The Human Centered Design Podcast with Gerry Scullion

Steffi Kieffer 'Designing with AI: Exploring the Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Design'

John Carter
May 3, 2023
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Steffi Kieffer 'Designing with AI: Exploring the Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Design'

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Episode shownotes

Hey folks, I’m delighted to bring you two exclusive interviews from a very special event that I attended recently in Nuremberg in Germany called Teaming with AI.

A few weeks ago, as I was driving to Northern Ireland, I mentioned to my wife, about an event my friends Markus Hormess, Adam Lawrence and Florian Bailey were hosting. I didn’t expect to be given a free pass to attend from the family, but it came and I didn’t ask a second time.

I’ve a bit of a love hate relationship with AI. I enjoy reading about, but can foresee some massive transformations that are likely to occur, not in the future, but right here and right now. I hadn’t really sat down and given the impact that much thought other than it was extremely likely. This event gave me the time to pause, connect, reflect and review the changes in macro level detail.

What was of most interest to me, was how it would change how we design or more to the point, how it would likely change DESIGN. I gave an-hour session at the conference on how This is HCD has been leaning into AI since 2018. Most of the edits are trained on my voice, meaning we have presets for my microphone at home, and even have the ability to edit what I say using a trained AI on my Mac to make small changes here and there.

But back to Design, well I was in a workshop led by our guest today, Steffi Keiffir. She is an independent practiioner and facilitates Design Thinking workshops, Design Sprints etc and has been using AI a lot more than most within their work, and we go deeper into this. Just how they are using, what AI pieces they are using, so if you listen to the entire episode, you’ll get an overview of just how much change is upon us. We used a basic 5-step design process and reviewed how, where and when AI can be applied and what the likely outcomes are.

Quite simply, this is a must listen for anyone on the tools, or anyone within any strategic function in business today.

Let’s get into it.

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Episode Transcript

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[00:00:00] Gerry Scullion: Hey folks. I'm delighted to bring you two exclusive interviews from a very special event that I attended recently in Nuremberg in Germany called Teaming with ai. Now, a few weeks ago, as I was driving to Northern Ireland, I mentioned to my wife about an event that my friends Marcus Ez. Adam Lawrence and Floren Bailey were hosting.

[00:00:27] Gerry Scullion: I didn't expect to be giving her free pass to attend this from the family, but it came and I didn't ask a second time. Now, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with AI folks. I enjoy reading about it, but I can foresee some massive transformations that are likely to occur, not in the future, but right here, right now.

[00:00:50] Gerry Scullion: I hadn't really sat down and given the impact that much thought other than. I know it's extremely likely and this event gave me time to pause, [00:01:00] connect, and reflect and review the changes in macro level detail. Now, what was of most interest to me was how it can change how we design, but more to the point how it is likely to change design.

[00:01:14] Gerry Scullion: I gave an hour session at the conference and how this eight CD has been leaning into AI since 2018. Now, most of the edits that you hear on the podcast are trained on my voice, meaning we have presets from my microphone that I have at home, and even at the ability to edit while I say using a trained AI on my Mac to make those small changes here and there.

[00:01:37] Gerry Scullion: Pretty cool, huh? Well, back to design. Well, I was in a workshop led by our guest today in this episode, Stephy Keefer. Now she's an independent practitioner and facilitates design thinking type workshops, design sprints, et cetera, and has been using AI a lot more than most within their work. And we go deeper into this.

[00:01:58] Gerry Scullion: Just how are they [00:02:00] using AI and what AI pieces are they using? So if you listen to the entire episode, you get an overview of just how much change is upon us. Now we used a basic five step design process and reviewed how, where and when AI can be applied and what the likely outcomes are at each stage.

[00:02:21] Gerry Scullion: Now quite simply, this is a must listen for anyone on the tools or anyone within any strategic function in business today. Let's get into it, and we're done. We're recording. Stephi. I'm delighted to have you here. On this is eight cd. Um, I'm here at Step Keefer in the Nuremberg teaming with AI conference or on conference that my good friends Adam Lawrence and Florian and Marcus Ez have been organizing.

[00:02:49] Gerry Scullion: But Stephy for our listeners, maybe start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and where you're from and what you do.

[00:02:55] Steffi Kieffer: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. Um, yeah, I'm Stephy, I'm a [00:03:00] UX designer, design thinking coach, but I also, um, have a chatbot for diction recovery. So many of Oh really? Yeah, I do. Um, wow.

