Can you imagine a world without the Internet? Even though it seems like we’ve been online forever, the information superhighway we call “the net” is only around since January 1, 1983. But wait, that’s only 37 years ago!
Even more baffling, is the fact that, back then, not many people were willing to give the new network a chance. It took the hard work of many Internet visionaries and thinkers to shape the Internet we know and take for granted today.
Starting with the first graphical web browser (some 27 years ago) and continuing with the development of the HTML5 standard, the online world is continuously growing and improving. What’s even more interesting is that, with the development of artificial intelligence technologies, we are now entering a new stage of the Internet and the way we build and use it.
For many, the Internet is still a complicated and challenging world. However, due to web design, we no longer have to browse through text-based pages and we can create and post our own content. And this is despite the fact that many content creators don’t know squat about what’s going on behind the visual framework of their favorite platform.
Of course, we have web design specialists for this so regular folks don’t need to know much about how to build a website, an app, or any other web tools. Even so, web design is a forever changing environment with complex areas that can use a degree of automation. This is why developers are working at integrating AI-based systems in the way we build the Internet.
AI in Web Design Now & in the Future
AI has been around for a few years now and many Internet users have already (although unknowingly) integrated it in their lives by using voice assistants, intelligent chatbots, and various other tools.
Given that many of these tools need to be integrated into the interface of websites we can say that AI is already changing the way we do web design. Even more, web designers may need an artificial intelligence certification in the nearest future, to keep up with the technology.
But for now, let’s see what we already have and what changes we can expect due to artificial intelligence and other associated smart technologies.
The most obvious example is the use of intelligent chatbots (which is also one of the main digital trends of 2020) that greet viewers the moment they reach a page and offer guidance. Their main purpose is to make the switch from the current click or touch interface to one based on conversation and voice search. And, moving one step forward, improve the User Experience which sits at the base of any successful website.
The difference between regular chatbots (that act using a pre-programmed path) and intelligent chatbots stands in the way they think. If the first kinds are extremely limited and can create lots of frustrations in a customer, the latter chatbots are quite chatty and popular with the public. This is possible due to sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) systems that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to carry meaningful, human-like conversations.
Intelligent chatbots are currently integrated into social media platforms (Facebook, WhatsApp, Slack, and more), mobile apps for internet banking, customer service systems, e-commerce systems, and websites all over the world.
In fact, the chatbot market size is projected to keep growing to around $9.4 billion by 2024.
We all know about Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or Google Now. We regularly use them on our smartphones, but there are also dedicated smart speakers (like Echo or Google Home) that let you have a chat with these assistants.
Their job is to learn behaviors and reply in kind using NLP, speech recognition, and machine learning. As such, the more we use them, the better they get. When it comes to web design, virtual assistants help reshape search and the way websites are structured.
For instance, customers can use virtual assistants to shop online (using just their voice), get information and recommendation, book appointments, and more. In fact, Google’s assistant can even make calls on your behalf and solve basic tasks! As such, we hope to see these assistants evolve to a point where we give them a list of chores and go about our day.
Intelligent DIY Web Platforms
The fear of being replaced in the professional field is one of the main reasons people are not 100% comfortable with the rise of artificial intelligence. And we get to see this in web design as well.
For instance, there is a growing field of artificial design intelligence tools that tries to redefine the website building process. It all started with DIY web design platforms that users with no technical background could use to create their sites without professional help. Needless to say, early results were not exactly satisfying.
DIY platforms required users to build their websites using blocks of elements (text fields, menus, image areas, and more) with which they were not familiar. In addition, these elements came with bits of code behind, and more often than not, the in-page integration was a mess.
However, with the introduction of AI, we now have platforms that pretty much do the heavy-lifting following the user’s specifications.
For example, platforms like Wix ADI or Bookmark AIDA can build a new website, according to each user’s needs, without using a template, in a matter of minutes. In addition, we can use AI-powered websites that keep learning about a specific audience and their needs and preferences. As such, it can continue to develop and improve the visual interface or create new pages based real-time data that define your audience.
Right now, these platforms are focusing on small businesses that don’t require complex online operations, but given that they use AI, we can expect a smarter system in the future.
Logos & Visual Elements
Another segment that impacts web designers and brings the focus towards intelligent systems with access to huge amounts of data is logo creation. First, it’s important to highlight that a well-designed logo can boost brand awareness campaigns by providing viewers with a memorable image of the brand (think of great logos like the ones representing Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nike, and more).
Right now, we have platforms like Tailor Brands and Canva that help users create visual elements for their businesses such as logos, business cards, headers, and more. However, these platforms don’t have insight into the type of audience the logo wants to address. Still, by using artificial intelligence, we may soon be able to create DIY professional logos that are truly appealing to the target audience.
Working with AI
Based on the tools, platforms, and elements we discussed by now it may seem that web designers are in danger of becoming obsolete.
AI is not here to replace the human element. It can take over basic tasks and can help boost and guide creativity, but it’s only a tool designed to free web designer’s mind and time for more challenging projects.
As the need for automation grows in this field, AI-based platforms will be able to understand and apply creative rules in various design dynamics. This will lead to a shift in the way we practice web design, allowing specialists to focus on creating a more personalized user experience. In fact, we hope to see more intelligent web platforms that allow users to interact in a friendly and natural manner that will carry more like a conversation and less like a list of queries.
In addition, web designers, developers, and online businesses can use a variety of AI-powered analytics tools to gain detailed insight into how certain designs perform in the real world. These tools are purely focused on data and analysis, which allows them to accurately predict the success or failure of an online platform in a given setting.
AI is also behind dynamic content optimization in order to influence purchase decisions. For example, big sites (like Amazon), with thousands and thousands of products in the same category, use AI algorithms to offer recommendations based on each user’s search history and behavior on the site. Even more, streaming platforms now use AI as well (80% of Netflix recommendations are done using an AI algorithm based on your browsing and watch history).
If you combine an AI-powered based recommendation system with intelligent chatbots and an interface that continuously improves based on trends, you get the ideal web design platform that’s entirely tailored based on users’ preferences. However, this cannot happen without careful supervision from specialists and a constant need for development and improvement.
In conclusion, yes, AI will have a powerful impact on our lives as web designers, developers, and mere online users. But this doesn’t need to reflect negatively on our professional and personal lives. In our opinion, this is a new path that opens the door to incredible new opportunities and challenges. Just like the beginning of the internet once did for us, AI is the start of a new technological order.
About the Author!
Erika Rykun is a copywriter and content manager working with the Artificial Intelligence team at Udemy. She is an avid reader and runner.