How To Navigate AI With UX And UI Clients

Artificial intelligence (AI) is experiencing widespread adoption across industries. In my experience working with clients on UX and UI projects, many businesses are eager to incorporate AI into their product and service offerings to stand out to investors and highlight that they’re innovative and forward-thinking.

Clients have also shared that investors are directly asking to see AI components in their business plans. Because of this, I’ve seen an increase in the number of clients and prospects approaching my team to help integrate AI into what their businesses offer.

I always take a thoughtful, strategic approach to projects to ensure alignment with client goals and address user challenges. I’m taking this same approach with AI, even though it’s trending. Providing effective products and services is always important, so I’m incorporating AI with a defined strategy rather than simply for the sake of doing so.
Here’s what I’m seeing in the UX/UI space, and how I’ve been navigating AI with clients.

Table of contents:

An increased demand for AI jobs and expertise

I’ve been a freelancer on Upwork for nearly a decade and also lead a UX/UI agency through the platform. Based on my team’s analysis of jobs on Upwork that match our skills and services, the number of job posts requiring AI functionality saw a significant increase following the release of OpenAI’s GPT-4 in March 2023.

Here are some of the trends my team has noticed with job posts requesting AI skills:

  • Increased demand for general use of AI. In the initial months after the release, the surge in demand was noticeable. Approximately one in every five job posts relevant to our team specifically requested or required AI capabilities. When my team first started to receive an influx of requests for AI projects, some clients were vague or unclear about the exact AI functionality they needed. They simply asked us to incorporate AI into their projects in one way or another
  • Requests for AI became more specialized. After a few months, the trend stabilized and while the total percentage of jobs requiring AI has tapered off slightly, the requests for AI have become more specific. Currently, about one in every 10 job posts my team and I come across on Upwork aims to integrate AI to some extent

Some of the most common requests my team has noticed include text generation and review platforms, along with platforms for generating videos and pictures with functionality for users to share the results

Other in-demand requests relate to integrating AI assistants into e-learning platforms, financial technology (fintech projects), and other service-oriented businesses. E-learning platforms rely on AI features to help users practice texting, simulating conversations with native speakers. Fintech companies typically leverage AI chatbots to enhance data analysis capabilities, while other service providers primarily seek to integrate basic chat assistants.

Benefits of incorporating AI into UX/UI projects

Companies and UX/UI designers can benefit from incorporating AI into the design process in several ways.

Some of the top benefits include:

  • Automation of tasks. Minimize human error, save time, and free up designers to focus on more complex problems by automating routine tasks such as data collection, data entry, customer-facing business, email responses, software testing
  • Faster project cycles. Speed up design by receiving intelligent design assistance from AI algorithms that can share design recommendations, layout variations, and provide insights and feedback on design decisions
  • Better testing. Improve usability testing by using AI to automate usability testing processes, including analyzing user interactions, heat maps, and other relevant behavioral data to identify trends and usability issues
  • Personalization. Personalize the user experience and complete advanced user research by leveraging AI to analyze user behavior and make design changes to improve the user experience
  • Improved user experience. AI helps companies support a more intuitive user experience by understanding user needs, optimizing user flows, and making proactive recommendations

How to integrate AI into your UX/UI offerings

Integrating AI into projects from a UX/UI perspective can be a valuable addition to services. Differentiate yourself as a forward-thinking and innovative UX/UI designer by offering AI services that attract clients who seek modern and data-driven design solutions.

Here are some best practices to do so successfully:

  • Showcase AI expertise and services in your Upwork profile. Feature details about your AI expertise and service offerings in your Upwork profile and portfolio. Highlight relevant projects or case studies that demonstrate your experience in integrating AI into UX/UI design processes. Describe how you’ve applied AI techniques in your previous projects and showcase any AI-related certifications or training you’ve acquired. Showcasing your AI experience can help you capture the attention of clients looking for AI-integrated UX/UI design services.
  • Assess client needs for AI. As is the case with any UX/UI project, understanding client needs from the start is important. Carefully review initial project overview details, review the client’s website, app, or platform, and get an understanding of the client’s target audience. Depending on the client’s users and their pain points, examples of AI solutions include automation, personalization, and data analysis.
  • Propose AI where it fits. Once you have an understanding of your client’s needs, you can begin the project scoping phase. Include AI-related requirements and objectives. Identify opportunities where AI can be integrated into the UX/UI design process to improve outcomes or meet specific project goals. Submit a detailed project bid to align with clients on their specific requirements and project scope. During the bidding process, propose solutions, confirm budget, reiterate your expertise, and ask follow up questions to ensure your bid is accurate.
  • Communicate with clients each step of the way. No matter the type of UX/UI project you’re working on, communication before and during the project timeline is essential. Effective communication helps build harmonious relationships with clients, align on goals and scope, and stay on track with project timelines, among other benefits. This is especially important when incorporating a new tool like AI.  
  • Continue to learn and improve. Because AI is a new and rapidly evolving field, focusing on continued learning and development can help ensure you’re offering the latest solutions to clients. Follow the latest news related to AI in UX/UI design, analyze AI projects that your competitors have completed, and complete new certifications and courses as they become available.