[00:03:08] Steffi Kieffer: So we built that two years ago. But it's now even more exciting with a new technology. Well,

[00:03:13] Gerry Scullion: we, we'll try and get into that a little bit more information. Are you based in here in Nuremburg?

[00:03:16] Steffi Kieffer: I'm, I'm actually based in Munich, south of Munich, near the Amee. Ah, okay.

[00:03:20] Gerry Scullion: Very good, very good. So the topic that we, uh, were exploring there in your talk was enhancing the design thinking process with AI tools.

[00:03:29] Gerry Scullion: Um, and it was brilliant because it was exactly what I was looking for from this, this event. I was trying to understand how it could be seen as, uh, a partner. Or even a nemesis potentially to the design process. So maybe let's start off and talk, what's your experience, um, in this area?

[00:03:48] Steffi Kieffer: Well, I've been experimenting now for quite some time, um, how to incorporate AI into the design thinking process to make it even better and to extract the most potential out of this.

[00:03:58] Steffi Kieffer: Um, to give you a bit of background, [00:04:00] normally, um, I'm, well basically I'm. I'm running an awful lot of workshops, um, or design sprints. So this is sort of the main activities I do and I try to basically increase product productivity, but also outcomes. And I was experimenting and I'm happy to share some of those findings, um, that came out of this from the last few months.

[00:04:18] Steffi Kieffer: You mentioned

[00:04:19] Gerry Scullion: there you wanted to make it better. Describe what better means.

[00:04:23] Steffi Kieffer: Better means in terms of. Collab collaboration as a team, but also in terms of outcomes. Um, because often business outcomes, business outcomes, generally solution outcomes, um, and how to measure those and basically, yeah, just have, use the superpowers and adapt them to the design thinking process.

[00:04:42] Steffi Kieffer: Okay.

[00:04:42] Gerry Scullion: So let's start off like you, you've got a number of slides here, which we may or may not be able to include in the show notes. Absolutely. And, but the first step in the process, let's talk. You know, phase zero, what do you call Phase zero in, in your process?

[00:04:56] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah, phase zero is. Any, everything that happens before we [00:05:00] actually start work, shopping and engaging in the, in the team workshop.

[00:05:03] Steffi Kieffer: So it's all the preparation work where you sort of define the goals, you define the outcomes you have stakeholder interviews, you basically become an expert in whatever trial you're trying to do. Right. And seeing that I'm often an external person entering companies or different industries where I don't, I'm not an expert of those in industries.

[00:05:19] Steffi Kieffer: I have to get up to speed very, very quickly. There's, there's a lot of rapid learning. Rapid learning is the key. Yeah. So, Before, you know, you spent a lot of time in stakeholder interviews, you spent a lot of time in meetings, you spend a lot of time researching the topic. Um mm-hmm. You know, there's only so much time you can invest in this.

[00:05:35] Steffi Kieffer: And now with using the new a AI tools, um, that are out there, you can. So how are you doing?

[00:05:41] Gerry Scullion: Let's hit us. Let, let's give us the secret sauce. What are you using to get up to speed? Like obviously chat, G p T is the one that people are kind of Yeah. Uh, most aware of the open ai, um, chat bot. Yeah. Or not chat bot, but you know what I mean.

[00:05:55] Gerry Scullion: So what are you using to get up to speed in phase

[00:05:57] Steffi Kieffer: zero? Um, I usually start with Bing [00:06:00] ai, which is based on, um, GT four to. Just get an understanding of the, of the problem space, of the areas of the industry. Because what I like about being AI is that you can have a different mode, you can have the creative mode, but you can also have the precise mode with the actual, you know, sources of the information.

[00:06:16] Steffi Kieffer: Cuz I'm, you know, still gotta trust, learn how to trust the ai and I'm right. I'm, I'm a critical person, so I do want to know where it's coming from. I've

[00:06:23] Gerry Scullion: learned something new already. Bing ai, like I've just been using chat, G P T and that whole process of understanding the origin and the process of how things got to where it is.

[00:06:32] Gerry Scullion: Is really, really important. And that usually is very prevalent in the human interaction of when we're creating these things and when we're understanding these things. So it's good that being AI has still included that in the process as opposed to ab Yeah, being binary.

[00:06:45] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. There's also a difference between using the the free model, the chat G P T three model, which is based I think on 3.5.

