OpenAI took the world by storm when it announced ChatGPT-3 in November 2022. A few days after its release, the AI assistant was already boasting 1 million registered users.
From content creation to business analysis to software development. The application of this very versatile AI has been swift and impactful. Product designers have also gotten wind of the impressive feats they can achieve by leveraging it and are already doing incredible things.
While the debate continues on the future of the AI-human work relationship, and there are already other ways AI is impacting UX design, in this article, we take a close look at OpenAI's ChatGPT in particular, how to write prompts for ChatGPT as a product designer and innovative ways to go about it.
Before we dive into writing prompts for the AI model, it's important to understand what it really is.
ChatGPT stands for "Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer." It is a Large Language Model (LLM) developed by OpenAI that is capable of generating natural language text. The Generative Pre-training Transformer architecture refers to the model it is based on, while the "Chat" emphasizes its capability to be used in chatbots and other conversational agents.
The AI model which was trained on 570 gigabytes of data offers very impressive results when used in a variety of disciplines. Notable are its abilities to code, write, translate and do research.
As UX designers, there are numerous ways to use ChatGPT. However, as is recommended with AI tools, depending solely on them could be problematic as they are meant to be assistants.
Here are a few limitations of ChatGPT:
To interact with the AI assistant, you can use human-readable texts as you would with a normal person. This is one of the benefits of conversational AIs. The commands, which are called prompts, are quickly interpreted and executed in seconds.
That said, to achieve useful results as a UX designer it's important to frame your prompts in ways that ensure you get optimal responses from the AI. Sometimes you might need to probe further or frame your questions in a slightly different format.
Here is the interesting part, you can use ChatGPT prompts to perform tasks in nearly all stages of product design. While this is exciting — AI models like ChatGPT can assist in various aspects of UX design such as predicting user behavior and preferences, generating design prototypes, or automating some tasks, It cannot replace the human expertise and creativity of UX designers.
Let's look at each stage:
The first stage of the product design process is research. One way to use ChatGPT is to quickly come up with research questions for your target audience. And what's more? You can analyse the data you obtain from the research using the AI assistant. This can reduce the time and resources needed to conduct user research.
Additionally, ChatGPT is excellent at competitive analysis. You can write a prompt asking it to compare your rivals and even spot their weaknesses.
For illustration purposes, let us use an e-commerce store offering health and wellness products.
Here is a prompt:
"Generate some user research questions for our store"
Note: the AI is already aware of the store from initial prompts
To find and analyze competitors, we ask the AI model to find the 3 top apps in our niche
"What are the top 3 health and wellness apps in the US?"
Then, the follow-up prompt instructs it to analyse them.
Analyse their strength and weaknesses
User personas are archetypal representations of user groups that your product intends to target. While there's a lot to creating user personas in UX design, thanks to the enormous data ChatGPT has access to, it can generate valid user personas for nearly any niche.
To create user personas for our health and wellness store, we use the simple prompt:
Create user personas for our app
Sometimes, UX designers have to also create copy for their apps and websites. UX writing is another field that ChatGPT can come in handy. You can get it to create all sorts of content for you, however, it is recommended to fact-check its output. Most content creators only see it as a guide or to make a first draft.
Here are some prompts you can give it:
Can you generate some headline options for our new product?
Can you write a short product description that highlights its key features and benefits?
Can you generate some social media post ideas for our upcoming campaign?
ChatGPT is very creative and can generate innovative ideas in a matter of seconds. You can ask it to brainstorm ideas for a new company or product, a title for your book, or ways to improve your brand.
Here are example prompts:
What are some ways we can improve the onboarding process for our app/website?
What are some new features we can add to our app/website to make it more engaging?
How can we simplify the checkout process on our e-commerce site?"
ChatGPT can help you create a top-level design of your product and implement a foundational navigational flow. While it cannot render wireframes, it will guide you in creating them by text.
For instance, we ask it to create an information architecture for our store, and it delivers:
Create an information architecture for our store
ChatGPT is a text-based AI tool, hence it's limited in the visual design aspect. However, you can create prompts in ChatGPT for other AI image generators like OpenAI's Dall-E 2.
Here is an example:
For designing in XML, ChatGPT can also create XML for different shapes when given the right prompts.
Additionally, UX designers can write prompts in ChatGPT to create conversational UIs like chatbots.
For chatbot design, here are some prompts:
Can you generate some conversation flows for our support chatbot?
What are some responses our chatbot can provide when users ask for help?
Can you generate some prompts that our chatbot can use to initiate conversations with users?
These are just a few examples, and the specific prompts will depend on the needs and goals of each UX designer and their project.
ChatGPT cannot replace UX designers in the product design process, as an AI language model has so many limitations relative to humans.
However, it can serve as a valuable tool that helps designers perform their tasks quite fast. Fortunately, learning to write prompts for ChatGPT isn't as complex as learning how to code. You just need to provide adequate information in simple language and let the AI do what it's best at — provide answers.