World's Largest Software Applications for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography
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Adobe is the world's largest software company that provides various applications for visual arts, such as photography, graphic design, video editing, and special effects. The program Adobe Creative Cloud is used by almost every marketing and design company in the world, and the company holds the largest consumer brand of loyal professionals. After being selected one of the finalists for the Creative Challenge, I and my co-designers have been offered a specific project to come up with solutions for the AI chat bot on the landing page.
UI/UX Designer (No Public Image)
Song Aiden Ko
UX Designer at N2 Publishing
UX Designer at RoundIn
Three of us are trained designers working in different industries, from E-Commerce to publications. We assigned roles to one another, Jennifer designing conceptual wireframes, and Song and Ure focusing on sketching and coming up with ideas. The goal is to design the informational page of Creative Cloud to be more interactive with customers and helpful for them to find the right answers to their questions. Thus, creating an indication, a button, that allows users to ask questions, look for answers, and contact customer service is our priority.
AI Customer Service Chat Bot
On Adobe Creative Cloud page, users can scroll down and navigate through different sub-pages to explore every service that Adobe provides. The button at the bottom, which acts us a "Contact Us" panel, allows users to choose the type of service they need. It is limited to "Account and Product" and "Purchase' supports, and signing-in or creating an account is required. Although this feature can make Creative Cloud more exclusive, for first-time users and people who are just exploring, it can seem very timid and strictly business with having to feel pressured to sign up. The questions that we have to ask and answer are "can the AI be more personal and generalized?" and "can AI be more supportive to first-time users without any human assistance?" AI is the emerging technology in almost every e-commerce business, and a comprehensive study of effective user-experience mechanism is required.
The blue pop-up page appears when a user clicks the "Contact Us" button at the bottom. It is limited to two categories: Account and Products (Sign-In is required) and Live-Chat with a Technician
The navigational menu on top is comprehensive and lays out essential channels that users can check out to gather information
The product details are laid out in boxes, and users can click "Learn More" to explore each product, and again, "Start Free Trial" encourages the first-time users to sign up and purchase, again imposing the need to profit off of users' curiosity which has not been turned into want
Removing Sing-In Requirement for No-Pressure User Experience
One of the possible routes of solution is to remove the sign-in requirement and open a free world of exploration and connectivity that Adobe aspires to spread throughout. The AI Chat Bot will exist to help users, especially first-time users, proceed with learning more about what Adobe provides and how each product is used to launch creativity and usability around communities, and its guidance can only be achieved if it wears off the marketing and business hat off and starts approaching users with friendly and more welcoming attitude. The mindset of AI should be business-oriented, but friendly-oriented. Also, the idea of simplicity should be emphasized in the AI architecture, conveying the message of more personal approach toward user satisfaction. The mission of our journey starts from defining the problem and we proceed with how we can optimize our solution through an extensive process of design process.
Design Process Triple Diamond
We first gathered to map out how we should approach our design process. We broke down our process into four steps: Discovery, Development, Validation, and Rollout, examining the essential factors in UX design journey. We figured out what the problems were and questions we had to answer. Then, we developed several research methods such as competitive and qualitative analysis and worked on three user flows of how AI took the user down the journey of exploration. Then, we mapped out our wireframes and discussed with our product manager and developers, and for the rollout, we planned on adding the improvement of UI.
Competitive Analysis on AI Utility
We conducted our competitive analysis on various tech and e-commerce companies that utilized AI on their platforms, and most of these companies initiated the general "Ask Questions" button at the bottom to support users. Many of the AI chat-bots asked users questions like "How can we help today?" "Which products are you interested in?" and "Chat with a Sales Expert?" If the user does not find the answer that he/she was looking for, then the ultimate destination was to be connected to to the live representative. Salesforce and Petco maximized the power of AI on their platforms, making the icon very visible and laying out the general directory for the users, but incorporating the idea of populating general information in different categories was missing. In addition, the AI was not shaped as "personalized" for users to feel less-pressured to be entitled to the service of the company.
Salesforce: AI Contact Us Utility
Petco: AI Contact Us Utility
Personas with Consequent Outcome
We analyzed and mapped out our Customer Product Journey in five steps. First, we defined our our goal was, which was to create a comprehensive AI Customer Service Chat Bot, and labelled four steps as Persona (types of customers), Customer Outcome, Business Impact and Product Backlog Item. There were Existing Customers, College Students, and other types of customers who go through the journey of AI Customer Service, and we predicted how their interactions with Adobe AI would lead to positive feedback and experiences.
Before we began to create user flows and wireframes, we had to analyze what our priorities were in terms of restructuring AI Chat Bot. We indicated that creating a better user flow without signup pressure as our priority that sets high in both spectrums, and designing comprehensive wireframes would achieve that mission, also sets high in the priority spectrum. Factors such as Manual Clicks and Repetitive Typing were positioned as Secondary and Low in effort Spectrum, and working out this graph gave us insightful information on what we needed to prioritize.
The user flow for AI Contact Us has to be simple and effective: A manual pop-up that welcomes users to ask questions, a comprehensive redirect to either Products, Account, or General, and presenting information that satisfies users' requests. The transition will be smooth, the search engine will happen behind the scenes, and the button will act as an AI representative which will encourage users to feel more comfortable learning more about Adobe and whether purchasing the product would be a valuable investment. The purpose of the AI chat bot is to guide the users, and the journey can only be initiated if the users are satisfied with the gestures and provided answers by the AI, and the journey of exploration can be turned upon users' discretion.