[00:06:52] Steffi Kieffer: There's a huge difference between that model and the new one. The G PT four. I've heard rumors say that a G PT four will have. [00:07:00] Uh, web integration at some point. Um, right. Okay. So this is gonna come, but anyway, this is sort of the go-to source for me to get an understanding of a particular customer segment or an industry, uh, identifying the sort of potential problems they're currently having as part of the challenge and basically actually running through the entire design thinking process.

[00:07:17] Steffi Kieffer: So understanding customer problems, um, exploring different routes, understanding the needs, the jobs to be done, all of this. Until I actually come to problem statements and well, what I normally do is I go into ideation as well to see what potential solutions might come out of this, right? To the point where I actually take on the leadership perspective to see, to validate, to let leadership perspective basically.

[00:07:42] Steffi Kieffer: Okay. Prioritize the ideas. So I have quite a lot of information in my backpack, which I then bring to the stakeholder interviews or stakeholder, um, briefing calls. Yeah. To bounce it back off with them and. Uh, the learnings are, are basically that we can do much better scope, refinement and agreeing on outcomes [00:08:00] and, uh, successful metrics to look at.

[00:08:02] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. So the potential

[00:08:04] Gerry Scullion: there is to increase the quality of those early calls, really, but the potential there for you as an independent consultant is to capitalize on the, the efficiency gain in terms of monetary value. Is that something that people tend to explore more of, do you think, in terms of being able to leverage the AI capabilities to get to.

[00:08:23] Gerry Scullion: A to B much quicker. And Bill, bill Moore,

[00:08:28] Steffi Kieffer: um, some people might do that. In my case actually, it wasn't such a productivity gain in terms of I spent less time on it because it's a giant rabbit hole and you sort of end up yeah, feeling lost in all sorts of different directions and it's really about time boxing and, and just spending just the right amount time.

[00:08:46] Steffi Kieffer: So

[00:08:47] Gerry Scullion: phase zero, there's a couple of other ones there that you mentioned, uh, in the talk, Humana ai. Maybe tell us a little bit about that cause I hadn't heard of it. Yeah.

[00:08:55] Steffi Kieffer: Humana, uh, Humana, AI and illicit, um, those are AI tools [00:09:00] where you can upload basically PDF documents. Okay. So for example, if there are any studies that have been published and which tend to be quite long in time consuming to go through.

[00:09:07] Steffi Kieffer: So you can just upload it and it summarizes and you can ask any kind of questions because they've got chatty BT integration. Okay. And it summarizes for you, you can go into questioning certain aspects. So it's quite a useful tool to get a very quick idea of research papers. It's amazing. So do, do you have to pay

[00:09:22] Gerry Scullion: for human, do ai?

[00:09:25] Steffi Kieffer: I'm on the free version. I think probably if you use it a little bit. A lot, yeah. There's probably a paid version. And

[00:09:30] Gerry Scullion: what about being ai? Is there, is

[00:09:32] Steffi Kieffer: that a paid being? AI is free. Free, okay. Um, and chat. G P T or there's a free version, but if you have T PT four, which I highly recommend actually. Um, you pay, you have to pay

[00:09:41] Gerry Scullion: for it.

[00:09:41] Gerry Scullion: So I started paying for chat G P T a couple of months ago and it's worth it. Um, yeah. So after phase zero, what's the next phase for you? What do you call, because you're using a five step

[00:09:50] Steffi Kieffer: process? Yeah. Before I actually go into the workshop, there's of course the workshop preparation. So even for that step, you can use chat g p T to prepare your agenda design, [00:10:00] um, getting some structure to the workshop.

[00:10:01] Steffi Kieffer: However, you do have to still know what you're doing because, um, otherwise, uh, G p t might suggest you an agenda, which doesn't make any sense saying, yeah, curation is, is key here. Um, but it's a good basis to accelerate actually the process. And you know, if you do have slides to show, you know, automatic slide generation, um, works wonderfully.

[00:10:20] Steffi Kieffer: Really. Yeah. Wow. Yes and no. Depends again what quality of slides you prefer. If you want a long list of text, then you know, go to tome ai for example. I've. So

[00:10:31] Gerry Scullion: what was the one there that you're saying it creates the slides for

[00:10:33] Steffi Kieffer: you? Was that? Well, there's tome, AI, and beautiful ai. Personally, I don't use any of those because I'm not a big fan of long blocks of text on slides.

