Designer Anton Sten ponders the future role of digital designers in a world of more and more Alexas, Siris, and other non-visual interfaces. His conclusion is that much more of our work will be about designing for what goes wrong:

As technology offers us more and more options and possibilities, our work as UX-designers will grow to include even more edge-cases. As our acceptance of friction with these services continues to decrease, our work will increasingly need to include more ‘what if’ scenarios.

I agree, and I’m excited about this. Instead of etching buttons and controls for flows that we wholly control, I see our work evolving into the anticipation of scenarios that spin out of machine-generated content and interaction.

How will we handle the weird, the odd, the unexpected, and the wrong? These are exciting challenges, and they mean designing the experience and expectations around the interaction that the machines themselves create. Among other things, we have to help systems be smart enough to know when they’re not smart enough.

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