The global artificial intelligence market is valued at $2.4 billion worldwide, and by 2026, it's expected to rise to almost $60 billion.
If you research the trending terms and emerging strategies (like top IoT companies) in the world of technology from the last year or so, you’ll undoubtedly find ‘AI’ or ‘Artificial Intelligence’ listed amongst your findings.
(And no, it doesn't have to do with Haley Joel Osment or Alicia Vikander.)
As a matter of fact, artificial intelligence has been connected to almost every industry, and it's not slowing down, leaving us with more questions than answers.
To be honest, we're still searching for the answers to those big questions. But 80 percent of executives expect positive results from the integration of artificial intelligence, claiming it will, at the very least, improve work performance and create jobs, not eliminate them.
But one profession hasn't been associated with AI and its soaring influence as much as areas such as medical surgery, self-driving cars, and overall manufacturing: Website design. But in recent months, the conversation over what impact AI has -- and will have -- on the way we design websites has flourished.
AI has been able to transform how brands and designers look at creating websites. It's changed processes and expectations. It has shed light on buyer behaviors and helped businesses create a user experience that drives results.
Brands can do this too -- they can user artificial intelligence to increase online revenue in no time flat. This is because brands can use AI to understand consumer behaviors and create designs based on these results. They can also integrate AI features that will help drive traffic, conversions and sales.
But first, let's see what AI means for the design world.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Impact Design And Designers
You might not be able to fully wrap your mind around how artificial intelligence can be used in design, and how it'll impact designers going forward.
At its very core, artificial intelligence in the modern age -- according to Encyclopedia Brittanica -- is defined as:
Artificial intelligence: the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience. Since the development of the digital computer in the 1940s, it has been demonstrated that computers can be programmed to carry out very complex tasks—as, for example, discovering proofs for mathematical theorems or playing chess—with great proficiency.
Boiled down, artificial intelligence is a machine's way of learning human behaviors and anticipating certain results. Upon doing so, they can cater an experience and perform tasks that are more personally catered to a user and their overall user experience.
In design, that has a lot of positives in helping designers understand consumer, user and buyer behaviors and creating a system or design that can intuitively offer them exactly what they're looking for.
Artificial intelligence can be used in design to help create individual design experience as opposed to experiences that are broad, general and impersonal.
Artificial intelligence can help brands and designers alike create masterful customer experiences by creating smart searches, offering suggestions, and integrating chatbots that learn behaviors and ask the right questions accordingly.
Many brands are integrating this technology into their designs to create stunning user experiences. One of the earliest adopters of AI technology was Sephora who used this chatbot to their advantage.
Sephora launched a chatbot on Kik that dolled out specifically-crafted beauty and makeup tips to those that reached out to it on the Kik platform. After filling out a quick quiz to get a better understanding of the user and their needs, the chatbot then offered content and tips in the form of tutorials, product recommendations, videos, and more.
This AI integration helped the brand reach more customers and give more customers the experience they wanted -- even if they didn't realize it at first.
This experiment opened the door for Sephora to integrate more chatbots throughout their applications to create a more seamless and fluid UX.
This is just one brand that is killing the AI game and using design to do it. And others shouldn't be afraid to test out the waters. A Gartner study predicted that by 2020, 20 percent of all business content will be authored by machines.
This comes from the machine-learning aspects of AI which can track human behaviors and make predictions about what behaviors they will exhibit next. Machines will soon be able to anticipate trends in content and topics that it will then be able to create and offer without a human ever gets directly involved.
Gartner also predicted that by 2020, nearly 85 percent of all consumer-brand interactions will be machine based. Essentially, customer service will move to AI bots that track reports, answer questions and alleviate concerns. This integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning is bound to make waves and solidify brands as leaders in their respective industries.
While some futurists might think that AI is completely taking over the world, it’s unlikely that designers are going to immediately be replaced by website building robots in the near future. Why not, you might ask? Well, ultimately, there are some jobs and industries that are more prone to be impacted by AI than others, specifically, jobs that require repetitive tasks to be carried out.
