Solving Digital Debt: How Blink Enhances EX in an AI-Driven Era
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Oct 11, 2023 | Updated Oct 12, 2023

Solving Digital Debt: How Blink Enhances EX in an AI-Driven Era

Digital debt impacts innovation, drains employee energy, and challenges organizational productivity. Could AI be the solution?

In today’s hyper-connected, tech-driven landscape, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the modern work environment: the increasing pace of work, relentless communication demands, and the challenges of sifting through an avalanche of information.

Microsoft’s new report paints a stark picture of this situation by highlighting the negative impacts of digital debt and how we can use generative AI tools and large language models (LLMs) to empower, enhance, and further employee’s abilities in the workplace.

Digital debt? Tell me more.

Digital debt is when you have so many notifications, emails, messages, and meetings to attend to that you simply can’t keep up. You’re spending all of your work day trying to reach “inbox zero,” leaving little time for working on more creative tasks.

Now more than ever, the modern-day office worker is flooded with digital communication, and research shows that this reality is draining employee energy and challenging organizational productivity. “Nearly 2 in 3 people say they lack the time and energy to do their job — and those people are 3.5 times more likely to struggle with innovation and strategic thinking,” says Microsoft.

Not to mention, 60% of leaders already feel the effects of this debt, saying that a lack of innovation or breakthrough ideas on their teams is a concern.

Could AI be the solution?

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO, believes that the next generation of AI will be transformative, allowing employers to “remove the drudgery of work and unleash creativity.” AI doesn’t just automate; it liberates. It shifts businesses and employees away from simple, repetitive work toward creativity, strategy, and innovation. Companies like Walmart are already giving generative AI in the workplace a go.

Employers that embrace AI-driven solutions will give employees time to focus on creative endeavors and high-value tasks to:

The Blink solution: Evidence-driven design meets AI

Blink has been creating AI-powered experiences for years, helping our partners understand user needs around the context of use, privacy, and transparency to develop a strategy for AI technology. Through our evidence-driven approach, we learn from users and create concepts to meet real human needs, many of which become recommended features best implemented through AI tech.

We’ve worked with companies like Salesforce to improve the call center experience for employees with an AI-powered agent assistant and First Databank to create a natural language interface for hospital admins managing medical alerts. Microsoft highlights three insights employers should consider when adopting AI in the Work Trend Index report. Here are the findings and how Blink can help turn your AI vision into a reality.

1. Tackling the innovation drain

Digital debt impacts innovation, drains employee energy, and challenges organizational productivity. Companies can combat this by first identifying and addressing their productivity disruptors.

Blink’s approach:

We’ll work with your team to gather background information from key stakeholders, employees, and secondary resources to fully understand your current employee experience and identify opportunities to make the workday more efficient.

2. Empowering employees to see AI as an ally

Employees are craving AI solutions. “70% of workers surveyed would delegate as much work as possible to lessen the AI workloads,” according to Microsoft. Integrating AI in ways that best support workers will make employers stand out.

Blink’s approach:

Beyond AI technology, we focus on understanding employee needs in context, privacy, and transparency, helping organizations chart a strategic path for AI. The challenges of implementing AI at scale vary, but our expertise guides organizations through these key aspects:

  • Strategic visioning: helping business leaders, AI advocates, and product teams align on priorities and goals for implementation.
  • Human-centered design: prioritizing intuitive, usable, and valuable AI-enhanced solutions through collaborative, research-informed concepting. The best way to implement AI in a trusted and transparent way is to find the balance between automation and human control. This talk from DataInnovation does a great job explaining the concept.
  • Ethics and fairness: designing for accessibility, usability, and transparency, upholding ethical AI.

3. Using and improving AI over time

For successful AI integration, employees must be AI-literate. Microsoft surveyed industry leaders who said it’s essential for employees to learn “how to write great prompts, how to evaluate creative work, and how to check for bias.” To do this, empower your employees with tools and training to make AI a collaborative partner and ensure they’re ready for this next phase of digital evolution.

Blink’s approach:

  • Data-driven decision-making: we employ methodologies to assess employee interactions with AI systems to optimize performance and user satisfaction.
  • Continuous monitoring and iterative improvement: we help companies monitor, evaluate, and improve AI system performance through strategic road mapping.

What about integrating AI into SaaS?

Several SaaS products have started incorporating AI into their offerings. The key differentiators between these products in the coming year will be their impact on employee productivity and ease of adoption into existing workflows.

If you’re a SaaS company, it’s essential to consider how you can differentiate your AI capabilities from your competitors. We’ll work with you strategically to enhance the appeal of your AI-enabled products and give you a competitive edge.

Using our data-driven approach, we’ll ground your product strategy in employee needs and identify the most impactful areas of integration. We can do this by using various research methods to determine the current gaps in customer journeys and how employees can use intuitive AI experiences for collaboration and creation. Using these insights, we will help you develop a product roadmap that maximizes your ROI and creates an impactful and frictionless experience for your customers.

A call to the C-suite leaders

There’s a clear need to redefine how we work. But the solution isn’t merely integrating AI; it’s understanding your employees and designing AI-driven experiences that align with your organizational goals and values.

I invite fellow C-suite leaders to explore the potential of evidence-driven design in this AI-driven era. Together, we can navigate the challenges of digital debt and, in doing so, unlock opportunities for growth, innovation, and employee efficiency. The future of work is not just about doing more but about creating more. Let’s shape that future together.