Examples of UX/UI projects involving AI

My agency has seen an increased demand for projects that include AI, both with new leads and potential clients on Upwork, as well as in our work with existing clients.

Here are some examples of projects incorporating AI that my team has recently discussed or worked on.

Recent leads involving AI

  • Children’s learning app. This mobile app is aimed at supporting an engaging and interactive learning experience for children. Children can create an avatar, which acts as an intelligent and amusing friend and responds to questions within chosen educational categories.
  • Music production app. This app enables users to create and produce unique and personalized music tracks and videos with the help of AI technology. The AI assistant can also provide coaching advice related to the music industry.
  • Employee onboarding platform. This tool leverages AI to centralize a company's onboarding materials and other relevant information so employees can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. The platform reduces training time for new workers and overall onboarding time.

Examples of how existing clients are incorporating AI

Healthcare navigation platform. This system was built to help U.S-based patients schedule appointments, interact with physicians before and after appointments, and navigate insurance questions. The platform uses an AI chatbot and other features to make healthcare more accessible and user-friendly.

Healthcare

Automated pricing for logistics service providers. The goal of this AI-based automated and intelligent pricing system is to replace the time-consuming process of creating offers. This increases the productivity of sales managers at logistics companies. Automation helps reduce the sales cycle by enabling sales team members to directly calculate and create offers for their customers or prospects during meetings, rather than waiting for the pricing department to do so.

Logistics

Career mapping platform. This platform creates a map between a person’s current career and skills and their aspirational job goal. It also helps create custom resumes for each relevant advertised job and applies on the job seeker’s behalf. The service is designed to simplify the application process by matching skills and experience with the best job opportunities available.

Careers

Key AI considerations from a UX/UI design perspective

While AI can bring many benefits to UX/UI design, AI should be incorporated into projects thoughtfully and carefully. Designing the best possible products and solutions for clients is always important, whether or not AI is involved.

Some key considerations for projects involving AI include:

  • Understanding when AI is needed versus other more effective solutions. Many clients have limited knowledge of AI and want to incorporate AI simply to check a box. Discussing all possible solutions is important when kicking off projects with clients because it might turn out that AI isn’t the most relevant or cost-effective option.  
  • Striking the right balance between AI and human expertise. While AI can be beneficial to enhance the user experience, AI shouldn’t be a replacement for human interaction. Empathy is one of the most important components of design. While some individuals predict that AI will replace jobs, AI is more likely to support the design process, rather than replace the designer. Human expertise will still be needed to fully understand and address user pain points and goals.
  • Prioritizing user privacy and data security. Personal data feeds into many AI systems. Protecting user data is critical. As AI systems become more widely adopted, the risk of privacy and data breaches increases. Research from the University of California, Berkeley found that users are more likely to trust an AI system if they have confidence their data is being protected. They are more likely to adopt AI solutions if they know how their data is being used. As UX and UI experts design AI solutions and interfaces, privacy and security needs to be a top priority.

Start integrating AI into your initiatives

AI has rapidly become prevalent in UX and UI design. Soon it won’t be a question of whether to incorporate AI into projects—but when.

UX and UI designers who take a strategic approach and successfully navigate AI will likely stand out and attract more clients in the long run. Businesses that partner with skilled UX and UI designers to incorporate AI will save time, reduce costs, and support an improved user experience.

I help clients turn their ideas into reality and enhance user engagement through UX and UI design projects. If you’re looking for a skilled partner to help incorporate AI into your offerings or to support any other UX/UI projects, send an inquiry through my Upwork profile and we can discuss your specific goals and requirements in detail.

Disclosure: Upwork is an OpenAI partner, giving OpenAI customers and other businesses direct access to trusted expert independent professionals experienced in working with OpenAI technologies.

This article was submitted by and expresses the views and opinions of the independent freelancer listed as the author. They do not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork, and Upwork does not explicitly sponsor or endorse any of the views, opinions, tools or services mentioned in this article, all of which are provided as potential options according to the view of the author. Each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situations.
This article was submitted by and expresses the views and opinions of the author. They do not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork, and Upwork does not explicitly sponsor or endorse any of the views, opinions, tools or services mentioned in this article, all of which are provided as potential options according to the view of the author. Each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situations.
Article Author
Author
Bohdan H.
Top Rated Plus
Software AI Design Expert
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Software design expert

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