A recent PwC report found that “38 percent of US jobs will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence by the early 2030s.” So, if you are working in a blue-collar role, now might be the time to consider a more promising long-term option.
Lucky for us, a designer's daily tasks leave little room for repetition -- particularly if you’re working for a number of clients across a series of projects, ensuring that designers won't ~completely~ be replaced by any sort of artificial intelligence. With that said, there’s certainly room for AI to play a role in the world of web design.
In fact, artificial intelligence will soon play an integral role in designers lives. This technology can open the door to a plethora of design opportunities that will elevate designs and drive results on a numerical scale -- think sales, leads and conversions.
Artificial intelligence won't eliminate designers, it will make them more valuable. Designers will still need to do the heavy lifting and create the designs that can engage and inspire, and on top of that, they'll be the leaders and innovators when it comes to integrating AI.
They will be in charge of ensuring this integration is seamless and flawless. It will be up to them to decide how AI will fit and where it will be most beneficial for the brand.
Designers don't have to worry about getting tossed to the side. No robot is going to start pounding out apps and websites. But designers do need to start educating themselves on how AI functions within a design, and how to get the most use out of it.
Are Businesses Already Using Artificial Intelligence To Automate Design Processes?
There are some tasks, which probably make up a relatively small percentage of a designers time, that could potentially be automated with the help of AI. Cropping or resizing images and color correcting photos are all examples of tasks, that on paper, cannot be automated by a simple tool or platform like Photoshop.
However, if there was a way to use AI to replicate the process that the human eye goes through when carrying out these tasks then it might be feasible to suggest that they could become AI-based in the future.
The closest current platform to achieving automated design processes like the above is The Grid. By using ‘Molly,’ their AI web designer, the platform is able to analyze your content to find out the perfect layouts, fonts, graphics and colors that best fit for your website, by making intelligent design decisions.
“She’s quirky, but will never ghost you, never charge more, never miss a deadline, never cower to your demands for a bigger logo… Molly can apply a simple five-color palette to your site in more than 200,000 unique ways,” according to The Grid.
Firedrop is another example of a service offering personalized AI support in the creation of your web design. This web design tool incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to helps brands build websites with the user strategically in mind. Firedrop's AI bot is called Sacha, and she will walk you through the design process. After answering a series of questions, she will develop a how-to for you and offer insightful tips and suggestions to make your website stand out.
According to Firedrop, this AI bot helps brands create works of art:
Unlike traditional templates which force you to alter your content to fit somebody else's design, Firedrop designs itself around your content. Our unique Design Personality engine takes your input, accounts for your tastes, and applies a look and feel that matches the character and tone of your project or your business. Think of it like an automated digital brand manual, making sure your page is on-brand, whatever the content.
But these two are not the only company making a play at automated web design. Wix, the popular drag-and-drop DIY website builder launched Wix ADI in 2016 and it aims to offer you the option to create a website for you.
“With just a few simple questions, Wix ADI designs tailored websites by learning about each person’s or business’ own needs," the website platform explains. "Next, choosing from billions of high-quality, stunning combinations and possibilities, Wix ADI perfectly matches the optimal design and content elements to create a unique, dynamic, and robust website in minutes – no two sites ever looking the same.”
These AI systems use intelligent algorithms to create designs and offer suggestions that compile thousands of examples of real-life data. They draw from what they read, what they see and what they experience to offer brands a design that works for their specific consumers.
It's a bit of a scary concept when you think about it on a grand scale -- it brings to mind machine intelligence, robotics and more. Are we living in a futuristic thriller movie? Maybe not yet, but we could be heading that way.
It’s a compelling case -- and it does beg the question, if this is possible now, then what will tools like Wix ADI, Firedrop and The Grid be capable of in 5, 10, or 25 years?
Will Artificial Intelligence Always Require Human Input?
There are a number of tasks that will always require human input, at least, certainly within the next 30-50 years. They include, but are not limited to:
This is essentially what provokes creativity and without it, you’re going to struggle to create something new or better than what is already there. A key aspect of a great designer is their imagination to go above and beyond others. While AI might be able to use historical data to estimate designs and suggest colors, patterns or layouts, it will never be able to build its own inspiration. AI can't be spontaneous. AI can't create a design without data to back it up. Therefore, their designs will be much more formulaic and unoriginal -- lacking that human inspiration and creativity that separates good web designs and great web designs.
