Humanizing AI, making things pretty, consolidating design systems

Weekly curated resources for designers — thinkers and makers.

“Gmail is acting finicky today.”

“I swear my cat threw up on the rug just to spite me.”

“Siri can be so dumb sometimes.”

Humans, as social animals, find it easy to interpret certain outputs as “behaviors.” Humanizing the tech we use makes it a little bit more understandable.

But anthropomorphizing things can go wrong. Rather than making complex systems like AI more understandable, anthropomorphizing tech can actually contribute to further mystification and misunderstanding.

Our human habit of anthropomorphizing everything By Daley Wilhelm

What do Meta, Uber, Dropbox, and Okta have in common? [Sponsored] They’ll all be at Insight Out 2024 on April 11 in San Francisco! Unlock your creativity in design through deep customer understanding. Hear from expert speakers. Network with like-minded product people. Get 50% off tickets with promo code UXCOLLECTIVE or register free for the virtual event.

The UX Collective is an independent design publication that elevates unheard design voices and helps designers think more critically about their work.


Make me think

  • Why we crave healthier computing
    “Looking through the history of computing, there is an unsettling trend. As the power and versatility of computing available to the user has improved, so too has the burden on the user to design their computing experience.”
  • How AI reshapes vocabulary
    “As AI has seen a surge of interest and development in recent years, its influence extends beyond technology, shaping the language. With AI-related terms making their way into mainstream usage and earning spots as “words of the year” in various dictionaries, it’s clear that this field is rapidly influencing the language.”
  • The goal of a “strategy” is to change our own team’s behavior
    “Creating a strategy doesn’t directly change anything for our customers. Customers don’t care about our strategies — they care about their experience with the product in their hands. So for a strategy to be useful, it actually has to change our behavior as a team to create better customer outcomes.”

Little gems this week

Convention over creativity? The ups and downs of UX design By James Harrison

Do complex products need instruction manuals? By Kike Peña

Why the internet is full of “digital junk mail”
By Yuna Shin

Tools and resources

Support the newsletter

If you find our content helpful, here’s how you can support us:

Humanizing AI, making things pretty, consolidating design systems was originally published in UX Collective on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.