Anticipatory design is fundamentally different: decisions are made and executed on behalf of the user. The goal is not to help the user make a decision, but to create an ecosystem where a decision is never made—it happens automatically and without user input. The design goal becomes one where we eliminate as many steps as possible and find ways to use data, prior behaviors and business logic to have things happen automatically, or as close to automatic as we can get. […]
At its core, the function of anticipatory design is to gather the data necessary and move from the era of personalization to automated decision-making.
I’d emphasize that, despite the reliance on more data, the value of the human designer will remain paramount. There’s just so much information that isn’t captured, analyzed, or understood, but that goes into “good design sense”. This relates quite well to the earlier post on Frictionless Design Choices.