Although AI might be able to create designs or sketches that are 98 percent accurate, it will be difficult for AI to suggest the required changes or tweaks to make the design 100 percent accurate. Editing is a human element to any creative process and requires more than raw data to achieve the ideal result. It is also difficult for machines to learn completely the ins and outs of a brand and what they want out of their content and design -- there will always be edits that need to be made and a human will need to make them.
This ties in with creativity, but the skills that are associated with an artist or designer are some that are the most sought after in the world. Having artistic flair or talent is something that AI will be unable to achieve. There is still the importance of the human piece in design. AI will never be able to reach that human element that adds life and vibrancy to design which sets them apart from the rest.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Increase Business Revenue
As we've seen, artificial intelligence is a powerful software that has already had a profound impact on the world as a whole but will continue to make an even greater, lasting impact of the design industry. There are so many things designers and brands can learn from AI technology, and integration into their own designs is vital for growth and success.
AI has the potential to help increase your revenue if used properly and comprehensively. Designers can implement this tech to gain insights and create designs that sell.
One way brands can use artificial intelligence to see growth and drive revenue is in the sphere of customer service. We talked before about the power of chatbots and their ability to ease consumer concerns and learn from past consumer behaviors. Integrating chatbots into your web design more fluidly and increasing the frequency with which these chatbots can reach out and make contact can help boost your customer service ratings. It's also a great way to ensure you're giving your customers the service and care they need 24/7.
It might not be feasible to hire a team of customer service reps that can be online all the time, so a chatbot can help bridge that gap when they're away. And the happier people are with you and your brand, the more they will interact with it and the more they will come back.
Make the shopping experience more friendly with AI as well. Starbucks is a great example of how AI can create an easy and fluid UX. The coffee corporation integrated a virtual barista into its app that's intuitive and engaging. It offers suggestions and places your order. With a quick tap, you can get in contact as well.
Their app is also extremely intuitive thanks to machine learning -- they take a look at your past order and offer promotions based on them -- and offer games you can play and awards you can win by buying more.
You can also use AI for your SEO efforts. Tools like Market Brew offer intuitive data-based suggestions for content and SEO that can make optimizing your website a breeze, and make reaching your customers and driving those sales a walk in the park.
You can also integrate AI to help better understand your customers and offer them products or services based on their needs and past shopping behaviors. Look at websites like Walmart and Amazon. They offer personalized recommendations that add a personal and approachable layer to their design and compel them to buy more than they were going to in the first place.
Your business can do something similar to give users insights they didn't know they needed in order to drive action and drive sales.
The Future Of Artificial Intelligence, Web Design And Business Growth
Attempting to predict what the future holds for an industry involves a significant amount of guesswork (shocker, right?!), but based on our current understanding of both AI and web design, here are a few ideas that we believe the industry may shift towards in the next few years.
There will be an increase in creative designers - the demand for creativity and social intelligence will ensure that there is certainly no shortage of design roles. While AI will take over a significant amount of the jobs that designers currently do, it won’t be able to replace designers entirely.
Designers, along with developers, will shape the future of how AI operates -- designers will play a role in the creation of AI web designing technology and how it operates on a day-to-day basis.
There will be a surge in high-end designers - similar to what happens print and graphic designers after the rise of the web, the amount of work available for web designers will decrease, but with that will come an expectation for an increase in quality.
But designers aren't going away because of AI. In fact, designers will soon become even more valuable once they further understand AI and its capabilities. artificial intelligence is paving the path towards the future -- brands and designers need to get on board or fall behind.
Artificial intelligence can drive revenue -- and a great place to start is with design. Make your interface more intuitive with chatbots and virtual assistants. Optimize content with SEO and AI tools, and find the content that is being most talked about by your audience. AI is a powerful vehicle that can help your business thrive. It's time you understand it. Get started with AI by discovering intuitive online destinations and learning more about integrating chatbot technology.