Why AI and Automation Are Really Friends of Design

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Why AI and Automation Are Really Friends of Design.Artificial intelligence "AI". This phrase has been a trigger in many areas of technology ever since the movie was directed by the creepy Haley Joel Osment around 2001. But lately, artificial intelligence and machine learning have been scaring experienced technologists for quite different reasons: job security or lack thereof.

Smart home devices, streaming services, self-service, and even Google searches are all ways in which artificial intelligence is making its way into everyday life, embodying the ability of computers and machines to perform both simple and complex tasks. In some cases, these technological advances have made our lives easier, but for some, their proliferation means the loss of jobs and the replacement of skills. There is no doubt that when artificial intelligence began to be mentioned along with web design and website creation, designers spider senses fluttered all over the world.

Designers think outside the box, which AI cannot do

But let's really take a look at what AI and automation really mean for designers. Talented designers with busy schedules should view these advances as virtual assistants. For some small businesses on a budget, a website where AI can come into play might be… for a while.

The heart sign in numbers is the love of web designers for AI. However, as a business grows, changes, needs to be updated and tweaked to suit its client base, there will always be a need for the expertise of creative and talented designers. Even the best AI we see today is limited to evaluating, copying and changing what exists. It might be able to combine 1,000 different color schemes into 10 million possible combinations, but great designers think outside the box, which AI can't.

In fact, designers should not be afraid of automation, but should use automation and artificial intelligence to unleash their creativity. Delegate repetitive, simple tasks to the right software and suddenly you have time to bring your best ideas to life and push the boundaries of your own innovation.

Take Grid, for example, which started as a crowdfunding campaign in 2014. The "revolutionary" product itself is an AI-based solution that creates a well-designed but automated website in less than five minutes. Examine "network reviews" on any search engine and you'll be met with harsh criticism and little praise in return. Most of the initial users mentioned the disappointing results of the network's scamming marketing tactics, which seemed ridiculous. Text, after all, Grid was a waste of money for the final product. Even at the low $100 price tag, most users still feel like their investment is wasted compared to hiring a talented designer.

For the AI capabilities that exist now, most small business owners or those who want to combine it into a simple website are better off using the drag and drop website builders that have been around for a long time (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc.). However, many businesses are willing to hire a designer for this simple task due to lack of technical knowledge or lack of time. Honestly, are there enough talented designers (here are the keywords!) to keep up with the millions of websites created each year and still not work for everyone?

Impact of Automation on Designers

Luckily for good designers, now is the era where AI will completely replace their work. But what AI and automation offer designers is a solid starting point for success, eliminating a lot of low-level work that most designers would rather skip.

The impact of automation on designers, the robotic arm and the human.Even a well-known AI website builder like Firedrop requires a basic design eye and experience to create a truly unique, user-friendly, high converting website. The tools and techniques that designers should use are AI and automation resources that help them do their work better and faster and give them more time to focus on design elements that AI cannot do on its own.

Bridging the gap between designers and developers

Well-known brands probably already have design systems in place to help create new elements on their digital profiles, be it on social media, various mobile apps, or various parts of their website. But even in large companies (except those with well-established processes), there is often a mismatch between the vision of the designer and the product that the developer produces. This is due to fundamental differences in how they each deal with the limitations of the systems they use and how they work.

While component libraries (or even complete design systems) can't solve every problem, they provide developers and designers with a source of truth that both parties can understand. Design collaboration tools like Invision and Visme in particular keep designers and developers on the same page with automatic versioning and code-friendly workflows.

Consumer Understanding

I do not recommend that you use artificial intelligence to create content for your site.

Studying and understanding the behavior and habits of website users is a relatively new component of website design, but provides valuable information. Tools like HotJar, Mouseflow or Smartlook make it easy to see holes or leaks in your conversion funnel, identify page elements that users are interacting with and pages they are not interested in, to optimize page appearance for maximum conversions. While these tools provide data, making the right changes to improve site performance requires a keen eye and understanding of design.

Website content is another way that AI can improve our understanding of customer behavior and improve website performance for individual users. I do not recommend using artificial intelligence to create content for your website, no matter how much the results improve. However, a static landing page or a set of additional recommendations is unlikely to attract the majority of site visitors. AI tools like CliClap and Personyze collect and analyze consumer data instantly to deliver dynamic, personalized experiences that drive more leads and drive conversions. Creative designers will also learn from this data to improve customer experience on other pages or site elements.

Get rid of distracting and time-consuming administrative tasks

Because the "artificial intelligencehas become a term with this negative connotation, we often overlook the simple ways that AI actually makes our work better and easier. A good example is machine learning in email filtering. Consider a simple interface like Gmail's inbox. We can mark certain senders as spam or important, and our mailboxes will know if this type of communication is useful to the user or not. Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and other services can take into account the behavior of a user who likes a particular song, artist or music genre to create their own playlists. Artificial intelligence and its disciplinary branches are integrated into our daily lives.

For businesses, and especially for designers, some of the most useful automation tools are related to administrative tasks that often take time or prevent you from focusing on more pressing projects. Email autoresponders are a great example of automation that can reduce stress and reduce tedious work. I have always found that having time on my calendar for complex or important projects helps me focus on the task at hand and be more productive. To block my time more effectively, turning off my email and setting up an auto-responder to reply to all incoming emails serves two purposes:

  1. By letting those who try to contact me know that I only check my email at certain times of the day and that my responses may not be instantaneous, you lower their expectations of when they will see me.
  2. Relieves me of the personal stress associated with linking to the mailbox, distracting me, and also saves time, above all from having to respond to each email individually.
This is just one easy way to use email automation, although there are many other aspects to explore.

Although Zapier is not the only workflow automation service on the market, it is probably the best known. Workflow automation reduces the time spent on repetitive tasks and helps developers connect applications that would not otherwise work together. Do you keep a to-do list in Todoist? Set up a Zap, then create tasks in Todoist when someone mentions you in Asana or assigns you a task in Trello.

This is especially useful for freelance designers who work with multiple clients across multiple project management platforms. The potential for automation to take the unnecessary mental burden off designers is almost limitless.

Don't be afraid of AI, embrace it

The point of this brief overview of AI and automation in design is that designers should not be afraid of this new technology. In fact, it is something that is welcomed with open arms, because in the long run it can make our work and our life better. Leave the monotonous task of collecting and analyzing large amounts of data or managing parts to machines, they can handle it.

Save interesting, creative abstract work for talented designers who can turn AI suggestions into unique and intuitive digital solutions. Creating a symbiotic relationship between AI and design will produce the best results for each party involved (business, AI, and even designers).

Thank you for reading Nicola Top

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