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AI, Human Centered Design, and a New Creative Process

Photo by Faizur Rehman / Unsplash

Rather than putting pen to paper, writers, designers, and other creatives are putting prompts to work.

The pervasive influence of AI is reshaping industries, sparking debates about its impact on the future of work and human creativity. While concerns linger, the question at hand is not whether AI will replace human ingenuity, but how people can leverage its capabilities to augment and empower human-centered design.

In our extensive research for Pulse Labs IQ, we have looked at the impact of AI on individuals both at work and in their personal lives. We've found that AI functions as a catalyst for heightened productivity, provides fast information retrieval, and augments the design process. The overarching sentiment derived from our research is that users universally perceive AI as an invaluable tool, not a replacement for human creativity. 

In a previous Pulse Labs IQ story, we looked at video and survey responses to questions about perceptions of the impact of AI on creativity and innovation. 52% of participants expressed a positive outlook towards AI, envisioning it not as a threat but as a supportive tool. This highlights a key insight: generative AI user experience excels at search and analysis, but it lacks the depth of human experience, emotional intelligence, and the subtle nuances of genuine creativity.

“I do not see AI ever fully replacing genuine art. Yes, you can make "art" using AI but it lacks that human element that can make some art so unique, so personal.” 

—Shawn, Millennial

Looking To Incorporate AI Into Your Product in a Way That Your Users Will Embrace?

Let us show you how the tools we use for our research can help you power your product design and user experience.

Tip: To build AI integrations into your product in a way that enhances your user experience, you need to understand the personas of your customers, their perceptions of AI, and how they're incorporating new technologies into their lives.

Pulse Labs Designers Put AI to Work

As an organization that focuses on human centered design, Pulse Labs is lucky to have a top-notch design team. We asked Senior Product Designer, Tara Connelly, how she uses AI in her creative process. 

AI can be a powerful tool for editing photographs in a way that would otherwise be a painstakingly manual process. Many digital artists have been using a form of AI for many years, known as Photoshop’s Content Aware feature. It is used to replace parts of an image based on smart assumptions, and has only grown smarter in recent years.

—Tara Connelly, Pulse Labs Senior Product Designer

Tara walked us through a specific example of her design process: There’s an image that appears in Pulse Labs IQ’s newsletter that was edited using AI. 

Our newsletter design uses square thumbnails, and it’s usually easy for me to crop the landscape images in our stories to a square format. However, in the case of one of our NFL News stories that featured an Unsplash image of the NFL logo, there was no way to crop this image in a way that made all of the letters of the logo visible.

Before AI:

By using Photoshop’s AI, I was able to generate the square version of this image, which you can see below. Look at how AI interpolated the missing information. It was very helpful, but this couldn’t have been possible without human input, as many of the variations AI generated looked eerily incorrect, but with enough trial and error I was able to get to the desired result.

After AI:

Three Ways UX Researchers, Designers, and Product Managers Can Use AI for Human Centered Design

For the people behind user experience design and execution, the true potential of AI lies in its ability to supercharge the creative process. Imagine instantly generating design variations, analyzing mountains of data to uncover hidden insights, or automating tedious tasks. This frees you to focus on what truly matters: empathy, strategic thinking, and crafting incredible user experiences.

By embracing AI-human synergy, you can:

  • Build deeper persona understanding: Leverage AI to analyze vast amounts of data, uncovering hidden patterns and consumer preferences that inform your design decisions.
  • Drive faster, more efficient iteration: Automate repetitive tasks like data entry and analysis, freeing up time for creative exploration, testing and research.
  • Create more design variations: Generate diverse design options instantly, enabling you to test more ideas, identify optimal solutions faster, and add fuel to your design process.

Want to learn more about the tools we use for our research and how they can help you power your product design and user experience?

Stay tuned for more insights from Pulse Labs IQ™ and sign up for our newsletter.


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