GuidesProduct developmentAI in product development: Uses, benefits, and examples

AI in product development: Uses, benefits, and examples

Last updated

9 July 2023

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Dovetail Editorial Team

AI is constantly pushing boundaries to establish roots in many fields, including retail, automotive, healthcare, and education. More and more industries continue to incorporate this technology, and product design is no exception.

There’s no doubt that AI is the future of product development. It’s providing companies with immense advantages and broad possibilities.

Learn how AI in product development can help you streamline workflows, reduce manual tasks, and uncover customer insights faster.

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What is the role of AI in product development?

AI reduces bottlenecks, automates tasks, and makes real-time data-driven decisions. The technology can revolutionize product development when used appropriately, supporting many aspects of the product development life cycle.

Here are some of the ways it can be used:

  • Inspiring product designers to generate new concepts

  • Performing sentiment analysis on social media brand mentions so that product development teams can analyze positive and negative customer emotions

  • Testing and simulating how a product will behave in real-world scenarios (e.g., when under different loads and stresses)

  • Enabling designers to refine their designs and correct product flaws before they are released to the market

  • Achieving greater economies of scale by substituting human labor with automation

  • Revolutionizing the analysis of price elasticity and product sensitivity using techniques such as dynamic pricing, which adjusts prices based on inventory levels and market demand

  • Helping companies gather strategic data on market trends and growth trajectories

  • Predicting system usability and customer lifetime value (CLV) scores

Where to integrate AI into the product development process

Product designers integrate AI in the following stages of the product development life cycle:

Project management

AI has allowed product managers to perform automated business analyses and track project progress. It helps them accurately estimate resources, lead times, and budget requirements.

AI-powered tools can also carry out burdensome tasks that would otherwise be performed by a project manager, allowing them to focus on other critical tasks.

Gathering requirements for software projects

Errors are a drawback of manually gathering requirements for software projects. In product development, user stories give software developers a clear understanding of the project’s functional requirements. Manually gathering these requirements is time-consuming, and the project team might miss out on delicate information from user stories.

AI can help developers gather requirements for software projects, which can ensure better data analysis from user stories and minimize manual human work.

Product development strategy

Developers need a suitable product development strategy when working on a complex product. AI can influence development strategies such as the agile methodology, which breaks the project down into multiple iterations.

The technology also gives developers access to pre-launch and post-launch product feedback. It can also analyze current trends, compare the product with similar ones on the market, and develop a suitable product development strategy from the collected feedback.

Software frontend design

For a product launch to be successful, it should resonate with end users. This means the frontend design must be easy to use.

AI is the cornerstone of curating data on what’s best for the user and informs how software designers map out user-centric product designs. UI and UX designers use AI algorithms to monitor how users interact with the product, gauge user preferences, and create a personalized experience. With the insights gathered, software designers can incorporate user preferences into product design.

Product security

Product security is the biggest use case of AI in product development. Authentication techniques such as facial recognition, biometric scanning, and CAPTCHA can detect cyber threats commonly used by hackers. They help companies stay ahead of potential threats and save money on dealing with them.

Another advantage of AI is that it can analyze large pools of data, learn from it, and make risk-focused predictions. It can use this learning to differentiate normal traffic from suspicious activity.

Software architecture design

Architecture design requires expertise and attention to detail. AI can make the process even more efficient and precise.

Software developers use AI product development tools to study user requirements and develop designs tailored to their needs. AI also allows designers to optimize design criteria, such as weight, cost, and performance. This enables them to find the right balance of materials for the most efficient design, leading to powerful, cost-effective, and lightweight products.

Artificial intelligence in quality assurance

AI in quality assurance is vital to the product development life cycle. It ensures products work according to set standards, comply with market requirements, and meet user needs.

Differential testing, an AI technique, can perform functional testing and compare product build versions. AI can also analyze code, identify errors, and make corrections, ensuring quality products and reducing the time used in product testing.

Benefits of AI in product development

Organizations using AI in product development have reported many benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Cost reduction

One significant benefit of AI is reducing the need for human resources in the product development process. The overall cost of machine labor is less than human labor. AI’s unrivaled capacity to automate manual tasks can reduce operating costs, as can its ability to identify flaws in the early phases of product development.

2. Improved decision-making

Decision-making is one of the hardest tasks and significantly impacts a product’s success. AI can analyze vast volumes of data in a fraction of a second and find all possible probabilities, helping product teams make informed decisions.

For instance, AI can be used to reduce negative price variance by analyzing product sensitivity and elasticity. With the insights they gather, organizations can make informed decisions that will give them stable returns on investments.

