AI: Design’s best friend or kryptonite?

It’s been on my mind lately: Artificial intelligence (AI) in design.

Before you start imagining robots taking over our creative jobs, let me assure you there's still a place for us human designers in this AI-driven world.

I firmly believe designers and AI can coexist, complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses.

So what’s this new frontier like?

The AI-human designer collaboration

Let’s get this out of the way early…

I firmly believe designers and AI will coexist.

As a tech fan and early adopter, I’ve seen AI come a long way. It's now more integrated into our lives – probably more than you realize.

In the design world, AI shows promise in image recognition, typography and basic design layouts. But does this mean human designers are on the brink of disappearance?

I don’t see it happening.

AI lacks context, emotional intelligence and creativity. And these are like core tenets of design. How can an AI without an understanding of empathy design a brand?

This is where we humans step in and bridge the gap. We do what AI cannot. We build unique brands, websites and design experiences.

Embracing AI's strengths & understanding its weaknesses

There are a lot of things AI does well. And there are a lot of things AI does poorly.

AI can do some tasks with incredible speed and efficiency. But AI is still limited to understanding the subtleties of a brand.

So with this knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses, we can leverage AI for the stuff it excels at and turn to real designers for creativity, empathy and delicate brand strategy.

This collaboration between designers and AI will lead to more unique, innovative and resonant brands. Mark my words.

Incorporating AI into the design process

An AI-designer partnership will lead to better results for all.

Some benefits (for both you and me) to incorporating AI into the process:

  • Save time and money
  • Streamline our workflow
  • Focus on our creative strengths

For example, we’ve used ChatGPT for some clients’ mockup copy. Which gives us more time to focus on the visual aspects of branding and design.

Staying ahead of AI advancements

I know a lot of designers who’ve muted the words “ChatGPT” and “AI” from their social timelines and email inbox.

This doesn’t solve anything. They’re scared.

To be truly future-proof, designers have to embrace and adapt new technology. Or you’ll be run over by it.

I’m committed to staying informed. If I’m proactive, I’ll find cool new ways to use AI to our advantage and improve our design work.

Businesses and clients should prioritize working with designers who are aware of what's happening and have a plan to coexist with AI.

Thoughtful adoption of new technology

We should all be thoughtful. Not just do something because it's the cool new thing.

Sure, you have to embrace new tech. But be thoughtful. Here are two questions I use to filter out potential tools:

  • Does this new technology genuinely improve our design process?
  • Or are we just jumping on the bandwagon because we’re scared?

Never shy away from experimenting with new tech. Even if it doesn’t work out, now you know.

Designers, don’t fear AI. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to collaborate. Use artificial intelligence to leverage our and its unique strengths.