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Artefact and Forrester: New Approaches at the Leading Edge of Design

As a practice and as a profession, we are living in a transformative time for design. How we think about the customer experience is being challenged and changing rapidly and in real time. This week, Forrester released a report called “Experiment with New Approaches at the Leading Edge of Design,” which featured Artefact’s perspective on how design is evolving during this time of change to continue delivering innovative customer experiences. From conversational interfaces to “centaurs,” design will play a crucial role in turning transformative technology into opportunity for companies and customers.

The human-machine hybrid

Co-CEO Rob Girling has shared his thoughts on how AI and design could—and should—work together in the future, which the Forrester report describes the “centaur” model: “humans working closely and collaboratively with a computer, and together they perform better than humans alone or machines alone.” The centaur model focuses on refinement and collaboration rather than replacement and complete automation. Instead of machines and artificial intelligence replacing humans or designers, we see opportunity for machines to tackle the most laborious, time-intensive and difficult aspects of design, allowing people to refine machine recommendations and choose the best approaches and actions. Forrester quotes Rob’s insights on the future of AI and design:

“I can see the potential for a future where our personal AI assistants, armed with a deep understanding of our influences, heroes, and inspirations, constantly critique our work, suggesting ideas and areas of improvement. A world where problem-solving bots help us see a problem from a variety of perspectives, through different frameworks.” – Rob Girling, co-CEO of Artefact

Prototyping new processes

Forrester included StoryboardVR, the tool we created for rapid prototyping in VR, as an example of experimenting with new ways and methods for designing experiences. We created Storyboard VR because as designers, we needed to be able to quickly mock up and sketch out VR experiences so that we could save time and resources in development. But in addition to our VR projects, designers at Artefact use Storyboard VR to show how experiences could work in the real world. For instance, we have used Storyboard VR to show what an autonomous driving UX could feel like for the user by prototyping the experience in StoryboardVR. There is increasing importance that designers use new technology to prototype experiences, not just designs. From chatbots to voice inputs, designers will need to adapt these new technologies to demonstrate possibilities and prototype ideas in ways that go beyond the screen.

The Forrester report is an excellent read for any organization that’s always pushing their design practice and innovation forward into the future. We’re honored to have our perspective included, and recommend downloading the report today to get the full analysis.