Designing a human touch into online services

Unpredictability. Nuance. The ability to think laterally rather than logically – these qualities are missing from online experiences that rely on machine-driven recommendation. How can we design them back in?

Image: Pitchfork

Marketing would have us believe that we’re living in the age of personalisation. But our increasing dependence on algorithms and AI mean that there is nothing ‘personal’ about our digital interactions at all, argues Stephen Waller. The challenge for designers is to blend visual and interaction design to present content derived from both algorithms and real people in the most meaningful and relevant way possible.