Will AI Really Replace Designers By 2022?
It seems like innovation just can’t leave designers alone. At first, it was the computer revolution; As Adrian Shaughnessy put it, the introduction of Macintosh meant “no more mechanical artwork, no more paste-up, no more typesetters, no more expensive retouchers” for designers. The second major shock to the field was the explosion of the Internet. No longer designers had the comfort of fixed-size, one-format print publishing. With most businesses looking to add a website to their public image, designers now had to make sure their artwork would look good on all possible screen ratios and sizes. And now, an avalanche of AI (Artificial Intelligence) innovation is storming through most industries, threatening to take half of our jobs by 2030. (In case you have been living under a rock, AI is any technology that can do what it would normally take a human to do.) Is design going to be one of them? Unlikely. Even though ‘web design is dead’ and designers actually have to do less to achieve similar results, the deep understanding of the field and killer expertise are more important than ever. And, yes, if you consider yourself a top-tier designer, the times are only going to get better for you. Let me prove it to you… Before the AI design tools became a thing (not so long ago), there were bad designers (people with no-to-little design experience), average designers, and top notch designers. With the advent of various automated design tools, it became much easier for people with very little design experience to create fairly average designs. What does this mean? It means that average designers are much less valuable to the clients, since they could probably get something similar done themselves. At the same time, the skills and expertise of top-notch designers stand out that much more, because why should you pay an average designer, if you can achieve average results yourself.
How Is AI Changing Design?
That being said, AI is still going to play a big role in design, and it’s in your best interests to adopt these changes — simply because some of them are too good not to use. In short, the automation tools currently available for designers are still decades away from completely taking over our profession. Instead, AI-enhanced tools act as efficiency tools, helping us complete time-consuming design tasks faster. Tasks that take time, yet used to require a human eye nevertheless. I’m talking picking color schemes. Or doing unique website structures. Or giving predictions on how your visuals are going to perform. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what can AI-powered web design tools actually do for you today and in the nearest future:
1. Designers Don’t Have To Start From Scratch Anymore
The beginnings are the hardest part of pretty much any creative project. Whether it’s writing that first word or drawing that initial line, the next one is that much easier. Web design is no exception. Luckily for all of our fellow web designers out there, AI-powered web design tools are here to give us a healthy kickstart with every project we take on. Basically, what these tools do is take the content from your social media, your previous websites or your competition, analyze it and tailor the best-fitting design scheme for your content. For the most part, AI web builders give very decent results. I don’t know how they do it, but in roughly 7 out of 10 cases, the AI-powered builder I tried gave me very nice looking, well-fitting web pages that could easily represent my business with a little bit of extra work put in. What’s more, these designs aren’t just pretty to the eye — they’re also tailored to your niche and location. All of that so that you can focus on what actually matters — the user experience.
2. Logo Creation Will Become a Breeze
Tired of the countless renderings and back-and-forth banter involved with creating logos for clients? Well, you’re in luck, because AI is about to make logo-creating a semi-automated process. Which means that you can literally have five company logos done within minutes. Of course, you might want to add something that shows your expertise (which we talked about earlier on), but just think about how much time can a tool like that save you throughout multiple projects. Once again, the purpose these tools isn’t to remove you — the designer — from the equation. Instead, think of them as ‘adaptive templates’ that can give you a good head-start, potentially saving you hours on every project.
3. Choosing Color Palettes Will Be a Simple Choice, Not a Labor of Love
Another area where designers could save a ton of time by implementing AI into their list of tools is choosing the right colors. We all know how grueling it can be to peruse color charts to find the perfect shade, and then continue the process until your entire scheme is perfectly married. Thankfully, AIs excel at generating hundreds of perfectly combined color schemes in minutes.
4. Understanding Your User’s Journey Will Become a Science, Rather Than Just Art
If there’s one thing that AI does extremely well, it’s taking billions of data points and making sense out of it all. What does this mean for designers? For the most part, it means that in the very near future, every single decision made in the design process will be measurable, which means that you’ll have to rely less on your ‘artistic’ sense and more on the numbers in order to maximise conversions. It’s good news, really. Even though a few artistic souls may be a bit offended by AI software telling them what to do, for the rest of us, it’s like playing with the cards open — you no longer have to guess which color or which icon will produce the best results. The data is right here, along with the answers.
5. Direction for Digital Ads Campaigns Will Help You Hit the Bullseye Right Out of the Gates
Speaking of maximizing your conversions, some new tools are even able to predict how well our visuals will perform before we even launch them! These pieces of software use complex AI-powered algorithms to give us accurate predictions on how our banner ads or social media campaigns would perform. Remember expensive and time consuming A/B Tests? Yeah, those aren’t likely to stick around for much longer.
The whole AI onslaught can be a little scary if you read the news. And, in fact, some of the most routine jobs are already being replaced by AI-powered technology. And that’s good, because nobody likes standing at the production line all day long. However, once it comes to combining creativity with data and truly understanding your target audience’s journey — which is basically what a designer does — no machine is capable of replacing that, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. How far will AI impact on professional web design? It’s hard to say. For all we know right now, AI is a very positive change for those who’re willing to use it to their benefit. As for more global tendencies, the collaboration of the complex AI world and the creative designer’s mind is yet to be mastered, but today’s companies are definitely in the race to be the ones who will lead this future.