User Flow: First-Time User on Adobe Creative Cloud
We created the initial wireframes based on the user flow and sketches that we made. The flow will be simple and effective: directing users to the right sources of information and helping them explore the world of Adobe. The button will stay at the bottom, instead of a chat button, an innovative Adobe icon can be created by the graphic design team, and it will allow both first-time users and product customers to explore what Adobe offers equally.
It is important to note that when the chat-bot pops up, it asks the user the most basic and welcoming question, "How can we help?" then it can proceed with its presentation and let users choose which type of information to be searched for. Through this approach, it conquers the fear of getting lost by users' non-reactive response by releasing direct and concrete information right off the bat. The guidance of the AI can only be accomplished by an interactive directions and coordinates, and the users will have an option to speak with an expert if no answers found.
AI Customer Service Chat Bot Journey on Desktop
Step 1: AI Chat Bot Initiated
Step 3: Specific Category Initiated
Step 2: Categories Populated
Step 4: Live Expert Initiated
AI Customer Service Chat Bot Journey on Desktop
Iteration & Next Steps
We forwarded our case study to the lead designer of Adobe and discussed how Adobe can utilize its marketing tactics to maximize the benefit of better web and mobile user experience to the fullest for increasing the consumer base. If the Contact Us button can be optimized to assist the first-time users and have more categories to direct users to the right station of information, it will boost up the level of customer satisfaction and can function as a front-marketer in the long run. When users feel frustrated by much information without necessary information that they want to receive, they tend to blame it on disorganization, and this ineffective approach to interacting with users, first-time users, will only lead to damaging the company's brand and integrity. The User Experience should be prioritized in this case, and we wrote our comprehensive report with concrete details, and the lead designer took it into consideration.
From this experience, I learned that simplifying a functionality for better user-centric experiences is possible and crucial in every realm of design, and instead of focusing on big and complicated ideas that can seem appealing to users but might overlook the importance of small details that in fact, contribute to major impacts later on.
In 2021, I had a chance to participate in Adobe NASA Creative Challenge, where designers from all over the country are given a week to come up with high fidelity mockups and prototypes to present to the jury. The topic was about creating a Game-Like NASA presentation for kids. The mission was to "help kids learn more about space exploration by teaching about a single or multiple NASA JPL missions. Design a third-party (not NASA JPL branded) Android tablet or Apple iPad app that provides an engaging way for kids to learn and share space stories, facts, and topics."
We first discussed the UI part of the project. The project had to focus on entertaining children, who were more keen to learn everything through visuals. Thus, adding texts into paragraphs was not a good idea, and instead of illustrating planets, spaceships, and space in digital, we figured it would be better to illustrate them like cartoon characters, which were more fun.
Also, we decided to make this project like a game, where kids could design their robots to play and earn points, and when they complete the assigned project for each planet, they earn points, and there would be a prize winner at the end. The game would motivate the kids to play, and it would make them continue and learn while having fun. We took all of these points into consideration and working on grahics and designing an entertaining user flows as priorities.
Since the time was very limited, we had to rush our design thought process and map out sketches with the most essential UI and UX elements. We drew how the planets would look like, how the robot would function as an avatar, and how the exploration page would be presented graphically. The conceptual sketch of any design process was very crucial since it worked as a foundation, and we dedicated as much as we could to produce creative ideas.
We laid out our User Flow Journey as
- Introduction of the App
- Robot Avatar Characterization
- Exploration of Planets
- NASA Missions
UI Graphic Elements
We first discussed the UI part of the project. The project had to focus on entertaining children, who were more keen to learn everything through visuals. Thus, adding texts into paragraphs was not a good idea, and instead of illustrating planets, spaceships, and space in digital, we figured it would be better to illustrate them like cartoon characters, which were more fun. This project gave us an opportunity to extensively utilize our graphic design skills using Photoshop and Illustrator, and we conducted our research on many types of children books and animation to receive some inspiration for childish and friendly-looking characters
High Fidelity Mockups
We first worked on how to create an user-journey through the lens of children and mapped out important key steps that encompass the essential ingredients of the app, which are fun, interactive, and educational tools to help children learn about space. We designed and created a number of interesting characters and logos, along with critical information about space and our planets, and combined such elements into a cohesive narrative that allows children to create their own robots and avatars, explore each planet, and win a prize through quizzes at the end.
SoLearn Robot Maker
SoLearn Explore the Planet Surface
SoLearn Explore the Planet Surface
SoLearn Explore the Planet Surface
SoLearn NASA Missions
Working for Adobe was an amazing experience, and I got to work with amazing designers Jennifer on rebranding the customer satisfaction project for Adobe Creative Cloud, which was truly a remarkable learning experience. I learned how to conduct research based on specific demographics, design wireframes that were narrowed down to specific topics based on users' preferences, and utilize photoshop and illustrators to create interesting and unique characters and logos with my coworker. With many ideas coming from talented engineers, designers, and thinkers, Adobe has proven to be one of the leading technological commodity in our industry, and I thank them and Jamie for hiring me as a UX designer.
What I learned from working on the AI Chat Bot project and NASA challenge was to be more open-minded about graphic design and have the courage to explore the realm of design. Sometimes, I tend to utilize only what I know and have learned from somewhere which limits my unlocked potential in creating a digital space. I came to this point with the help of my amazingly talented co-workers who were very expressive and creative, and they taught me to be more adventurous.