Future of Work News

How Much User Experience Customization by AI is Too Much?


Artificial intelligence, once a boogeyman of countless science fiction books and movies, has now morphed into something more akin to a “hunter gatherer.” In enterprise software, it helps by sorting through data and information to hunt down, gather and deliver the most relevant knowledge to do a job or answer a question. Many workers now think of it as something of a digital coworker.

In a recent survey of 222 user experience (UX) executives conducted by UserZoom, eight out of 10 executives stated that they believe AI is the future of the user experience, and the future of work. Users are increasingly counting on AI to customize the user experience for them, depending on whether they’re a newbie user or an old veteran, a visual learner or a practical leaner, a fast navigator or a hunt-and-peck navigator. But it may not always be a great idea for AI to overly customize the user experience, according to one expert.

Chris Noessel, a UX expert writing for Medium, noted that there are benefits to having software be mostly the same from user to user.

“It allows the expert to help the newbie,” he wrote. “It allows for group training. It allows someone to sit down at an interface (whose prior user has just won the lottery, shouted “screw you, suckers!” and bolted off to Bora Bora) and take over the abandoned work. It makes it easier for people to share screencaps, get meaningful IT help, and to discuss techniques. Software norms grease the skids for communities of practice that use a given software.”

This isn’t to say that all customization by the AI is bad. Under some circumstances, it can optimize employee performance.

“For example, one of the newbie’s goals is to learn the domain, and that should be accommodated,” wrote Noessel. “One of the pro’s goals is to maximize efficiency, and handholding explanations would only get in their way.”

To learn more about the Future of Work and how AI will drive the workplace forward into the twenty-first century, plan on attending the Future of Work Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from February 12 to 14, 2020. For more information and to register, visit www.futureofworkexpo.com.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Future of Work Contributor

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