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5 Ways AI is Changing the Role of Designers

Artificial intelligence (AI) used to be a concept for science fiction. Now, it’s a part of everyday life. It has become so widely integrated into basic technology that it seems it will eventually take human jobs. While that may sound alarming, there’s actually a lot of opportunities here, especially for web designers.

Artificial intelligence has taken on a role quite like J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man movies — as an assistant. With the help of AI, web designers can achieve layouts and include tech that isn’t only beautiful, but functional as well. Artificial intelligence is actively changing the role of designers by shifting their thought processes. If AI is doing all the groundwork for designers, it allows designers to think beyond the basic. It gives them the freedom to think about what’s next. These next five points will help you understand how artificial intelligence is changing the roles and responsibilities of a web designer.

Let’s dive in!

Web Designers Must Create for the Masses

Thanks to artificial intelligence, you can create an entire website tailored to your content in under 10 minutes. All you have to do is answer a couple questions about what kind of content will appear on your website and what kind of website you want, then tada!

Jason Tselentis of Wired notes how this “[s]oftware will evaluate your text content, line of business, and imagery, and spit out finished pages without your having to lift a finger.” This technology has been incredibly helpful for entrepreneurs looking to start online businesses, bloggers looking to create their own domains, and even organizations who don’t have the capacity to hire a full service digital agency.

For web designers, this kind of technology is important because it’s giving companies like Wix and Squarespace the ability to deliver web design to a higher volume of people. Artificial intelligence is making digital design more accessible and, by doing so, is forcing designers to think about how they can create layouts that appeal to hundreds of users. AI is making digital design an automated service, but before algorithms can produce a website, designers need to create the templates that can service multiple different users.

Web Designers are Becoming Jacks of All Trades

The ability to deliver first rate web design to thousands of people is a great achievement, but it also means that web designs can get repetitive. So, while algorithmically generated websites might be suitable for an entrepreneur, an established brand would be looking to deliver a more unique digital experience to its audience. Artificial intelligence is even changing digital advertising! But for web designers, this means they’ll be pushed even harder to create unique personalized aesthetics for clients.

If the design available on an AI powered website generators is good, then web designers must now push the limits to deliver something even better. Web designers used to be able to glide through knowing the basics of front-end development and some Javascript. Today, website designers must be a jack of all trades. Understanding how to create more individualized experiences means having a more comprehensive understanding of the web design process. In order to do this, a web designer may also dabble in UX, UI and even Information Architecture (the blueprint of the website). In other words, web designers need to function like an entire web design firm!

Web Designers are Becoming Consultants

Programs like Firedrop have chatbots that speak and guide users through the website creation process. So, where does that leave designers? As consultants. While artificial intelligence is helping users set up their web page, designers can give advice on what colors, formats, styles and typography would best suit user needs. The actual designing will be done by machines, but seasoned designers will help business and brands analyze what options are best.

Users can go to a design firm and ask a designer to analyze their current site to see how they can improve. There are even designers offering these services for free on LinkedIn. What users will look for next, aside from beautiful design, is how they can tailor their website to their specific industry. The go-to people for that job is designers. Eventually, web designers will be able to train algorithms to solve these problems on their own. But for now, it’s still their responsibility!

Web Designers are Thinking Like Salesmen

Designers can skip the initial steps of web design thanks to the power of artificial intelligence because AI takes care of the mundane tasks that are asked of designers. Color palettes and layouts are chosen by machines and designers get to sift through different options until they find something that suits their preferences. Instead of starting from scratch, designers can start from a finished template that has been AI generated. From there, they can create personalized business solutions for clients. In the future, designers will spend more time thinking about how to enhance key elements of a website to help drive conversions, and less time thinking about initial design. This kind of thinking means that designers will take a more business-minded approach to their work.

Web Designers Need to Stay Updated With Tech

The power of artificial intelligence is growing every minute and new ways of using it are popping up everywhere. Web designers need to be conscious of the changes happening in tech because it could be the difference between the success or failure of a website. During this digital revolution, adaptability is the key!

For web designers to stay afloat, they need to think of new tech in the context of website design. Chatbots are a great example of AI that can be mass distributed onto any website, but can also be personalized. Jesus Martin of Chatbot Magazine talks about how designers need to make decisions about what’s most important on the website and how chatbots can service that purpose. He writes that designers need to explain this in what’s possible for the scope of the bot:

“It might seem silly but it is really important to make clear what people can expect from our chatbot. This is normally a business decision that comes from Management, but sometimes the opinion of a designer is needed to set the focus on what really matters.”

For designers, creating a chatbot flow can get intensive. So one of the best practices to follow is to allow your chatbot to be a champion of a couple of topics. This way users will understand early on whether or not the bot can assist them in their needs. Keep a clear cut flow chart detailing possible queries and answers the bot can give so do the same for your AI powered friend.

The Wrap-Up

Artificial intelligence is definitely a force to reckon with when it comes to the future of design, but AI won’t be taking any design jobs any time soon. What this tech will ultimately do is supplement design work and create more time for designers to explore different aspects of the trade. Here are the 5 ways AI is changing design jobs one more time:

  1. AI is forcing designers to think about universal designs that can be applied to users in different industries
  2. Automated website creation allows designers to dabble in other design roles like UX and UI
  3. Seasoned designers will take on a more consulting role as opposed to the actual design
  4. They can also take a more business approach to design by thinking about how layouts and color schemes can help drive conversions
  5. Web designers will need to stay updated with emerging tech to adapt their designs

As the role of artificial intelligence evolves, so do the responsibilities of designers. Best of luck!

Therese Palmere is a content writer for Aumcore, a New York City based digital marketing agency that doubles as a responsive web design firm and offers voice enabled web design.

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