[00:10:41] Steffi Kieffer: I prefer to just have, you know, a couple of keywords and that's it. However, I do like using visuals to create the story. Mm-hmm. Um, and I'm a big fan of using Mid Journey for that. So Mid Journey for me, stock photos are dead. I will never ever use stock photos again.

[00:10:54] Gerry Scullion: Never. Okay. Yeah. So with Mid Journey, whenever I've used it, Um, people's faces are [00:11:00] always a bit distorted and they seem to be getting kind of mixed results.

[00:11:04] Gerry Scullion: What's the secret to getting a good, um, visual for your slides with mid journey? You must have some hot tips.

[00:11:11] Steffi Kieffer: Well, using version five instead of four. Okay. Gets rid of the finger problem so we can actually Right. Human beings have five fingers now, which is really nice. Yeah, nice. Um, and actually using really good prompts.

[00:11:22] Steffi Kieffer: I mean, really good is a big, is a big topic. Um, but I think using. Looking at what other people are producing. And if you like the results, you know, you can copy, paste, um, the prompts, the prompts, um, using different camera angles, um, photography styles. Um, you know, and I think this is where creativity comes in because you can mix all sorts of styles, uh, like, you know, seventies retro together with futuristic things, uh, in Polaroid.

[00:11:47] Gerry Scullion: Um, interesting cuz like, I'm gonna call out one of your prompts here. Like that as a really pretty cool, um, floating post-Its with a group of people. Looks like they're interacting with the floating pro. Uh, post-its in a field [00:12:00] of flowers. Okay, and I'm gonna read the prompt out. It says, mid journey prompt, which is the group of people writing on colorful, sticky notes, sticky notes floating in the air, in a field of flowers.

[00:12:12] Gerry Scullion: Retro futuristic 1970s, full body portrait, Polaroid. Photo V five, which is V five, is obviously mid 25. Yeah, yeah. And that gave you that result, which is, it looks like it's a staged photograph. You couldn't, you literally couldn't tell the difference. Um, which is a really cool visual to go alongside the workshop design slide, which you, you create and that's one of the huge benefits of this.

[00:12:36] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. You know, that stock photograph thing, did you, did you have to pay for, for the use of that?

[00:12:41] Steffi Kieffer: Um, you can use up to, I actually don't quite now, I think up to 20 image images you can use for free. You don't have to pay. No, just generally. Just generally we use it up in like in one evening sitting on the sofa, it's like, oh, let's create another image.

[00:12:54] Steffi Kieffer: Oh, let's create another one. Oh, this, it's all gone now. Our credit. Um, but then I think it's 10, [00:13:00] $10 a month. Okay. For, so it's

[00:13:01] Gerry Scullion: not a subscription? No. Yeah. Not that bad. Okay. So workshop design and then you're talking about three

[00:13:07] Steffi Kieffer: X games, is that what you Yeah, it's a three x game for me. Um, mainly it could have been much quicker, but mainly it's a giant happy rabbit hole where you get lost, at least in the beginning.

[00:13:15] Steffi Kieffer: So it's exploring the wonderful avenues. Um, so timeboxing I think is absolutely crucial in the preparation. How

[00:13:21] Gerry Scullion: do you timebox you, you must, you've mentioned time, uh, being an important factor here. When you're designing, is there any systems that you are using to help timebox your, your time and effort?

[00:13:31] Steffi Kieffer: Um, I think it's my own personal instinct of, you know, I haven't slept, I haven't read, uh, I haven't eaten, um, okay, maybe it's time to move on to something else now. Um, and oh, yes, I have client work and, uh, a family who sort of keeps breathing

[00:13:44] so,

[00:13:44] Gerry Scullion: I, I've started using flow. Have you ever, ever heard of flow, like where you can use the, the system?

[00:13:50] Gerry Scullion: Um, I can't remember the name of the system where I think it was Einstein that created, you can timebox 20 minute incre increments, then a five minute break, 20 minute, and then a five minute break. [00:14:00] And then you get a longer break. Um, which is a nice one I've mentioned on the podcast before. But anyway, I didn't mean to deviate too much.

[00:14:05] Gerry Scullion: That's okay. A giant rabbit hole. Yeah. And managing the rabbit hole

[00:14:08] Steffi Kieffer: is really, really important. Yeah. I actually have an aura ring in it. My phone starts buzzing after, after an hour that I have to move, I have to move around. So usually that's quite a good indicator. Nice. That I've been, I've been stable.

