AI and User Experience: As Always, the User Comes First

This article was originally posted on ZS’ blog The Active Ingredient.

This blog post is the sixth in a series on the impact that AI will have on different business aspects of pharma.

While most of us are aware of the importance of user experience, UX goes beyond simply developing a relevant and usable interface for software. UX is a discipline that requires a thorough understanding of users’ needs and the context in which they use technology. Whatever solution you may roll out to users, good UX is about meeting those needs.

With the proliferation of AI-driven solutions and proofs of concept, it’s easy to focus on the data science and forget that what you’re developing eventually needs to serve a person on the job. Within pharma companies, the finished product is often the visualization of complex data that appears in software on a laptop or mobile device. However, if users can’t understand these insights or the insights aren’t valuable to them, then the data science was a wasted effort. That’s where UX comes in. More specifically, that’s why UX should have come in a long time ago.

To better understand the role of UX in developing AI solutions, I spoke with ZS Principal Natalie Hanson, leader of our UX practice, whose team has helped develop multiple AI-driven solutions for clients.

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Closing Keynote: Amplify. Not Optimize.

Dave Malouf
Design Consultant, Coach, Educator

From the DesignOps Summit website:

We currently describe, frame, and promote Design Operations as being all about efficiency. While we might not ever say the term “ROI” out loud, we certainly sell DesignOps as means for optimizing our organizations’ investments in their design and research teams and infrastructure.

But if DesignOps is going to truly be the game-changer it can and should be, we need a better framing. We need a new framework, one that emphasizes the topline—the creation of value—over bottomline fixation on resource optimization. We need a framework that accounts for supporting the projects, people, and practice of design over the groupings of pixels and management of components. This new framing is at the root of DesignOps framework that Dave Malouf will share in his closing keynote.

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Learning over Outcomes

Brenna Fallon
UX Program Manager, Google

From the DesignOps Summit website:
As organizations scale, we risk over-engineering the way design teams work. This can mean creating brittle systems and discouraging true innovation. In this talk, we’ll explore learning-centered approaches as a way to embrace change and foster long-term success — and how we can find inspiration from our childhood roots.

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Leading Through Change

Purvi Shah
Head of Global Strategic Design Operations, Visa

From the DesignOps Summit website:
Change can be difficult no matter which stage of design maturity your company is experiencing. Chances are, you will be in a position of leading through change at some point in your organization’s evolution. This could be a smaller change such as migration to a new process or something bigger such as a large scale transformation effort, as I have been. During this session, I will share some of my own learnings that apply no matter the stage, scale, or change you are championing.

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Design is Not the Frosting on the Scaled Agile Layer Cake

Erin Hauber
Director of Human-Centered Design Practice, USAA

From the DesignOps Summit website:
For many in Design and UX, news that your company or organization is adopting the Scaled Agile Framework can feel like the beginning of the end for fully integrating design and design teams in the software development lifecycle. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I will talk about how Design and Business Agility built a deep and cross-functional partnership at USAA to bake a human-centered approach into the Scaled Agile layer cake resulting in: SAFe Coaches who advocate for design, a Lean Business Case that uncouples business and user outcomes, and a shared definition of value that aligns whole teams on the best outcomes.

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