3. Process optimization

AI is designed with many computing capabilities. It can handle large-scale computational tasks, analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and make more efficient predictions.

AI also helps designers speed up prototype development through wireframes and mockups, optimizing the product development process. AI-powered solutions also allow real-time sharing of feedback and suggestions, making tasks less time-consuming.

4. Timely product development

Time is a crucial factor in a company’s profits. A key advantage of AI is its ability to reduce the time required to complete tasks.

A product idea typically takes several months to be conceptualized and released into the market, but AI can automate the processes involved in product development. It allows you to predict product prototypes before dedicating time and resources to developing the final product.

5. Improved product quality

AI can identify design flaws. For example, imagine there’s a shortage of quality assurance engineers in the product development field, potentially compromising the quality of products released to the market. AI can test the product, find system bugs that would otherwise be missed, and make necessary changes to meet the customer’s expectations and market standards.

6. Enhanced customer experience

Designers strive to develop products that solve a user’s pain points and leave a good impression. They can use AI to conduct research and learn about the user’s behavioral patterns and preferences. With these insights, designers can develop or improve an existing product accordingly. As a result, they can enhance customer experience.

The data collected can also be used to offer personalized experiences that boost customer satisfaction and loyalty to the product.

Stages of AI product development

Although there is no standardized product development life cycle, here are the most common stages of AI product development:

Stage 1: Identifying the business objective, data collection

This step involves identifying a business problem that AI can solve. This is the main driver of developing an AI product. Performing a market search requires the team to gather data on the target market, competition, and use cases.

Some of the techniques you can use at this stage include scraping and crowdsourcing. Gaining a clear view of your market’s needs and accessing the right market information will help you develop an actionable AI strategy and build successful AI models.

Stage 2: Data preparation and exploration

The next step is to understand the data that has been collected and define the problem the AI product is trying to solve. The data will help validate the need for a new product or improve an existing one.

At this stage, you feed data into machine learning algorithms to train the AI model. Data preparation will involve cleaning, normalization, and augmentation. Data exploration, on the other hand, provides the foundation for the product roadmap.

At this stage, evaluate whether simple solutions can solve the problem or if it requires complex tools like AI algorithms. These steps are necessary to build a model or prototype.

Stage 3: The design sprint

During the design sprint, the product team devises a product that will meet the users’ needs. They envision the product and seek answers to questions such as:

  • What product is being built?

  • What data set is required?

  • Do we trust the quality of data?

The product team will check the available information, determine the product idea’s feasibility, and plan a roadmap for development. The team will also create a detailed AI design report consisting of the AI strategy and product development plans.

The design sprint stage also aims to produce a high-fidelity prototype of the product. This is a mockup of the final product with its desired features. This stage allows companies to avoid wasting resources on faulty product concepts.

The team would perform prototype testing at this stage to ensure the product is working correctly. They can use the prototype to gather customer feedback on whether the product efficiently solves pain points.

The design sprint also involves assessing the model’s performance to establish its effectiveness using metrics such as accuracy, precision, logarithmic loss, and recall. Here are a few questions that can help developers get started:

  • Is the product model performing as anticipated?

  • Does the product have a high level of accuracy?

Stage 4: Deployment and maintenance

When the product has been proven to work as required, it can be deployed for operational use in the real world. Once the solution has been launched, it’s important to monitor, review, and make changes to ensure it delivers the desired results. If the product doesn’t meet user needs, the team can make adjustments based on feedback.

How will AI impact the future of product development?

AI has already made a breakthrough in product development. The technology continues to evolve, and its future looks promising.

Here are some encouraging trends to watch out for in the future of AI product development:

  1. Augmented reality (AR): companies will be able to create immersive product experiences using AR. This technology will allow users to visualize a product in a virtual environment before purchasing.

  2. Autonomous product design: companies will have the capacity to develop products autonomously without human intervention. Also, expect to see AI handle more complex product development processes.

  3. Personalization: AI will revolutionize the development process to design products that meet users’ unique needs. For instance, the technology will be able to analyze a user’s buying history and recommend product attributes such as color, size, or type depending on their preferences.

FAQs

Can AI create products?

With advances in machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), AI has become a powerful tool that can create product designs based on gathered data or user stories.

What is AI’s role in product delivery?

AI algorithms allow designers to automate time-consuming routine tasks, enabling products to be delivered to the real market faster.

How do brands use AI in product development?

Brands like Amazon are using AI to improve customer experience by making recommendations on what users are likely to buy.

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