The evolution of design in a new intelligent, quantum computing era.

I recently participated in a podcast interview that outlined the practice of cognitive experience design, also known as CognitiveXD. In hearing the questions, I realized we needed a crisp definition that outlines what CognitiveXD is, and how we can use CognitiveXD to solve big systemic problems.

Q: What is cognitive experience design?
A: Cognitive experience design or #CognitiveXD is the practice of using artificial intelligence (ai) technologies to reduce the human mental effort and time required to complete a task.

Q: Why do we need cognitive experience design?
A: Most humans are living in a world where we are inundated with data in the form of incoming notifications, articles, posts, professional and personal content, email and instruction. To understand the scale of the problem, let me illuminate the facts. In 2019, we are producing 1 billion searches, sending 294 billion emails, posting 230 million tweets, creating 30+ petabytes of user-generated data on Facebook everyday. This is too much information and too many tasks for any human to simultaneously understand which results in humans unable to process this information. Cognitive experience design is the cure for cognitive overload.

Q: Who is cognitive experience design for?
A: Ultimately cognitive experience design is for humans. More specifically, cognitive experience design is a practice for any designer who strives to design human interfaces with machines. Design practitioners can use CognitiveXD to bestow superhuman powers on their users, customers, employees, patients, members etc. for a task in time and space.

Q: When does using cognitive experience design as a practice make sense?
A: Everyday. Cognitive experience design should be used to solve human problems at the intersection of space and time. In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model which fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional continuum. I use cognitive experience design to understand the whole human experience, their mental model and journey and seek to improve it in a specific time and space with Ai technologies like Natural Language Generation, Speech Recognition, Virtual Assistants, Machine Learning, AI-optimized Hardware, Decision Management, Deep Learning, Biometrics, Robotic Process Automation, Text Analytics and NLP.

Q: Where have you used cognitive experience design to solve a problem?
A: I have used Cognitive XD hundreds of times. I use it everyday in my role as the head of research and design of Alexa Devices. I have practiced cognitive experience design in reimagining our time and behavior on spaceship earth with the invention of Earth Speaks an initiative designed to help heal our planet. Additionally, I used Cognitive XD in my work at IBM.

Q: Why did you coin the phrase cognitive experience design?
A: Business, design and engineering leaders were struggling to explain how the discipline of design needed to evolve for a new computing era. I came up few monikers like 4 Dimensional Design, 4D Design, Intelligent Human Interface Design, iHig and CognitiveXD, then tested them with audiences. It's a humbling experience when peers vomit on a name but embrace the practice. After a year of testing the branding of the practice, an emcee at C2 Montreal, introduced me as the mother of cognitive experience design - and it stuck. Forever after, designers across the globe have accepted, used and celebrated it.

Q: Who are the practitioners of cognitive experience designers?
A: I believe that any designer can be a practitioner. Expressly, Conversation, Sound & Voice User Interface Designers, Brain interface designers, Internet of Things product designers. Anyone who is willing to incorporate artificial technologies into their crafting of solutions to human problems.

Q: What is the relationship between cognitive experience design and computational design?
A: Computational design is the application of computational strategies to the design process. While traditional designers traditionally rely on intuition and experience to solve design problems, computational design aims to enhance that process by encoding design decisions using a computer language. Most computational design programs take a computer science view of design, applying both the science and art of computing to design problems, in relation to creation, presentation, analysis, evaluation, interaction or aesthetic expression; in real and imagined applications, both perceived and conceived. Cognitive experience design is the practical application of intelligent and quantum computing technologies to augment a humans capabilities. While they are different they can compliment each other to design for billions of people in real-time, at scale and on demand. The intersection each shares is a change in the practice of design expression from geometry to connected neural logic.

Q: How do you place cognitive experience design into practice?
A: First you must seek to understand the whole human and their problems. Once you have defined the problem with crisp terms, then write a narrative that acts as a North Star and gives your customer superpowers and abilities e.g.The Force, Photographic Reflexes or Dimensional Travel. Once you have developed the narrative, define the experience in the form of Frequently Asked Questions. One important pointer is to seek to enhance a user experience throughout the day with superpowers that augment the 5 basic senses or give humans a sixth sense. One of my favorite workshop tools are my superpower playing cards. The superpower playing cards help business leaders connect their ideas to the context of human interface design and artificial intelligence capabilities in a way that empower them to write bold business goals and bolder customer goals which are easily translated into user stories for teams to work through.

Q: Does design thinking and cognitive experience design work together?
A: Yes. The cognitive experience design framework moves enterprises and teams from thinking and documenting on post it notes to design doing with computational tools and agile experiments with data to ensure a positive human outcome.

Q: What are the business benefits of cognitive experience design?
A: First, cognitive experience design paves the way for human engagement at the deepest levels and connects humans to efficient data driven decision making. Cognitive XD scales human expertise to a on demand superpower they can opt-in to. Cognitive XD places intelligence into your products and processes. Cognitive XD drives efficiency and lowers costs. Cognitive XD drives exploration and discovery in new and inventive methods. Lastly, Cognitive XD can lead to market making firsts placing your company or brand in a leadership position with new sources of revenue and data.

Q: Why do we need Cognitive Experience Design now?
A: Over the last decade we have discovered different ways to build exponential growth in middle markets and now that they are dry, we are forced to create innovations that capture the imagination and satisfy the customer’s desire for something original. In the connected era, it is essential that we master the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced daily to position our companies and brands to become butlers, not stalkers, to our customers. As designers and industrialists we must become fluent in the language of data and use it as the currency that drives action, and revenue.  There are 1440 minutes in a day, lived at a marathon pace. In order to make a market you have to start by making a moment.  Your brand must become the antidote to time-consuming distraction -- it must seduce and engage your customers with individualized experiences. Data is the fuel that lets us design brand experiences as living, breathing, organic entities that are in service to your customers, adding value to their everyday lives. Cognitive experience designers understand that data is the new oil, a global, renewable natural resource that we create by the second, and when used with an industrialist’s vision and cognitive experience designers empathy, ethics and imagination it becomes a dynamic tool of differentiation.

Cognitive Experience Design Epilogue

You must bring unique meaning to the cognitive experience design with intent. Design, multiplied by data, powered by cognitive intuition transforms a vision into an enchanting customer moment that unseats the competition with an experience that they will want to repeat, over and over again. In this industrial revolution, becoming a post-digital, industrialist and developing new markets in the cognitive era demands that you become an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist; a designer of cognitive brand experiences. Think cognitive banks, cars and kitchens and cognitive stores, schools and toys that are in service to your customers, and you begin to see how data fuels the world, by design.

It is incumbent upon us to understand that our business problems and the world’s problems are inherently linked.  The solutions live within us. This industrial revolution gives us an amazing opportunity to discover those solutions and design innovations that matter for the world.

When it comes to this revolution, the winners and losers will be defined by their ability to design with data and scale wisdom with fairness and precision. Once we understand the power we wield, we can use cognitive experience design to design the moments that keep an aging population on the go. We can design 3D printed, life-saving pieces of anatomy. We can design the teachable moments that are accessible to everyone in the world. We can design economic equality for women. We can design the moments that extend human life. We can design the moments that reverse climate change. And in this way, we can design our future because the flip side of any industrial revolution is opportunity: an opportunity to think, an opportunity to design, and an opportunity to change the world.

So my challenge to you is: With more data, let’s envision the future we want to create. Let’s think BIG.  Let’s think NEW. Let’s think NOW! Turn that vision into action and design your place as an industrialist in the cognitive era.

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