[00:14:18] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. So lessons learned, um, you know, from that whole point, as you said, you know, we don't get on the rabbit hole, but then you move into the next stage. Absolutely. Which, uh, most people would be like, when are we gonna start doing research? Um, so walk me through how you see AI sitting within research. Cuz this is a very.

[00:14:36] Gerry Scullion: Sort of a debatable topic. Um, traditionally it's been very human led, uh, understanding the nuances of the human behavior, understanding the facial expressions, understanding. The reading, the room, all of these things. How have you been using AI in

[00:14:51] Steffi Kieffer: research? Yeah, absolutely. Big topic. Um, I think the first distinction, distinction we have to make is dis separating qualitative or [00:15:00] quantitative research.

[00:15:00] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. Okay. Um, for quantitative research, you know, where you have a whole bunch of data in a spreadsheet or mm-hmm. You know, feedback from users, I think it's a very different story cuz you don't see them, you don't hear them, you can't feel them. Yeah. So it's much easier to use AI to synthesize it and generate insights for a bit.

[00:15:16] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. Um, and to see patterns emerging. Um, with qualitative user research, it's much more difficult. I've personally think to use ai. Um, In a way that, you know, it's really beneficial. However, what I've, what I've seen, what I've, what we've used is I think it can accelerate the process immensely. Um, just by using, for example, you know, you know, you go out, you do run your interviews, um, ideally you have some kind of transcript afterwards.

[00:15:42] Steffi Kieffer: So whether it's speech to text, so some kind of a documentation of the interview process. Um, where it's really beneficial is that if you do sort of a first analysis using ai, okay. So not having any sensitive data and um, you know, basically you have to remove all of this, but we have to remove, remove that [00:16:00] anyway.

[00:16:00] Steffi Kieffer: Sure. And use our research. But getting a first stab or a rough draft in clustering sort of the main topics according to maybe activities or mm-hmm. Um, you know, what the person is thinking or feeling or actually not so much that, but. Principles, the person's doing activities, the person's doing. Yeah. So get a first, first idea.

[00:16:19] Steffi Kieffer: Um, if we completely replace it, we can actually, we can use JBT four to completely, you know, run through, automate that process of generating insights, doing sentiment analysis, uh, generating, um, you know, clustering for various topics. Yeah. But what I've found is that especially if we work together as a team, you lose.

[00:16:38] Steffi Kieffer: The empathy as part of the team, you, you lose, um, the alignment in the team. You lose lose, you know, the feeling of the ownership. The ownership, yeah. And, and you know, the subtle, the subtle, um, meaning that happens in between what people say. That's, that's, you lose that and I think it would be a shame to be, if you lose that, you

[00:16:56] Gerry Scullion: lose pretty much everything.

[00:16:59] Gerry Scullion: Read the [00:17:00] purpose Exactly. Is kind of been sort of diluted an awful lot. Yeah. Now I feel sad when we're, when we're talking about this piece cuz it's something that I, I realize is probably inevitable. But at the same time, we must fight to retain that. We must fight to retain the human aspect of things as much as possible.

[00:17:17] Gerry Scullion: You mentioned there about the difference between qualitative and quantitative and quantitative, it's much easier, but in qualitative, how are you seeing AI being used?

[00:17:25] Steffi Kieffer: Um, well, in transcribing, transcribing,

[00:17:28] Gerry Scullion: but in terms of, we, we were discussing earlier around the sentiment analysis and the nuances of the human delivery.

[00:17:33] Gerry Scullion: In terms of linguistic delivery, um, and that's often at the moment it's been overlooked. And when you're transcribing your, even the podcast episodes folks, or your interviews, it doesn't include that the inflections, you know, the, the likelihood of it being a joke or any of that kinda stuff. Someone mentioned whisper AI as being a potential integration into Chati p t.

[00:17:57] Gerry Scullion: Is that something that you've seen or ever [00:18:00] played around with?

[00:18:01] Steffi Kieffer: I haven't yet, but I'm dying to do that.

[00:18:03] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Um, I know I've used, um, IBM Watson and a number of years ago, 2016, maybe even, even earlier to, to text sentiment analysis of blocks of text. But it'd be really interesting to see what that looks like and how that information can actually lead to more informed and better outcome research results.

