Research: How can we as designers prepare for globalisation?

I am carrying out research on my own chosen topic entitled as "Preparing for globalisation in the age of UX AI.

What I mean by UX AI:-
1990 - the unplugged era
1995- the birth of internet
2005- The mobile era
2015- the internet of things and Artificial Intelligence
Now - We are entering the age of Ubiquitous computing - which is human centered version if AI.

My focus on understanding how AI can help us to get back to the world of unplugged era and what we as designers can contribute to shape the rapid growth of globalisation with the help if AI.

No issue has shaped design in this century more decisively than globalisation. According to Bernard E. Burdek (2005) It is the multilevel of interaction of digitalisation that is decisive for globalisation.

I am seeking for experts opinions about how can a designer contribute to shape the future of design keeping up with the pace of global market and prepare for globalisation in the age of Human centered AI.

Well, first of all you need a more specific research question, and a methodology + plan towards achieving verifiable results.

From a personal perspective as a designer, I’d say that taking on a multidisciplinary approach in projects is step 1.
Then from multiple perspectives we need to start with researching human life and how technology can contribute and add value.
Research here itself is a creative step in that we can influence what we research by already adding some new tools or systems, then researching how people interact. This is what Philips has been doing for years to research Ambient Intelligence (basically human-centered Ubicomp) in a home context. Then it is important to iteratively develop solutions while developing multiple aspects of the project - technological, social-cultural, aesthetic and business motives. You keep intervening in human life and see what it brings. Bill Gaver is another great example.

This multidisciplinary approach also allows every individual in the project to develop their own talents. A psychologist may gain a fascination with technology or design, and a designer may find great ambition in fields like robotics and AI if they become aware of the possibilities.

It is important that these technologies are a good fit to human life, otherwise we can end up with big brother stories, wasted budgets, sci-fi gimmicks, social stigmatization etc.

Thankyou for your reply. @Ralphzoontjens . I like the idea of multidisciplinary approach. And you have a good point here that it is important that upcoming technologies and products needs to be good fir to human and we as designers should start with researching human life and how technology can contribute and add value.

I understand the fact that I need to be more specific with my research questions. Here in my research I am tying up two topics Globalisation and UX AI which are very wide in context that I am finding it quite difficult to narrow down the research. I have written a small summary which can describe a little more about my area of Research.

I would be very thankful if I can get some more opinions to carry forward my research and narrow it down.

Due rapid increase in globalisation, national borders are becoming irrelevant and Internet & communication technology plays the biggest role. Design firms themselves are increasingly globalising in the course of globalisation. Literature suggests it is the multilevel of interaction that is decisive for globalisation. Internet of things, Networked production, new forms of online commerce, they all play a very big role while designing for globalised world.
Globalisation is often termed as “networks” and “flows” and the one medium through which we all are connected is Internet of things and AI algorithms. Devices have become a distraction, but designers can start looking in the area where instead of adding more distractions and frictions, we start adding values.
According to recent statistics, 90% of what’s on web was created just in last two years. The amount of knowledge created in one day is equal to what we could possibly absorb in a lifetime.
Soon we will be entering the age of ubiquitous computing and Statistics also suggest that it is expected that there will be more than 100 billion connected devices by 2025.
Now a day’s demand for personalization has also gone mainstream. Consumers across the globe are adopting intelligent personal assistants like Siri(including those without visual support, like Alexa and Google Home) at rapid rates because they are efficient, user-friendly, and secure – everything a customer wants and that AI can provide.
Literature says, the next step will be getting this technology to work flawlessly and investing in next-gen voice interfaces to create a more human experience.
I understand the fact that I am tying up two topics together and that is because designers like it or not, are tied to globalisation. We have no choice but to understand the economic, social, cultural and political implications of globalisation on society and on our individual professional situations and keeping up with the pace of global marking and upcoming technologies. Since, Technology is one of the main reasons for globalisation, we as designers can take initiative and shape the future of design.
It’s a new direction where designers recently starting looking at it. I think it’s the right time for designers to start preparing for level up version of globalisation in the age of UX AI.

If you can focus on a specific context, market or target group, you can narrow down your research.
Of course you can try to tackle the entire topic but you end up with something quite generic.
Maybe you want to do that but your topic is complex, and UX means to interact in the world, so it even gets more complex in case you are thinking of developing design methodologies.

Starting from a case will make things contextualised and building theories from there will be very fruitful (ref. Action Research)

To give an example, 1. Can AI make for better children’s toys that provide richer experiences? 2. will they provide so much value that both kids and adults will want to visit toy stores again? 3. What are the contextual aspects of such a retail experience further influencing buyer behavior? 4. What are other product factors causing people to gain trust in AI-enhanced products and lead to purchase decisions?

It relates to globalization since ecommerce is rapidly taking over the toy industry and has already caused the downfall of a giant, Toys’R’Us.
I for one, would love for actual toy stores to remain alive.

Frog is jumping to these topics as well:

Dear “ralphzoontjens”

Thankyou so much for your reply and assistance. That is really very kind and very helpful. I think for my current essay I just need to focus on reseach findings which tells on How can designers prepare for Globalisation in the age of UX AI. And yes, the Frog Design’s Article is very very helpful.

I came across another very good article -

Once I complete my research essay I will definitely start my further research according to methodologies you suggested. It definitely gives a good direction to carry forward a project.

Agian Thankyou for your support and advice! I will be coming up with more defined questions soon and I will be needing more good advises :slight_smile: