AI Can’t Conquer Design
A little background about me for this opinion: From programming, I’ve moved to UX design and from UX design to Product Management. Now, I’m working on UX and Product Management at BeyondMinds, a company specializes in AI for enterprises.
A few days ago, I saw this post about GPT-3, an AI model developed by OpenAI, that can translate a written “script” to designed HTML:
Before I had the time to say “there goes web design”, I saw this Figma plugin that practically designs a full app in seconds, based on a text description:
They took our jobs…?
There’s something scary about automated plugins and scripts that can perform tasks that were once assigned to human beings. But even if AI models can create breathtaking and amazing user interfaces, it doesn’t replace what makes design truly successful — it does not understand the problem the user is trying to solve, or the job to be done.
Design with humanity
We may look at this post in 2025 and figure out I had it all wrong and the new OpenAI algorithm can now solve problems without the user even knowing about having them, but for now (2020), it’s important for product managers and designers to focus more on their strengths as humans. What does it mean?
Design with empathy
Connect with your users and understand their pain points. While doing that, focus on the problems and needs, don’t jump to the solutions. After getting to know the users and their needs, it’s your job to design the solution.
Don’t act based on fixed rules
There’s no single way to solve a problem. A lot of great ideas were born by thinking out of the box and in a non-ordinary way (Would an AI model think about promoting Airbnb using cereal?).
Embrace AI — Become a design Cyborg
AI can automate a lot of very complex processes. It’s an integral part of our lives now. Product managers and designers can really use AI now to create amazing products. A Figma plugin that designs a full app in seconds is wonderful after a designer specifies exactly what the app needs to have.
I felt an urge to defend the value of design by humans, alongside AI. I’d be happy to hear opinions on this subject! feel free to comment and share your opinion on design & AI.