AI & UX
User experience on websites is a critical differentiator for consumers, and Artificial Intelligence(AI) has made an impactful contribution in adding new transformative dimensions to this aspect of web development. Users relish human interaction, and AI technology empowers web development with the ability to provide a human-like user experience.
The Essence of Web AI
Though Web AI has come a long way from the early AI web design startup Grid, Jerry Yang‘s statement – “cloud-based artificial intelligence will reinvent web design by eliminating the mundane, time-consuming parts of web development and creating elegant websites in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost”- still holds true about what AI in web development is all about.
Advantages of Web AI
The most prominent benefits of using AI in web development revolve around these basic premises-
- Costs: AI saves website development, management and maintenance costs,
- Customer experience: provides an engaging experience
- Saves resources: task automation saves time and resources
- Boosts marketing efforts to targeted customers
- Productivity, Speed and Problem solving
Role of AI in Web Development
The role of AI in various aspects of the web development processes are as under:
- Automating reiterations and errands– The laborious and time-consuming process of whiteboarding and testing websites and applications is efficiently done by using AI algorithms with minimal user input. Analytical and predictive abilities make error detection and rectification faster, producing better web architecture.
- Improving web UI/UX– Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) systems tools help developers enhance web UI/UX. Better functionality, better user experience, content management, visuals, and graphics can easily be incorporated into the web design through these tools. AI-powered Voice technology and Chatbots based on advanced NLP( Natural Language Processing) are changing the profile of user interaction and communications towards human-like conversations.
- Customization ease-AI enables the creation of tailor-made websites that are based on specific requirements, business needs and client preferences.
- Continuous Optimization-AI with machine learning technology continues to learn and goes beyond the stage of just design and launch of websites. Deep learning and predictive analytics based on customer interactions and preferences, combined with underlying design principles, trigger optimal design responses for continuous improvement.
The opportunities offered by AI in web development continue to evolve. Enterprise and user preference for secure, scalable and content-rich web applications that engage the client with human-like interactions and personalized journeys is now a basic need. AI as an essential enabling mechanism for meeting this goal is an understatement. Incorporating AI is the ideal way for a website to come up to the expectations of the users. Well developed sites apply AI for the following rich web features:
- User Experience: AI ensures a higher degree of customer-centricity and engaging user experience.
- Content personalisation: AI suggests user-based content and media which finds better resonance with the user. Behaviour and preference analytics assist in selecting and curating the right and meaningful content for improved customer engagement.
- Virtual Assistant, Chatbots and Voice Search Optimization: AI and associated technologies enable websites to feature engaging near human interactions and responses for a more fulfilling and richer customer experience.
In addition to automation and building the best of UI/UX, another critical web application area of AI lies in its prediction and recommendation abilities.
Some real-life examples which clearly illustrate how websites are leveraging AI capabilities are:
- Amazon: purchase and likes on the site create a history of consumer preferences which are analyzed to offer recommendations to the user. Similarly, Facebook friends’ choices are also used to make offers. Amazon strategizes its AI to utilise site data for AI and machine learning growth.
- Netflix uses image recommendation and machine learning algorithms to gather data about subscribers’ visual impressions of images and use the responses to make personalized content offerings.
- AI-based chatbots also help in developing full websites, an example being Wix’s Artificial Intelligence Design bot that learns about the business and individual needs to create a customized website.
- Sketch2Code, a web-based solution from Microsoft uses AI to transform hand-drawn images and design to HTML code.
Looking at the business potential of AI and ML, tech leaders like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook have created AI toolkits and APIs for web applications.
Even though there are overwhelming advantages of using AI in web development, some caveats need to be kept in sight. The power of AI to draw meaning from behaviour and interactions cause privacy concerns to arise in the minds of the users. This needs to be addressed by transparency declarations as to how the data will be used, stored and kept secure. Another apprehension could be that dependence on AI could cost the loss of real human interaction. Web developers need to ensure that human contact is present in the web design, so that customer relationship is not restricted to just interactions with machines.
Developers will have to build in AI risk mitigants in their web development processes and choose frameworks that best suit their needs. A look at some of the leading web development frameworks reveals how AI &ML can be leveraged to empower web development. Some of these tools include TensorFlow, Apache Mahout, Apache Singha, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Caffe2.
Notwithstanding the above concerns, the permanency of AI in web development is unquestionable. It has become indispensable in adding value to the look and feel of websites. It has also proven its capability in:
- Enhancing usability, augmenting search capabilities.
- Providing engaging interactions and customer experience
- Sharpening marketing campaigns with a focussed approach
- Making efficient use of resources & reducing costs, etc.
A 2020 McKinsey & Company global survey, on the state of AI, found that organizations are using AI as a tool for generating value. AI capabilities in web development empower developers to design large scalable web applications, users to get near real-world experience. All through speech, image, handwriting recognition capabilities, backed by personalized offerings and solutions. Additionally, it is a cost-effective and efficient way of staying competitive and updated by creating unique designs. This is to be based on data analytics of current trends, traffic preferences, new business requirements, etc. Both from the business and the consumer perspective, it is obvious that AI is the deciding element.