How might we use personal digital assistant to manage our daily routine in the future?


Today, apps have become a part of the daily life of millions of people all over the world. However, many often complain about not having enough time for doing things they would love to do because they are occupied with tedious tasks. 

My team and I worked on the AI issue with an interaction designer at Google, to explore the potential that Google's Machine learning has for a future filled with conversational UI.  We focused on helping users minimize their frustration with cumbersome tasks in their daily lives. For example, people use scheduling apps to plan their day or organize their appointments. However, some of those apps actually take up a lot of time . This is where AI comes in.

The project:

We built the centralized platform with Google Assistant that help users like Mike, who feel frustrate by cumbersome tasks to deal with his routine tasks and updates within a 10-week project through MFA IxD Program at SVA with Google Interaction Designer, Ryan Vernon. 

Project Details

Toolkits: Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator,  After effect, Premier pro

Team: Yue Yuan, Weiting Guo, Ning Xu

My responsibility: Design Strategy, Marketing Research, User Research, User interface, Presentation, Video Producation, Storyboarding 





Design process


Street interview

Personal digital assistant is a broad term that we started with a team brainstorming what does a digital assistant mean to people? In order for us to make a feasible and viable product, we set limits to focus on millennials. But in my team, we had different voices and understanding, instead of endless discussion, we went on the street to talk with people of their thoughts.

Many of us are receiving so many emails that we can never read them all, and it’s overwhelming our ability to do our work. Therefore, it is easy to miss an important message.
— Nathan Zeldes from Information Overload Research Group
We come from different countries and time zones, so it’s really hard to figure out what time fits us well to meet. Usually, I negotiate with my friends
— Ruth, Graduate Student

It turns out that a majority of people have used digital personal assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant. However they didn’t have a good experience when they interacted with a digital assistant rather than asking a simple question. On the other hand, they would like to use a service to make their job done efficiently but users also likely to quit or avoid to make any additional effort to do clarification to overwhelm them. 


The AI Assistant will form positive relationships and get to know what users need in their daily lives. It would be like a personal assistant, a spouse, or a cultural curator. It will take care of a lot of routine tasks for users. 

What if someone can take care of these tedious tasks and know what users want?

What are the difficulties from users?

  • Most people heavily rely on email and use it extensively for work. 
  • Most people use multiple Calendars to manage their events
  • The notifications occur at the same time, which causes confusion. 



What if the Google Assistant can proactively tell users what they are concerned about, provide meaningful suggestions for them to handle daily tasks, get things done and work across different platforms, as well as allow them to integrate 3rd party apps and services into one platform.

What are the benefit to use it?

  • Proactively tell users what they are concerned about, for example upcoming events and important tasks through email thread without first being prompted by users.
  • Provide meaningful suggestions for users to handle daily tasks.
  • Allow users to integrate apps and services into one platform and free them from from switching apps.
  • Get things done and handle a multitude of tasks across a number of platforms and devices.