Companies that thrive in today’s competitive market are “experience businesses,” but improving the customer experience is about more than just relevant messaging, increasing conversions, or boosting retention.

UX design has become essential to how brands interact with their customers and to drive better business outcomes. But as customers now demand more personalization, UX designers must shift their perspective and think in terms of design intelligence and use tools like data science, artificial intelligence, and design collaboration platforms like Adobe XD to unlock their creativity and more skillfully move from ideation to prototype and final design.

Human creativity has never been more profoundly needed for both creatives and consumers. But the challenge companies have today is that they need to bring various cross-functional teams together to improve their experience design across every touchpoint.

Companies need tools to intelligently help their teams create, and they need an environment that’s infinitely scalable and personalizable based off each team’s needs. Intelligent tools will be key to helping companies amplify design creativity across the enterprise, and enable design and technical teams to work effectively together to craft more intelligent, human-centered experiences.

AI and the rise of intelligent experiences

AI can drive creativity and design. Adobe Sensei, the machine-learning and artificial intelligence technology embedded in our products, automates content editing, curation, image selection, and more. AI also takes over repetitive, time-consuming tasks and helps people make smarter decisions, but it doesn’t do their thinking for them.

There’s nothing to fear in AI. It’s just a tool that ushers in more efficiency, effectiveness, empowerment, and experimentation.

Crafting personalized user experiences

Today’s designers are now required to master multiple complex tasks, which is an area within experience design in which AI can be increasingly helpful.

Designers must put themselves in the shoes of the consumer and place the brand in the device they hold in their hands. Everything consumers look at, swipe left on, and interact with has to flow naturally.

Consider the core challenges of a personalized user experience:

  • Design. UX designers need an intuitive tool to combine static imagery, videos, animations, and, increasingly, voice interfaces.
  • Perspective. Everybody involved in UX design projects — not just actual designers — needs a 360-degree view of everything the customer does on all their devices.
  • Interactions. Designers need a way to personalize people’s interactions based on the context of the devices they use. It all has to correlate with time, location, and shopping habits.
  • Content. Designers have to deliver content specific to users’ real-time circumstances. The quantity of content must rise without sacrificing quality.
  • Data. Teams must deploy advanced data science and algorithms that help streamline interactions, enable creative problem-solving, and improve decision-making capabilities.
  • Digital workflows. All of these components must be corralled in a cohesive way that encourages collaboration and efficiency.

To make this work, teams need a container for all this ideation and all the accompanying assets. That’s the philosophy behind Adobe XD: A town hall for design creativity. People can just come to the platform and use it to create and design experiences together.

Bear in mind that from a UX design perspective, AI and machine learning are strictly in the background, automating repetitive tasks to bring the design that much closer to what consumers expect. In Adobe XD, AI powers responsive resizing, which allows designers to easily adapt designs to multiple screen sizes. It also drives a more efficient prototyping process with features like auto-animate, which reduces the number of transitions between artboards to create micro-interactions. A new AI integration in Adobe XD allows designers to export their prototypes into self-service portals to conduct video-driven user tests that show how users interact with prototypes. Another recent integration allows designers to integrate AI-generated avatars into their projects.

These are just some examples of how AI-enhanced creativity is reshaping the future of design. However, building intelligent user experiences also requires uniquely human skills — the most human of which is collaboration.

Design intelligence in action

UX designers are like conductors or composers. They don’t necessarily have to know how to build violins or play the clarinet. But they must understand the instruments’ capabilities. That’s how they orchestrate better experiences.

A typical UX design process can involve dozens of people: designers, copywriters, creative directors, product managers, developers, data scientists, marketing strategists, graphic artists, animators, and videographers.

They do tasks like prototyping, document co-editing, revision checking, quality control, and user testing. Everybody must be able to see each digital asset and provide input. Everything needs to work on tablets, phones, and desktops.

Orchestrating these collaborations is a monumental challenge that we’re addressing with our XD platform. As we all know, the design process is full of fits and starts, which is one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done. Our clients tell us XD shaves one-third to one-half off their client approval timelines.

How does that work? Consider the ability to share prototypes. XD helps designers, developers, and stakeholders quickly reach a consensus on how user experience should work. They can see what each digital asset looks like and run through all the animations and interactions themselves. That helps them identify friction points much sooner and reduce surprises when the solution goes live.

We’re all in the experience business now

AI, machine learning, and advanced UX tools help enterprises address the challenges of scale, personalization, efficiency, and collaboration. This will free designers to tap into their creativity and free everyone across the enterprise to develop innovative solutions for a wide range of business challenges.

The tools change but the goal stays the same: Intelligent assistants help us collaborate more effectively — and design better, more human-centered experiences for everyone.