[00:18:23] Gerry Scullion: And Marcus here who's, uh, who's been on the podcast several times before, folks. Mentioned about John Mada, who is using AI in the research phase at the moment, to generate, uh, tangible, uh, ideated concepts and include them at the end of their sessions. They're that turnaround time used to take us weeks as you know, from going from research into ideation and back around.

[00:18:49] Gerry Scullion: Whereas John Madea was saying it was taking about a minute, I think it was. So that loop that used to take weeks is now down to minutes to generate ideas. Which I don't know how I feel about it, but, [00:19:00] um, the potential there to introduce those concepts back to, uh, an actual person from the source potentially of the research that we're trying to match that, uh, problem and solution to is probably huge.

[00:19:12] Gerry Scullion: The value. Mindblowing. Mindblowing, yeah. And it, it literally, I, I imagine it could freak out participants. Based on the problem they're talking about. It's a little bit of a Houdini, like, ta-da would this work? And getting their granular feedback and being able to understand that could be pretty cool.

[00:19:28] Steffi Kieffer: It probably creates also new roles within the user research community.

[00:19:32] Steffi Kieffer: So you have the person running the interviews, you have the Notetaker, and you might have, you know, the AI analysis analysis Yeah. Who's sitting there and running, you know, running the AI tools on the site and, and prompting and, and looking for gaps. And I mean,

[00:19:46] Gerry Scullion: Ethically, that opens up a huge gap because, you know, if I've mentioned something about my life and it's used that in the cloud very quickly and generated a problem off the back of that, the de [00:20:00] anonymization of the, the data before it hits the cloud is gonna be a, a role because, If you've signed a waiver, um, uh, or consent form, and you're saying you're gonna be using ai, we're not gonna be capturing certain information, but we are gonna post it to generate ideas and then delete it.

[00:20:17] Gerry Scullion: You're probably gonna get a little bit of pushback, I'd say, from participants. What do you think?

[00:20:21] I'm

[00:20:22] Steffi Kieffer: not sure. It probably depends on the participant. It depends on the age group. If it's like, you know, the younger person, younger person, they probably might not care. Um, yeah. Depends on how you grew up with data.

[00:20:30] Steffi Kieffer: Um, it's true. We do have still a lot to discuss and it's a lot to learn on that area, so, yeah. Well,

[00:20:35] Gerry Scullion: let's, let's see how that, uh, unfolds First. So after the research piece, um, the product, if you gain of 12 x, and sorry folks, if you hear the music in the background, Adam Lawrence is currently doing his rocky impression working in a workshop.

[00:20:48] Gerry Scullion: Um, he's like one of those pretty girls walking around with a, with a timer above his head, like four minutes left. So, um, anyway, we'll move back to this, this conversation. The productivity gain [00:21:00] is 12 act, you're see saying within the research

[00:21:02] Steffi Kieffer: phase? Yeah. So basically research analysis. If you do it in a team, you know, life in a workshop, it could take up to one and a half, one and a half hours, two hours.

[00:21:10] Steffi Kieffer: Easy. Easy per session. Easy, yeah. Per session. Easily, easily, easily. And it's a fraction of a time if you let you know, g p t take care of it. Um, wow. So, but again, you know, what's the goal? You know, do you wanna create empathy and alignment and ownership in the team, or do you just wanna get the data processed?

[00:21:25] Steffi Kieffer: Speed. Yeah, speed. So, That's the main thing.

[00:21:27] Gerry Scullion: So let's move on to the next one. So, you know, you're talking here. Um, after research, we're moving into ideation and myself and Florian, um, one of the organizers at the conference here were Florian Bailey. We were talking about ideation and instantly we said there's probably not not enough steps in ideation.

[00:21:44] Gerry Scullion: We had to break that down into certain points when we were talking about a three step process to really improve the problem framing piece up front and provide much more context. To the problem framing, and we could have as many facets as we want in there of the problem framing to enable [00:22:00] context. And we were talking about it being more like levers.

[00:22:02] Gerry Scullion: Um, and you dial up and dial down in terms of the problem framing. And we imagine it could probably generate, um, concepts, um, pretty quickly using what's available at the moment, mid journey and, and whatnot. But then we would set out the curation process about what is it we're trying to achieve here? Is it a business value?

[00:22:24] Gerry Scullion: Is it, um, monetization, is it profitability? Whatever those factors are, how do you see it like that? This was myself and Florian speculating. Um, but how are you using AI currently in your

[00:22:38] Steffi Kieffer: workshops? So currently, I'd say in workshops, it wasn't used very well. Yeah, because we just inserted it into the normal creative process.

