ProtoAI: Model-Informed Prototyping for AI-Powered Interfaces
Hariharan Subramonyam, Colleen Seifert, Eytan Adar

When prototyping AI experiences (AIX), interface designers seek useful and usable ways to support end-user tasks through AI capabilities. However, AI poses challenges to design due to its dynamic behavior in response to training data, end-user data, and feedback. Designers must consider AI’s uncertainties and offer adaptations such as explainability, error recovery, and automation vs. human task control. Unfortunately, current prototyping tools assume a black-box view of AI, forcing designers to work with separate tools to explore machine learning models, understand model performance, and align interface choices with model behavior. This introduces friction to rapid and iterative prototyping. We propose Model-Informed Prototyping (MIP), a workflow for AIX design that combines model exploration with UI prototyping tasks. Our system, ProtoAI, allows designers to directly incorporate model outputs into interface designs, evaluate design choices across different inputs, and iteratively revise designs by analyzing model breakdowns. We demonstrate how ProtoAI can readily operationalize human-AI design guidelines. Our user study finds that designers can effectively engage in MIP to create and evaluate AI-powered interfaces during AIX design.

Pre-print: PDF, (19.3MB), IUI'21, winner Best Paper Award