By: Colleen Lowe

How is the role of experience strategists and designers changing? And how can we make personalization better?

Designers and strategists have an even greater responsibility to be proactive in our exploration of emerging technologies to get ahead of the needs of our clients’ and their audiences.

The pace of advancement today, particularly within AI and conversational interfaces, for example, has created a constantly shifting boundary of consumer expectations for and comfort with these interactions. The bar continues to be raised and the breadth of data (and the level of confidence in that data) that’s necessary to contextualize and personalize the interaction appropriately can feel daunting.

That’s why we undertake in-depth design, test, and learn cycles with our clients to track along with whether or not these exchanges are providing the value their customers expect. These rounds of iteration and improvement are so important to getting it right. And the investment is worth it, because we know the alternative to getting it wrong has an outsized effect on customer experience and the brand’s reputation.

In the research and discovery phase of the work, which happens at the onset of every project, we also typically conduct an in-depth technical discovery or audit to clearly assess what we know as well as where we need more information to proceed with a high level of confidence. We never want to be in the position of creating a solution that suddenly isn’t viable when it moves into development and production.

Working closely alongside Citizen’s creative technology director and the development team, we’re able to align on a solid foundation for the project where our aspirational concepts and features are reconciled with the requirements and constraints of the technology, and then we continue to “gut-check” ourselves along the way.

And while you might be thinking, “Lots of dreams get crushed,” the reality is our development team is finding every way possible to get to “yes, we can do that.” All of the hard work pays off with experiences that truly feel special and individualized to the user, and hopefully a little bit inspired.