In the last four years, the use of AI across various industries has increased to 270%. While current AI use is far from the dreaded images of robots taking the world, many are left wondering how secure their careers are and what AI use means for us as a working society.
This concern certainly doesn’t spare tech employees, and even creative positions like user interface designers are worried AI UI design will be more profitable to companies than hiring actual employees.
So, how will AI affect the UI design industry, and what can current and prospective designers expect as this new technology permeates our work culture? In this article, we’ll go through the top concerns about AI for UI design. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- The impact of AI on UI design
- Can AI replace UI designers?
- What are the AI tools for UI design?
- How to use AI in UI design
- Key takeaways
Let’s get started!
1. The impact of AI on UI design
Utilizing AI for UI design seems like a relatively new topic. However, generative AI has been in use for a few years now. Most notable was the introduction of Einstein Designer from Salesforce in 2020, which aimed to use neural networks to rapidly generate multiple versions of a design.
Ultimately, a human would sort through the variations and pick the best design, drastically cutting down the time it would take to create and review the same number of iterations on their own.
Since then, many different AI-driven design tools have become commercially available, including Genius, Magician, and Galileo.
Most of the AI tools in use today still require a human to guide the AI by inputting parameters on what they want to see and then sorting through the output. The results are quicker, more diverse, and often expand what the human mind can produce at such speeds.
AI for UI design is not limited to creating frameworks or designs for a web-based product.
It can also help UI designers sift through a vast amount of preliminary data or research that they can then use to guide their design process.
UI designers may also have to account for AI being integrated into the product they are designing and thus must understand current and best practices for designing AI products for users.
2. Can AI replace UI designers?
This question doesn’t warrant a strict “yes” or “no” answer, as the emergence and practice of AI UI design is quite complex.
AI certainly has the potential to transform the UI field as we know it, but many argue that it won’t ever be able to completely eradicate the need for the human eye.
To answer this question, let’s first look at how advanced artificial intelligence is today and what experts propose could happen in the future.
These are three main categories of AI:
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence: AI that has a narrow or weak range of capabilities. It can only complete the single task it was programmed to do. It simulates human behavior but can not match it. This is the only level of AI we have been able to successfully achieve today.
- Artificial General Intelligence: This level of AI is proposed to be on par with human intelligence. It can learn and use its knowledge to solve problems. For this level of AI to be possible, we would need to be able to program consciousness and full cognitive ability.
- Artificial Super Intelligence: The highest proposed level of AI, super intelligence, would mean that AI not only becomes self-aware but also surpasses human capability and function. This form of AI is often what sci-fi and dystopian novels or movies depict when robots have their own needs, emotions, and identities and can outperform any human.
If we do reach the level of artificial superintelligence, designers, and many other professions, will probably face heavy competition from AI systems. But that level of AI is unlikely at this stage and may not come to fruition in our lifetimes or ever.
Currently, AI UI design is not complete or functional enough to completely replace a UI designer.
The knowledge a human designer brings, like user research, visual design, user behavior, and company preference, is still necessary for creating efficient designs with or without AI UI tools.
While AI may be able to replace a UI designer for certain tasks, it can not fully replace them as a human is still needed to input information into the AI system and select what works and what doesn’t.
Although anyone could just input qualifiers into the AI and pick the one they like best, a UI designer brings extensive knowledge as well as a competitive edge to the process, which makes them the best fit for the job.
Not to mention, many people still desire and can tell the difference between the instinct, skill, and ability that only a human can provide when creating progressive designs.
3. What are the AI tools for UI design?
There are many AI tools available for UI designers to make their day-to-day responsibilities a bit swifter and easier. Here are a few popular ones in use today:
This innovative color tool is a wonderful choice for selecting colors and color palettes for your designs.
This AI is quick to train and puts out endless selections of color palettes based on your preferences. You simply input your 50 favorite colors, and Khroma gives you back thousands of other similar shades grouped into palettes.
It even organizes them into their most popular uses, like text, gradients, or pictures, and allows designers to test the colors out on their original images.
This tool is the perfect choice when using AI for designing wireframes, prototypes, and mockups. Users have a few different options when using the Uizard platform.
They can generate a mobile or desktop app from scratch using a sketch, or they can browse through hundreds of customizable templates for inspiration. Additionally, it will provide all screens and elements necessary to create a prototype testing the core feature of the app.
This exciting new tool combines the popular and treasured Abode tools and generative AI. Users just input descriptive and qualifying text prompts to create brand-specific images, pictures, and more.
You can simply describe the image you want to generate and Firefly will provide it. Furthermore, you can select images or text you’ve already created and ask AI to provide you with tons of different variations and styles.
This popular AI tool took the world by storm when people saw how easy it was to create realistic images from simple language inputs.
One of the several revolutionary OpenAI products, Dall E-2 is a go-to for many creative professionals when looking to source photo-realistic pictures or images.
The AI will accept text images as initial input meaning you can enter an existing picture or design and receive hundreds of variations back.
Visual Eyes is a heat mapping software that quickly gives UI creatives valuable information about their designs.
By inputting their screens into the software, the AI algorithm will process them using data from previous extensive studies about user behavior and give back visual heatmap reports within seconds.
This is a great option for UI designers with little budget or time to conduct eye-tracking studies themselves.
This AI-powered design tool takes ideation to the next level that takes various types of prompts, like text, screenshots, URLs, sketches, or templates, and transforms them into editable wireframes and prototypes.
It’s a great choice for using inspiration from other design systems or coming up with different ideations for your existing product.
If you liked these, be sure to read our full guide on how to use ChatGPT for UI design.
4. How to use AI in UI design
AI technology can be difficult to comprehend and even more overwhelming to incorporate into your daily life.
Luckily, with tools like the ones mentioned above, AI UI design has become accessible and extremely helpful to designers in the field today.
- AI for UI design can be used to drastically cut down on time and resources by offering more in-depth analysis of vast amounts of data.
- Designers can use it as a brainstorming tool to ideate quicker and select from a broader range of innovative designs.
- AI also provides numerous shortcuts within the design process that can keep UI designers more efficient and focused. These same shortcuts can be designed within the product for users to interact with making their experience with the brand feel easy, intuitive, and revolutionary.
- AI can help users have a more intimate experience with a brand by providing experiences tailored to their personal preferences.
From research to wireframing, prototyping, testing, and all the way to product launch, there is an AI tool that can enhance a UI designer’s creative process and, in effect, provide clients with more successful products for their users.
5. Key takeaways
The topic of AI invading our workforces is a conversation that has crept into many industries. And the UI design field has not been spared from the thought of designers being replaced by AI systems.
Many are concerned that AI for UI design has made it more accessible for employers to achieve quality UI design work without hiring a designer.
However, there are many reasons actual UI designers are needed and desired and more of a chance AI UI design will actually improve UI designers’ work habits as opposed to replacing them.
While upcoming generations are open to technology being further integrated into our societies, humans still harbor unique abilities that AI has not yet been able to achieve.
Our empathy, complex decision-making, and ability to set and observe the context keep human UI designers in high demand.
If you’re interested in other topics related to AI for UI design, take a look at the articles below: