AI and Web Design

Everyone out in web design and technology land has been talking lately about AI. If you’re not familiar with AI, that stands for artificial intelligence. While it might be good for some things, like cars that drive themselves, I am strongly convinced that it will never take over web design, or any other creative industry. You may scoff at my statement, but if you really think about it, you’ll see that I am right. Artificial intelligence can only go so far, and it leaves you to be disappointed in the end. Let’s discus why AI will never truly take over web design.

I’ve tried them out myself

While there are AI design apps and AI algorithms out there for website builders and such, they just don’t get there. I’m not going to mention any particular programs out there, but if you Google AI web design tools, or AI website builders, you’ll find what I am talking about. You’ll also find them in a couple of popular website building apps I’ve explored. Here’s what I experienced:

  • The end result wasn’t at all what I wanted.
  • The resulting website wasn’t well built.
  • It wasn’t pleasing to the eye.
  • Most of it didn’t fit with the purpose of the site.
  • They only ask you a couple of questions, and then spit out a site.

Bob Belcher grasping at straws about Ai and Web design

You Can’t Design An Entire Website From a Few Answered Questions

Most of these website builders will ask you who you are, what your business is, and where you’re located. Really? That’s it? Okay, so let’s say that the builder flops out a fairly decent looking site. Most of the photos are off. You have to rewrite everything. You essentially have to place all of the text, information and content.

You would be better off buying a WordPress theme made by a professional designer. Buy one that is made specifically for your industry, and then drop in your own content. At least it will be well designed. Computers can’t make aesthetic choices.

There is no human connection

Let’s say that we set aside the aesthetic choices. Let’s bypass that part or assume that the AI was able to spit out a gorgeous, unique website design and layout. You still have one thing that AI cannot replicate. You can’t fake the human emotional spirit. Some of the most effective design comes from appealing to the emotions of your audience, and having empathy. AI isn’t and never will be capable of expressing true empathy for another person’s situation.

Think about it. A computer will never understand that you’re a single mother of three, you work 2 jobs, and that your plumbing is broken, and you need someone to come and fix it after hours. A computer will never understand how to design a site, to appeal to human emotions to persuade a target market to donate to disaster relief. Could you imagine AI trying to understand and create a donation website for the wounded veterans? AI would never be able to replicate the emotional connection that only a human designer can create.

AI May Never Understand UX

AI is a long way from truly understanding human behavior. Sure, computers can track our behavior, but understanding it and accurately predicting it is unlikely. Artificial intelligence doesn’t understand that tap targets may be too small on mobile. It also doesn’t understand how to design and create a website for those who are disabled. Even if it could keep track of all of those aspects, it still may make the wrong decisions regarding what to do and when to do it. It may use vertical navigation instead of horizontal, or it may not create enough contrast between elements.

AI is only as Good as its code

Here’s another thought to toss your way. How many times have you had to create workarounds for CSS, because of particular browsers and their shortcomings? Think about AI trying to fix the look and functionality of a site, so that it is cross-browser compatible. There’s just too much data to cover, and too much analysis after the design part is over. How would Ai be able to scan a website and realize that drop down menus aren’t working properly in an older version of Chrome?

Artificial intelligence is a great thing, but it just can’t match the adaptability of a real human being.  I see many instances where it would only go so far, and then it would just fall short. AI can never replace humans.

Websites would be crammed full of Excessive CSS and Javascript.

Think about all of those workarounds for older browsers. Consider CSS features that work in some browsers and not others. When would AI know when to use them and when not to? Once AI started adding in CSS to fix this and that and to make this feature work, when in the world would it stop? When would it know to stop?

I can easily see pages and pages to CSS fixes and code where AI would try to fix everything and keep it 100% consistent across every single browser, and every single device. Imagine a CSS file with 20000 lines of code. That isn’t an exaggeration. Also, think about when they add more CSS features. When would AI know that it is ok to use? Would it learn? Would there be a software update to the AI?

What do you think?

I’d love to hear what you think of AI and web design. Do you think it will ever take over? If it does, I don’t think it will be any time soon. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and what you have to say about it. Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can: Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+