human-centred design, businesses can avoid costly mistakes and build AI systems that truly add value.

  • Do you think about how AI can strengthen your business?
  • Do you feel eager to get a place on the AI team?
  • And do you wish that you had implemented AI by now? 

Then let’s do it! Because let’s get real, AI will undoubtedly become one of your keys to success – but only if it’s implemented in a way that benefits you the most.

Before we run off and start investing money & building a cool and powerful system, let’s make sure that we know the purpose of implementing AI and how it can be done most efficiently for you & your business.  

The Risk of only having a technical perspective
If we only focus on digital transformation & investments from a technical point of view, it’s fair to say that you are spoiled for choice. Especially now, having all of these tech-heavy skilled people out there who are eager to start exploring new ML/AI technologies and frameworks. 

But even if it is possible, do you have proof enough to start implementing AI in your organisation today? 

AI can solve plenty of problems and reduce time-consuming work tasks, it can make sense of complex data and give you so much information and insights that you drown under the load. But do you know which AI approach will benefit you the most? Or would it all be based on poor guessing with a high risk of getting no value return on investment along with increased technical debt?

Without a UX perspective, and an understanding of human needs and context, there is a big risk that you develop something powerful that only solves a very small problem or even a nonexistent problem.

So, How can you apply a UX perspective to make conscious decisions when you implement AI to your business?

The value of adding a UX perspective to the discussions

Adding a UX perspective to  the game alongside technical expertise can bridge the gap between our knowledge regarding what’s possible to build, what’s needed from a business perspective & what will bring the most value to the end users. 

The combination of these points of view will help reduce the risk of implementing AI in the wrong way, and avoid spending money on something that will never give any return of investment. 

If we truly know which business problems AI can help solve, and we understand what the people that will be impacted by the AI need, then we can more easily evaluate what’s worth spending time on building. It enables us to calculate the expected value versus the effort it will take to implement it. This makes it possible for us to wisely spend our consultancy hours and prioritise the most business-critical tasks first, allowing you to see results faster and making sure that everything we do – brings value both short and long-term. 

Let’s  skip endless discussions and guesses regarding what’s most important to prioritise, listen to personal opinions and feel stressed that all features in the backlog won’t be developed in time. Because with a UX perspective, we know that it’s not the number of features that matters, and we know what’s worth building is not based on individual guesswork, it’s based on data & facts from the reality from your business & end-user needs.

So how do we add a UX perspective?

Start with the simple, but yet so valuable question “Why”? Make sure that everyone in your team is aware of the answer to the question:

“Why are we thinking about spending both time and money on implementing AI into the organisation?”

To make sure that the answer is based on facts & data, we strongly recommend that we together address the following topics. And, it’s ok to not have all the answers, that’s where we start working with concrete design methods from both the UX & Service Design toolboxes – everything to make sure that the answers aren’t a result of the room’s loudest person’s opinions.

  • Identifying your Business problems, opportunities & goals.
    – What do you as a company struggle with today?
    – What are your short-term versus long-term goals?
    – What is your expectation on how AI can support your goals?
    – What data do you have, and what data is needed to achieve those goals?

Methods & Tools from the designer toolbox: PEST analysis, Problem Framing workshop, SWOT analysis, Competitive research

  • Identifying who will be supported and get value from the AI implementation
    – Who is your primary end user/target group that will be affected by this AI implementation?
    – How will these people be impacted by the AI implementation?
    – How will the AI support the end user? Is it to make decisions, get insights, be more efficient?
    – What does the context of use look like?
    – How will the AI reduce the end users current frustrations & issues?
    – Which needs & goals do the end users have?

Methods & Tools from the designer toolbox: Persona, Observations, Interviews

  • And lastly, identify in which context the AI should be implemented
    – Where in the digital flow should you focus on implementing AI?
    – Do you want to blend the physical context with your digital product? Using a combination of AI and IOT?
    – What are the work tasks and in which context should the AI support the end user? Is it in a critical and sensitive context, or is it in a calm and relaxing context?

Methods & Tools from the designer toolbox: Observations, Customer journey, Empathy mapping

Brainstorm ideas & create concrete prototypes

It’s so much easier to start exploring AI solutions now that you know what it will solve. Bring your cross-functional team and let’s get creative.

  • Turn every problem and opportunity into a “How might we” question
    – “How might we” questions help us shift focus from issue to solution.
    – Use colourful post-its and make sure that everyone has a chance to contribute to the game.
    – Utilise everyone in the team, the engineer who understands the technical opportunities, the project leader who’s aware of the business limitations & opportunities and the designer who can bring innovative thinking.

Methods & Tools from the designer toolbox:Workshops, Co-creation ideation sessions, Brainstorming

  • Turn your ideas into reality
    – Use paper to visualise how the AI can work, use predefined templates to explore technologies & use your favourite software to try out visualising how AI can be used in your digital service.

Methods & Tools from the designer toolbox: Wireframing, Prototyping, Sketching

Make sure to evaluate your potential solutions. Start testing it today!

You can have plenty of good ideas, and they can all be based on insights from your business, tech & user research. But what if the people who will be using it won’t see the value of the solution? What if you’ve done your research, but still no one’s using it? Let’s avoid this by conducting fast usability tests.

  • Use the low-fi prototypes to get the solution into the end users’ hands
    – By conducting usability tests & observations you can understand and evaluate which of the solutions and prototypes you should spend time on continuing to develop.
    – Use the insights from the usability tests to adapt your potential solutions so they match the end users’ needs. By conducting usability tests early on, you can avoid expensive changes later on in the code.

Methods & Tools from the designer toolbox: Usability testing, Observations, Interviews

But do we have the time and the money?

After reading all of this, you may feel “But hey, we don’t have the time. We need to get into AI NOW, otherwise we will be left behind. And we don’t have the money to do all of this, we need to spend them on actually building something”.  

Of course, you want to get started, and of course, you want to spend your money on the cool technical stuff. We understand. But what if we say that by adding a UX perspective, we will bring you closer to the right solution even faster & help you spend your money on only the most valuable things.

What if we can take some of the money that you would have spent on building potentially the wrong thing, and instead have a few days of UX work? By doing this, we can assure you that your chances of achieving a significant return on investment have substantially increased.

What if we could help you make conscious decisions when thinking about implementing AI in your business? Conscious decisions that are based on both technical opportunities, business goals & human needs.

Let’s innovate together!

Now when we have identified what is needed to enable valuable AI implementation, let’s grab a coffee and get together in a cross-functional setting. Let’s us have a meaningful conversation about how you and your business can create conscious decisions when implementing AI.


Anna Sonesson

Lead Product Designer

Anna is a multi-talented designer with expertise spanning diverse fields, including psychology, business, design, and user research. her passion lies in understanding human behaviour and driving innovation that positively impacts both individuals and society. She's proud to have won a prestigious design competition for a project that successfully addressed sustainability from economic, human, and health perspectives.