User experience (UX) as defined by Wikipedia involves a person’s emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature because it is about individual perception and thought with respect to the system. User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing circumstances and new innovations.
The two most critical points of Wiki’s definition are that users are individuals each with unique goals and behaviors – and that user experience is dynamic. In the name of user centered design principles, however; designers often segment users into personas based on similar (vs. individual) goals and behaviors that ultimately define a user experience that’s good for the masses some of the time rather than best for each individual user all of the time.
This definition of UX is also guided by the principle that there are real humans standing behind every brand or product. And while a great UX continuously learns from its users to deliver a more intuitive, human centered experience – thanks to AI – it no longer requires an actual human to deliver it.
And like AI – which ‘learns’ how to avoid design ‘mistakes’ by memorizing the experience of every user – UX is in itself a designer’s primary source of human intelligence that, if properly applied, will recognize patterns in human interaction to mitigate frustration and optimize usability.
What this means is that ideally, designers should continue to employ traditional user centered design principles to lay the groundwork for major design decisions, and at the same time, leverage AI to continuously calibrate incremental changes to that design in real time based on the individual goals and activities of every user.
The compound effect of applying AI to UX in this manner will empower designers to humanize the customer experience for each individual user and usher in a new age of a dynamic and truly utopian, user centered design methodology.