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Ovetta Sampson

Principal Creative Director | Microsoft

As the Vice-President of Machine Learning Experience Design at Capital One my team and I are pioneering ways to make the responsible and ethical use of machine learning effortless for associates while creating a new muscle for designers – using machine learning and AI as a human-centered design tool.

Prior to Capital One I was Principle Design Director at Microsoft, serving an amazing team of designers, program managers, engineers, researchers and technologists to help the nation’s biggest companies actually visualize and realize a digital transformation that’s built on a foundation of the hidden human truths of the world.

Empathy Building Ain’t Easy If You Do It Right

Stop Bastardizing Design with False Empathy
  • For empathy to be a successful part of design, it can’t just be an external reflection, it must be an internal activity that leads to transformative action.
  • Ovetta Sampson, principal design director at Microsoft, suggests considering 3 levels of empathy:
    1. Cognitive/intellectual empathy – talking to people, writing down what they said and sharing photos and quotes to communicate what they heard.
    2. Emotional empathy – when you feel what people feel, as though their emotions were contagious.
    3. Compassion empathy or empathetic concern – something we should thrive for when building empathy.
  • In order to build empathy in design, you need to decouple your experiences and your mental models associated with those experiences, from the product user.
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Design Principles for a New AI World
  • In the AI era, designers are taking on even larger responsibility.
  • It’s high time design stepped into the new era and a new framework that’s wider, more equitable, and pluralistic compared to what we’ve witnessed before.
  • In this article, Ovetta Sampson, Vice-President of Machine Learning Experience Design at Capital One, reworks the “10 Commandments of Good Design” to fit design going into an AI era.
    1. Good design solves hard problems.
    2. Good design promotes healthy relationships.
    3. Good design requires malleability.
    4. Good design makes companies understand and products that serve me.
    5. Good design acknowledges bias.
    6. Good design prevents dishonesty.
    7. Good design expects unintended consequences.
    8. Good design fosters equity .
    9. Good design considers its effect on a collective, connected eco-system.
    10. Good design brings purposefully order to chaos.
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When design teams work with data scientists and ethnographers, they can design a solution that gives an edge by leveraging data to the benefit of their customers.

Just Add Water: Lessons Learned from Mixing Data Science and Design Research Methods to Improve Customer Service
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