[00:22:46] Steffi Kieffer: Okay. So it's just another tool and. I think we failed, we generated zero new ideas. Okay. Um, we lost people on the wave. They got trapped in the world of chat, c p T and we'd never seen again afterwards,

[00:22:58] Gerry Scullion: um, asking [00:23:00] questions about

[00:23:00] Steffi Kieffer: everything. So, um, I think the place of AI is a bit different. Um, probably more at the beginning where we sort of level out a, an entire field and run through different roots or later on when we evaluate ideas and do deep dives.

[00:23:12] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. Um, but not as part of the actual creative, you know, human ideation process. Right. Um, The other ideas maybe, you know, separate that or look at the ideation process from a very different way that we do have sort of a, you know, creative team, a designer team, you know, playing around with the tools, exploring different options before we then open up in a more cross-functional team to get some, you know, input from different perspectives.

[00:23:35] Steffi Kieffer: Sure. From the engineers, from, from, you know, the business people to build on one another's idea. So it might, yeah. You know, it's going to change I think because we will use AI tools because we can accelerate. And we can just generate so many more ideas. And I mean, the quantity, having more quantity, you know, normally produces better outcomes in the long

[00:23:53] Gerry Scullion: run.

[00:23:54] Gerry Scullion: So there's probably a mini step if, if you imagine research and ideation, ideation [00:24:00] coming after research. And if we're talking about what Marcus was telling us about John Maa, where was using it might be research and ideation, um, or research ideation, um, uh, coming in one phase and then afterwards it's clarifying you've increased the quality.

[00:24:14] Gerry Scullion: Of what might work, um, from those research sessions, if you're including them in, in that kind of phase, the research dation phase as I'm just coming up in the spot with. But, um, you've mentioned some tools there, like synapse. Um, what does that look like? What's, well, what do you do

[00:24:32] Steffi Kieffer: with it? It basically, it's also chap G P T based.

[00:24:35] Steffi Kieffer: Um, but you write down your province space. Okay. Probably your province statement or customer segment. Mm-hmm. Um, and it. It generates ideas, but not sort of the obvious ideas. It sort of chucks in random. Mm-hmm. You know, it combines new systems, it combines new ideas together, like, you know, I guess adding a bit of different perspectives or different analogies which might spark ideas, new ideas.

[00:24:57] Steffi Kieffer: So it's like a, yeah, like a stepping stone to different [00:25:00] directions of that you might have not have thought of. So at the

[00:25:02] Gerry Scullion: moment, it's really leveraging ai. As a springboard in ideation is what I'm hearing. Is that right? Yeah. So as opposed to like, myself and Florian and Tina were, were exploring was really about how we could actually leverage it, uh, and include it almost like a, you know, a new team member to do the heavy lifting.

[00:25:24] Gerry Scullion: Uh, but we still see a huge emphasis on curation there, like the curation process to be able to select the ideas, um, and also have the human ownership. Of the idea as well. I know I was chatting a little bit more around that as opposed to not being a, an AI generated idea. It's an idea that the human, the person behind it has actually helped curate.

[00:25:47] Gerry Scullion: So, um, after ideation, we, we then started talking about prototyping and your, yourself and Marcus were working on this space. Do you wanna tell us how you're currently using AI in prototyping?

[00:25:56] Steffi Kieffer: Well, that's still happening a lot. I mean, it's, it's quite a new [00:26:00] space. Um, What is interesting, there's a lot of new better versions that you can sign up for.

[00:26:03] Steffi Kieffer: Mm-hmm. Um, tools like, um, wizard and Get Galileo, which promise basically, you know, scribble to interface. Okay. Automation. I've seen that. Yeah. So, um, in part of the, you know, areas of digital product design, I think we're gonna see quite a lot happening at the moment. Yeah. Um, With prototyping it. Again, it depends on if you have, you know, a team, like a dedicated team with AI literacy working on it.

[00:26:29] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. Um, where they can just, you know, generate, produce, generate more and more, more. Or whether you're in a situation where you're in a workshop and you don't, you know, you've gotta keep, keep things simple. It's more for optimizing the experience of the people there, creating an alignment, um, using rapid prototyping tools.

[00:26:44] Steffi Kieffer: So you do. Have to be aware of that and depending on which situation you use different kind of tools. Sure. Because integrating complex new AI tools in a workshop scenario doesn't work. Yeah. It just, it would just frustrate everyone. Yeah. Complicate things. Yeah. But what, what might happen, actually, what What could be interesting is, you know, after the user [00:27:00] research you might create a personas, you user profiles.

