BM’s Design Thinking methodology employs a continuous “Loop” to direct its product teams: Observation, Reflection, and Making. In addition, they adhere to a philosophy that everything is a prototype, where one must constantly listen, learn, and course-correct.
These are the same principles LexBlog Design uses as a guiding light in this wild new world of AI. If you had told me back in December of 2022 that I’d be working on the user interface of an ai powered publishing assistant within the WordPress Block Editor, I’d call you crazy.
Nevertheless, I am, composing a post accompanied by “Lou” as my writing partner. I can summon Lou to generate an outline based on my chosen title at any given moment. Utilizing our “Freestyle” mode allows me to interact with Lou in a full-screen writing environment that eliminates distractions, enabling me to collaborate with our AI for guidance, brainstorming, or enhancing my existing content.
Careful observation has been crucial throughout this process – it’s the first step in our design loop. Our product team has embraced the process of observing AI tools, development, and practices, and we’re constantly exploring the new products that become available almost daily. From generative fill tools in Photoshop to AI-powered text generation with Grammarly GO, it’s all incredibly fascinating and, if I’m honest, a little intimidating.
Intimidating at first, but it becomes much more manageable when you break it down into smaller sections by taking time each day to read and practice with the tools and information available.
Note: I’ve written about Small Sessions, which involve simplifying tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.
The first small step is a personal observation which acts as a guiding light as you navigate unknown paths. Observation provides a space that allows you to see and interact with what’s happening and then enables you to digest and apply it to your specific needs.
If you start here, it will become a “hold” – like the hold, a rudder has on a ship to guide you along on your journey.
The second observation step moves from an internal practice to an external one. As IBM’s Design Thinking page put it:
Observing users in their world gives you the opportunity to empathize with their experience, understand their context, uncover hidden needs, and hear their honest and unfettered feedback. As you investigate their world, soak up what you see without judgment and observe the obvious with a critical eye. Great discoveries often begin with an observation you can’t explain.
This step will be essential for LexBlog as we find Sponsor Users who will be given early access to our AI-powered publishing tools. These users will become critical to our development of tools that provide value to marketing teams that manage large swaths of blogs down to a single attorney publisher.
Dealing with the intricacies and constant progress in AI can be manageable. It starts with simply observing on a personal and external level. Then, these observations should lead to active engagement in the same manner. This should happen within your product teams, throughout the company, and externally with those you serve and colleagues in your industry.