Building out an AI system requires a lot of forethought. Your AI system will be the front door to your digital business, so you’ll want the design to be inviting, the interactions to be intuitive, and the experience to be enjoyable. Unfortunately, failing to pay attention to design details can cause users to seek out your competitors.  What good is building out an AI system if no one uses it?

In this article we’ll break down the most important factors to consider when designing an AI system. We’ll explain the pros and cons of certain design styles, while providing you with a glimpse into how we at IPsoft help our customers design their own unique AI system experiences.

With whom is the system designed to interact?

Before designing an AI system, start with this question: Who is your intended audience? How you design an AI system for teenage gamers should be dramatically different than how you’d design it for office workers at an insurance agency. Gamers are more inclined to want to interact with colorful, outside-the-box interfaces that feature unique fonts and animation. Business users want to be able to find information quickly and leave the environment without any diversions.

Once you’ve answered the question about the intended audience, you can customize the experience to their assumed preferences. If you make a mistake and build an interface that doesn’t fit your audience, you’re creating an aesthetic barrier to entry that could sink your AI investment before it ever gets off the ground.

Should the AI system be fun or fast (or both)?

The language AI systems use to interact with customers can vary from system to system and even from project to project. You can program your AI system to use slang, humor, and even sarcasm, or you can program it to speak in direct professional terms. If you’re designing your system to serve as a hub where people interact with your products and services, and dedicate large portions of time, you’ll want a more conversational and affable system, with an interface that’s bright and inviting. You’ll want your AI system to share graphics and videos, and present products directly within the chat interface. The interaction should look and feel the way chatting on Slack or Skype might look and feel.

On the other hand, business users want direct information delivered instantly, and without room for interpretation. You wouldn’t want your AI system to speak sarcastically and confuse a user who speaks English as a second language. Similarly, you’d want an interface that directs users to the exact place where data needs to be shared, and you’d want to provide the information in simple and easy-to-read visual representations.

Where will the AI system live?

This is an important question, regardless of your intended audience. If your system is meant solely for the purpose of video-conferencing, then you’ll need to spend the bulk of your time designing the AI system’s avatar. You’ll want to ensure that users are seeing physical movements and expressions that match the words being spoken by the avatar. For example: If your AI avatar constantly has a serious expression, it won’t make sense when he or she tells a joke or tries to seem empathetic. You’ll need designers who can mock up facial expressions and hand gestures that look realistic.

However, if your AI system is a chat-based platform that’s built to live on websites, within messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, or as a mobile app, you’ll need to focus heavily on the chat box. What fonts will you use? What kinds of images, videos, and GIFs would you like the AI system to send and receive? If you’re designing a mobile app for your AI, will the app have its own logo? Will the app be tied to your main company app or will it stand alone? Will the interface be different for business users and/or consumers?

Here at IPsoft, we have a team of User Experience Designers who are tasked with creating the visual world in which our AI system, Amelia, lives.

These are important questions to address before you mock up interface designs. Establish a clear purpose for your AI system and then get to work designing the best possible experience for your intended users. Here at IPsoft, we have a team of User Experience Designers who are tasked with creating the visual world in which our AI system, Amelia, lives. They design the logos, layout and graphical elements that Amelia uses to relay data, whether they be on chat or video. They can even mock up a different looking avatar if you decide you don’t want our standard Amelia avatar as your digital colleague.

Designing an AI system is a science and an art, and it’s easy to get caught up in the science involved in an AI project. Graphics, logos, layout and other visual elements are just as important – if not more so — for your AI system to reach your intended audiences and deliver results.

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