Will AI Replace Web Designers Soon?

Posted on April 10, 2018 | Updated on March 1, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced already beyond what most people ever imagined. While we aren’t exactly living a Jetsons lifestyle or participating in a scene from iRobot, most people can see how something like that might be possible one day. Now there’s even a bot that can design websites so skillfully that it is almost like the customer is interacting directly with a human designer. AI is already changing the way we do many traditional jobs. It’s been predicted that by 2035, about half of the most popular careers will be automated.

The Grid is a new web artificial intelligence designer system that can take your images and text and create a website, including coding and coming up with a marketing plan. You tell The Grid what you want, and it intuitively creates it. There are similar systems that talk you through the process of creating a site through the use of AI.

However, any significant technological change can be worrisome to those in the industry. You might worry that AI will take over your job the same way machines took over the jobs of many blue collar workers. Here are a couple of ways that artificial intelligence might negatively impact your career:

1. Fewer Designer Positions

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While AI still needs to be monitored and won’t ever take things over entirely, automation could lower the number of design jobs available. There are even bots that can create marketing strategies. This means that companies may cut back on how many designers they hire or that clients may go with AI if it’s faster and easier than utilizing a freelancer.

Now is the time to brush up on additional skills that will allow you to move seamlessly into a new job. Brush up on your IT skills or learn how to code artificial intelligence. Somebody needs to teach that bot what to do, after all.

2. Rote Work Will Go Away

The type of work most likely to be taken over by AI is rote work. Think about jobs that require data entry, for example. Even though creatives might fear that a computer could take over the tasks they do, the truth is that creativity is pretty unique to the human spirit. It is hard to define what creates that spark that takes a design from functional to brilliant. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that artificial intelligence will ever completely take over design work. However, the way your workday looks may change. You might spend some time designing and some time on other creative tasks.

Keep in mind that technology cannot truly replace a human being. Even a machine that does your job will need someone to keep it running. And, there are some ways in which artificial intelligence will make your work easier. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t be scared of technological advances and how they might even help you:

1. Technology Isn’t Perfect

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Even though computers are smart and might not make some of the errors that humans do, they are not perfect. If you’ve ever tried to go beyond logic with a computer, then you start to understand just how limited it is. While the Grid might design a basic site, if the user wants something that evokes emotion, a computer is going to have a hard time figuring that out.

2. Technology Has Limitations

Even though The Grid — which is nicknamed “Molly” — can take images, create a color palette and spit out a basic website, there are still severe limitations. Businesses don’t like cookie cutter websites, and that’s about all the Grid can do at this point. However, what AI tools like the Grid can do well is complete the basics in mere minutes so that you can focus on the more intensive customization of web design. This could speed up the work of web designers everywhere.

3. Technology Still Requires Hands-On Use

Even though tools such as The Grid, Firedrop and Wix claim to do the work for you, the truth is that someone still has to input all of the material into these systems for them to generate websites. A human has to upload photos and text and provide some instructions to the bots. It might be intuitive and easy to use, but busy business owners aren’t going to want to spend all their time doing the grunt work to get their site going.

4. Bots Lack Creativity

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While there are bots that claim to be able to write, what they come up with is often gobbledygook and frequently riddled with content skimmed from other sites. For truly unique and compelling material, you need a human being to piece together words and sentences into a comprehensive whole.

5. You Can Become a Curator

As design tools become more AI oriented and less hands-on, designers will become more like curators of content. The software will do the grunt work of design, while the professional will make the final decisions about what works well. Your work will change to decision-making and tweaking designs created by a computer.


Everyone Wins

In a world where designers can utilize artificial intelligence to help them with their work, everyone wins. The business owners get their site up and running quickly or their ad campaign designed in hours instead of days. The designer has more time to focus on the creative process, instead of getting trapped in a coding nightmare. Technological advances don’t have to be a negative thing. Instead, they can help you grow as a professional as you learn new skills and old skills become easier to put to use.

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About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at www.eleanorhecks.com.

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