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Why AI Is Impacting Web Design and Development

Aditya Kathotia
Aditya Kathotia

AI is impacting web design and development, but it still has a long way to go.

It’s the 21st century; the age of technology. All businesses and industries across the globe aim for innovation to stay ahead of the times. Tech savvy or not, there is an uncanny desire for automation among people and businesses alike. If you are a web development or a graphic design company, you have all the more reason to feel excited.

Take any graphic design company into consideration. Its identity rests on the kind of work it does. Quality is something they cannot compromise. At the same time, a lot needs to be done and time is at a premium. How about AI intervention at this juncture? Doesn’t sound bad right? After all, who would mind a little bit of automation?

Numbers do tell a story. The artificial intelligence market has grown at a favorable rate over the years. Findings by Statista indicate that as of 2018, the AI industry was worth $7.3 billion. Whopping growth is expected over the next decade or so, catapulting the value of the industry to as high as $89 billion. 

The design and web-development industry has seen exponential growth over the years, but who is to say that the recurring operational complexities of the industry have been curtailed? There is definitely place for some AI presence in this industry. No wonder technology companies have noticed this opportunity and have started to create AI solutions. It’s the scale and effectiveness of these solutions that is the talking point.

How ADI aids web design and development

In the web design and development industry, the crux for artificial intelligence lies in helping automate the design and development of websites and images. Hence, it is often referred to as ADI (artificial design intelligence). There are a number of tools that aim at automating operations. For example, The Grid, Wix ADI, Adobe Sensei and Firedrop.

The Grid: The Grid was one of the first entrants into the AI marketplace that promised to transform the whole website development scene. Initially, when artificial intelligence was the talk of the town, all benefactors loved the idea of "Molly" (The Grid’s appointed AI agent) automating the design of a website with the innate capability of implementing five color palettes to a particular site in over 200,000 unique ways.

Wix ADI: Another well-known AI website builder is Wix ADI, which has the potential to build a website independently just by using the content provided, and also suggest billions of different design options to choose from. It’s also capable of performing all the re-formatting operations by itself based on the preferred input of choice.

Adobe Sensei: One of the most talked-about feature rolled out by Adobe is Sensei, as it has truly opened up a wide avenue of automation opportunities for design. Starting from an AI-driven face recognition feature to a feature called Scene switch, they have created a versatile design and development tool. Scene switch has the ability to automatically alter elements of an image by identifying a wide range of patterns and adjusting them with editing, patching, and other processes. For example, if you want the high-rise buildings at the background to be replaced with hills, scene switch can automate it for you.

Firedrop: Yet another AI and machine learning incorporated website development tool is Firedrop. All operations are delegated to ‘Sacha’, an AI powered chatbot, as it walks us through the web development process. All it needs are answers to a few strategically defined questions based on which it comes up with multiple recommendations.       

What's the potential of ADI?

Although all these tools have created immense buzz in this industry, they have not yet come close to replacing humans. Basically, it would be wrong to expect miraculous returns from AI at this point. After all, it’s still in the infancy stage. One might argue there are shortcomings with independently building websites and adjusting image designs.

The favorable aspects of these AI-enabled tools are they hardly ever miss a deadline, they allow infinite customizations, they provide thousands of options to choose from, and never ask for extra-incurred charges. But are these auto-created websites and design adjustments up to par? In a few cases, yes, but in most, they leave a lot to be desired.    

When it comes to carrying out minute tasks like cropping images that requires intricate detailing, or providing a website comprising of clinical and highly optimized codes, AI doesn’t match up to that of a professional human. The problem areas include improper, random collation of data, complicated and un-optimized codes, and sub-standard finishing of websites, amidst others. For instance, The Grid has come under scrutiny as experts have claimed that the use case of the tool is more or less restricted to image auto-cropping and generating color palettes. Even the websites that they churn out have received some flak as claims have been made that they are mere lookalikes with very little space for any further customization.

These AI tools have not yet reached the level where they can replace humans. That in no way means that there isn’t a possibility for future opportunities for AI to make a mark on. At present, it can serve as a worthy catalyst to human designers – saving them time and physical labor.  

AI-powered tools: The perfect assistance for designers and web developers today

AI tools in design and web development still don't match up to human perfection, and its skills by no means suggest that they cannot empower humans. The results they produce might not be perfect, but still mighty impressive. Designers and developers are often involved with a lot of basic and mundane legwork like updating database records, predictive coding, and basic image editing. While they are basic, they are still time-consuming. Auto-editing of images and auto-generation of code can be handled by these tools with distinction.

Another primary area of human empowerment brought about by AI is in quality testing of applications. Deep learning algorithms can test an app without any human intervention by analyzing huge amounts of data and predicting any errors or inefficiencies. Not only does this improve the standards of software, but also saves a lot of time for dedicated testers.  

Then there are AI-powered chatbots mimicking human interaction and enhancing customer experience when they visit websites. These bots are getting more intelligent every day and, as a result, their use cases are increasing as well. Another area where chatbots are turning out to be a boon is automating customer-experience data accumulation based on the inputs customers provide. This data is then passed on to the developers and designers as it serves as hands-on insight for them to make necessary changes and modifications to the website design, browsing experience, UI/UX, etc.

Artificial intelligence in this industry still has a lot of ground to cover. But what it has already achieved is quite extraordinary, and something no one could have imagined a decade back. Now looking a decade ahead into the future, I have a feeling that AI is going to break all barriers.

Image Credit: SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock
Aditya Kathotia
Aditya Kathotia Member
Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a simple, affordable fee. Branding is simple if you know your way around the design bit of it. Through Digital Polo, Aditya has provided ample reasons to brands across the globe to buy into this claim.