Designing for AI Notes

Published on Dec 12, 2023

Last night I went to the Designing for AI event at Notion hosted by Linus Lee. The panelists were Ryo Lu (Design Lead at Notion), Amelia Wattenberger (Designer at Adept), Omar Lee (VP, Product Design at Slack), and Adam Storr (Head of Design at Hex).

Wrote up some notes from the event:

  • How the panelists described their companies’ useage of AI:

    • Slack - “Trying to make it so you get more of the signal and less of the noise in your communications”

    • Adept - “Make it easier to use your computer”

    • Hex - “Ask any questions about your data”

    • Notion: “One system with a variety of building blocks…how can we make AI fit into any building block?”

  • Metaphors for building with AI:

    • Agents

    • Copilots

    • Tool

    • Medium


  • Eventually AI will be in everything, and it won’t be a big deal at all

    • No one ever designs a product and worries about explaining what a database is to a user
  • Give the user the ability to change how much control they want to exert on the fly

  • AI is a primitive, but it should fit into all other primitives

  • The floor is chat * It does not offer any affordances * Text is an imprecise medium

  • Adept design team all writes code; “You can only get so far in Figma”

  • You have to design within the existing constraints of what AI can do, but be midnful of possible future changes

  • Everything an LLM says is a hallucination - “they are dream machines”

  • Figure out how to maintain consistency when UI can be generated or personalized

  • Most users shouldn’t ever learn how to prompt or worry about what to enter into a blank text box