The ongoing debate is not if but how many jobs artificial intelligence (AI) will replace; however, we do not view this debate as binary. Instead, AI combined with design thinking is a powerful combination, revolutionizing how we approach problem-solving and innovation. The marriage of AI and design thinking offers a unique opportunity to enhance human-centered design practices and unlock new possibilities across nearly all industries.
This post will discuss how designers can leverage AI's capabilities to augment their creative process by creating dynamic and adaptable personas.
The goal of a persona is to create a representation of our aggregate secondary (desk) and primary (user interview) research to personify a segment of the target audience. Persona creation is vital because we need a photo or sketch to ground our creative process as designers whose work requires empathy.
With AI as their ally, designers can better shape personas that represent a diversity of users, with lower cost and higher iteration, to profoundly and drive innovative solutions.
With a design brief, all designers begin their inquiry with secondary research. Unfortunately, budget and time constraints limit the length of this research. By contrast, AI analyzes the entire digital footprint of humanity to gain insights in minutes for minimal cost. The AI output will need revision, and this fact changes but does not replace the role of the designer. Designers can identify the shortcomings of the AI output and focus their primary research efforts (i.e., user interviews) on bridging those gaps and seeking out underrepresented voices. This level of personalization ensures that design decisions align precisely with the needs and expectations of the target audience at a lower cost and with higher iterations.
Once created, the AI persona can be revised and retrained as new data and insights emerge. This dynamic feature ensures designs stay in sync with changing user behaviors and preferences, delivering insights-aligned experiences. Our work with AI personas reinforces our belief that algorithms cannot practice empathy. That remains the realm of the human designer. Yet through dialogue with the system, designers can test emotionally vibrant designs that forge a deeper connection with the programmed beliefs of the users. Of course, the AI persona cannot adapt to what it cannot glean from its databases, which again highlights the gestalt of the designers to meet undiscovered and unmet user needs.
By leveraging AI's capabilities, designers can augment their creative process, particularly in creating dynamic and adaptable personas. This integration opens up possibilities, empowering designers to shape diverse and personalized user representations and aligning design decisions with precise audience needs and aspirations. With AI as their ally, designers drive innovation, forge deeper connections, and deliver impactful user experiences.