Last year I was designing product Merlon Intelligence, where we used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver a core functionality. There is no simple pattern for designing for AI. However, over that time I found some UX practices more useful than others. Here are 3 to embrace when striving for an intuitive UX.

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In this article, I am using the simplified term AI (Artificial Intelligence), covering terms Machine Learning, and Machine Learning Models.

1. Design a simplified conceptual model of AI

I once asked an engineer to explain to me how AI works. He started with straightforward terms, then suddenly he said: “…then imagine you have a 20 dimension of data”. I stared blankly.

Understanding AI is hard. It uses a complex model to produce outcomes, and it is nothing intuitive at all. People get Master degrees to grasp it completely. So how it is possible millions of people are using it daily?

“The design projects all the information needed to create a good conceptual model of the system, leading to understanding and feeling of control”
— Dan Norman, The design of Everyday…

Designing in static canvas makes designers overlook the most important part of UX — Delightful experiences happen in time.

Furthermore, UI design is adopting advanced motion design techniques. Fluent, fluid, or material, call it how you want. All big players are already vitally using motion in their design systems, especially when it comes to micro interactions.

Micro interactions are subtle moments centered around accomplishing a single task. Today we are going to share lessons to take your design skills to the next level.

Use storyboard to design user flows

Avoid being stuck on static screen. Storyboards are great way to design user flow. …

The future scenarios about artificial Intelligence outsmarting humans is certainly a big topic. But how does the AI improve our lives today?

Current possibilities of building ”smart applications” are better than ever. When the machine learning is happening under the hood, on the surface it delivers experiences that are “not surprising at all”. Well, isn’t that the ultimate goal of a technology? Let’s take a look.

Analysing the market and saving your money

Airbnb uses machine learning to help hosts make as much money as possible by analyzing market demand. It will set up a default recommended price and the users can review it and see the average price of the market. …

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Typography is a huge topic, but when it comes to responsive design — not so much. Most web designers tend to overlook it.

Web design has evolved from one size screen to hundreds, no, wait, millions. Your website is accessed by people on laptops, smartphones, watches and soon smart microwave ovens. Yes, even that.

What are the 3 things to consider when choosing a typeface?

1. Readability

Could you actually read that? Could other people read that? Could people with disabilities read that? Remember, not everyone has the same conditions as you. As a designer it’s your responsibility to keep in mind, for whom you are designing. If you fail to deliver readable text, there is no reason of being there at all. …

Making great things is all we want. But great work is not achieved on first try. Even when it’s best effort. Nor visual design, nor written copy, neither product. The essence to great work is iteration. Process of building upon and removing useless parts. Doing all that with single goal in mind — to make good work.

“Nobody told all the new computer writers that the essence of writing is rewriting.” — William Zinsser

In Every book I read, I look for proofs of work what it is built on. Is it just junk on paper or captured years of craftsmanship? Dale Carnegie supported his book by years of knowledge of teaching about people’s relationship. It has several revision, and updated to current situation. You can feel knowledge captured is just right. Because he wrote about actual things what bothered his students. How that work could compare to text some guy just spit out some words on paper? You can answer it yourself. Good work is like good wine. …

Running company is more similar to running marathon. You do not need to sprint, but doing quick decisions helps you win the race. Knowing where you should run faster and where save more energy is crucial thing. Using methods for problem solving help you with maintaining pace and solve your problem faster

Beginners mind

“In beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s there are few”

Remember when you were doing something for the first time and there was not written way how to do it? So you had to chose your own path? Well, it happens to all beginners. But when you are solving problems for 9th or 199th time you stick to the way how you always used to do it. It may cause some unpleasant situations and you are not able to come with new solutions. It hurts especially when old ones are not working. Thinking way you used to all time, keep you out of new solutions.It’s also called cognitive bias or course by knowledge. You know so much about topic, that you become blind to other possibilities. When you find yourself in that situation, and you can’t find new way to solve problem. When you are looking for new solutions, do not do things, because you used to do it all the time. Relax and become beginner again. What would you do, if you faced problem for first time and you didn’t knew anything about it? …

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… if your mum or girlfriend ever walked out on you while you were standing on chair trying to take a well-lit picture of all your electronic and drawing gadgets well-ordered into a perfect grid on your table, trust me — you’re not the only one. As designers, we like to look good, neat and professional, but let’s face it — long before we assemble those cutting edge grids of cameras, pencils and socks we live in a mess. Honestly, it’s quite easy to create mess when our rooms are flooded with this or that.

Our desktops, files and browsers are prone to clutter just as much. So the question is: is it OK to be messy as long as you’re good at hiding it? …

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Starting a project is always exciting. When we’re in the flow (or whatever you call your productive state these days) we often hurry to transfer every idea from our brain to the real world. We fiddle with shapes, explore ideas, design and redesign, mess around with colors until we feel it’s right…. When suddenly you catch yourself playing with one button for 5 hours and you still haven’t really designed anything that would resemble your website structure. So how can you progress faster?

It’s all in your head

Our focus center is deeply rooted in our brain. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize awarded behavioral economist introduced an interesting WYSIATI (What you see is all there is) principle in a book called Thinking, Fast & Slow. This model describes that human decision-making is not completely rational. WYSIATI means that our decisions are based only on the information that are available to us. This is why we tend to judge things and people soon after we see them for the first time. With the lack of context we are often very sure (stubborn even), that something is like thator that this thing should be done like this. In terms of design it means that the things located in the center of our vision are also in the center of our focus, while all unseen remains in the dark. …

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In 2005, Linus Torvalds created something, which completely changed the way developers work today. As one of the creators of Linux kernel and a great contributor to the open source community, he is responsible for one more thing: He created Git. Git is a version control system for software development. Today, developers can’t imagine writing even one line of code without Git. And when you look at it closely, you’ll find out why you should give it a try. But first let me tell you a story about me and Git, and how we met each other.

First contact

Even though I am a designer, I recently found myself at a workshop about Git led by some web hosting company. When they opened the terminal and hit the keys, to me they looked like hackers from the movies. …

You know that feeling. You come home after hard workday and just throw away your bag in corner, lay on the couch and pull out your smartphone to check what’s new. Only after that daily dose of dopamine, you are ready to move to do next things.

Everything it’s alright doing it few times a day, but it becomes serious problem when you‘ll need to do it 10 or 20 times a day. That is considered as serious addiction. At start it’s pleasant, but when you look back at the end of the day, it’s empty time block.

When you look at it as addiction, it’s something like smoking was in the past. It’s common and everyone is doing it, but now there are huge anti-campaigns and banners on every package of cigarettes. We are loosing control of ourselves and it will be harder and harder to regain it. I am trying to imagine how it may look in next 5 years, when people find that kind of behaviour, dangerous and unpleasant for people around them. But probably there will be new and more subtle technologies, satisfying our hunger for information. …


Slavo Glinsky

Digital product designer building AI products. Find out more at Co-creator of

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