[00:27:02] Steffi Kieffer: Mm-hmm. In chat G B T, and then later on during prototyping, you can use those. That data or that persona, that generated persona to, you know, feedback, the idea to, and have it as an, as a critic basically, or like just as a synthetic user to playback so you have a immediate iteration round. Um, that's

[00:27:21] Gerry Scullion: pretty cool when you think about it.

[00:27:22] Gerry Scullion: Um, one of the things that I've used over the years is video prototyping to walk through service models, um, and service diagrams basic and how people are going to interact with the services. And I've. Used real world video teams and, and editors and stuff. Um, but over the last number of months I've been using descript, which allows me to generate a, a script, a typed script, and then generate my voice using ai.

[00:27:48] Gerry Scullion: And then I'm able to pull in from maybe a quarter of a million, um, videos that kind of, I have to match them up basically. And how. I can tell this story a little bit. Do you know of any [00:28:00] AI tools out there that can generate video based content based on prompts?

[00:28:04] Steffi Kieffer: It's not really my, my area. There are loads there.

[00:28:06] Steffi Kieffer: I'd have to actually look it

[00:28:07] Gerry Scullion: up. Okay. Yeah, because that would be really cool. Absolutely. Create a script and it could start putting together, yeah, like the, the B roll and the A roll for your videos. If anyone's got any ideas for that, folks feel free to email in the link is in the show notes. Um, so overall, where do you see the next six months going for AI and this, the design process?

[00:28:27] Gerry Scullion: It's,

[00:28:28] Steffi Kieffer: uh, absolutely it's cause it's changing in weeks. It's daily. Daily. It's probably as we speak, um, where we see it happening. I think. The people who are interested, the people who are motivated, the people who are intrinsically motivated, they will just thrive on it. And we might lose a whole bunch of people on the way.

[00:28:48] Steffi Kieffer: Yeah. Because they're either scared or they, you know, they don't want to, or they don't even know. So I think we're gonna see a widening gap in the beginning. I think the gap will close. Yeah. Um, [00:29:00] I'm a bit afraid of the amount of. I just could change, but also the content that's being created. And actually it reminds me a little bit of the good old days, you know, in Photoshop, um, where they, you know, filters wall all of a sudden the big rage and everyone was using blurry type and neon glow filters and it feels a bit like that.

[00:29:20] Steffi Kieffer: So I think it's gonna level out and we're gonna see some really nice quality coming out of this. Yeah.

[00:29:25] Gerry Scullion: Hope, hopefully, like, as you said, we're probably gonna lose an awful lot of people in the industry to this, but what advice do you give to people? Um, You know, who might be sitting on the fence kind of going, look, I know about it.

[00:29:38] Gerry Scullion: I've, I've heard you speak about it, Jerry, or whatever. What advice do you give to people in just getting started? Oh,

[00:29:43] Steffi Kieffer: start? Yeah. Getting, get started. Start playing with it. Sign up for the accounts. Yeah. I mean, it's so exciting what's out there and if you don't play with it, somebody else will. And it's leveling up the playing field.

[00:29:54] Steffi Kieffer: I mean, you have actually no choice, I think. Yeah. Um, go and play with it. It's. Super exciting. I think we have to [00:30:00] also have to have conversations about it. Yeah. Um, cuz there's always, you know, two good sides. There's always a bad side, so. Absolutely. We'll,

[00:30:06] Gerry Scullion: we'll touch on that. Well maybe, we'll, we'll bring you back on in six months and see where things are at cuz like it's great to have connected to you here, Stephanie and I really enjoyed working alongside you, uh, in the last workshop.

[00:30:17] Gerry Scullion: Um, if people wanna reach out to you and learn more about your business, how can they do that? Well

[00:30:22] Steffi Kieffer: on LinkedIn it's the easiest. Um, yeah, Keefer, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. Absolutely. Or on email or whatever social media. You'll find me. You just, okay.

[00:30:32] Awesome.

[00:30:32] Gerry Scullion: Google me. We'll put a, we'll put a couple of links into the show notes folks.

[00:30:36] Gerry Scullion: Thank you so much for your time. Stephi

[00:30:37] Steffi Kieffer: great for having me.[00:31:00] [00:32:00]

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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