We live in an era of incredible technology; We have cars that speak to us. We have quad-core computers in our pockets. We have clouds that have supercomputer processing power. Yet, we are still asking users silly questions and forcing them to make arcane decisions that ultimately affect their overall experience.
Increasingly, big players are coming up with intelligent UX concepts. Google popularized email intelligence by asking us “Did you mean to attach a files?”. The Nest gave us intelligent temperature control by learning behaviors based on our living patterns. Google Now aims to give us the information we need exactly when we need it. But these ideas and strategies don’t have to be relegated only to those big companies. We can use intelligent design in our products and our features right now.
Intelligent UX is the next frontier of good UX. What’s considered cool today will be a minimum requirement in a few years. Products will be getting smarter. Features will have more intelligence. And it’s not the developers who will ultimately decide the future of intelligent software, it’s creative UX specialists like you and I. We hold the power to start delivering smarter experiences. So the next time you design a login page, ask yourself “do I really need to show a “forgot password” link before the user even makes a mistake”? Or perhaps ask “do I need to ask the user if the card they are entering is Visa or Mastercard, when the first 4 digits tell me already”? Or maybe consider asking “Do I need to confirm if they really want to delete this item”?
It’s time to be smarter about our decision making, and start crafting intelligent experiences for our users. There’s no glory in intelligent UX; If you’ve done your job right, the user will never even know. But there’s satisfaction in knowing that in an alternate universe, where dumb UX continued to prevail, frustrated users are crying out “Stop making me think! Be smarter!”.
This is an excerpt from a presentation on Intelligent UX currently submitted to the IxDA 13 Conference in Amsterdam. For more information, or to schedule a presentation, please contact Andy Morris.