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Take Advantage of AI as a Designer

Take Advantage of AI as a Designer

AI used to feel like a summer shadow that looms ever larger but never engulfs you in it because it simply cannot. Because it's slow; because you're faster. We, designers, used to feel safe about it because of how utopian everything about it seemed. But guess what? The very first sentence from this paragraph doesn't make any sense. And neither does panicking over "AI stealing our jobs" now that we're in the midst of that shadow. Winter is here, fellow industry colleagues. We must gather all the dragon glass we can or be left behind by those who were quick enough to craft their spears. 

Enough with the geeky analogies. Let's dive into the purpose of this article: keeping calm and not panicking about Artificial Intelligence. Looking around at our team here at Capicua or the energetic Twitter users, designers fall into two sides. Some panic desperately around a fire made of office chairs and anti-stress toys. The others keep calm while they nerd and get excited about each new way they find to gain an advantage over AI

I must admit it's a little hard to befriend this fairly new technology. It's even harder when you're a romantic like me who loves the craft of things. So, I was on Team Panic at first. Looking back, there's only one reason my anxiety was on the roof at the thought of AI doing the same stuff as me. It was the powerful mix of misinformation and ignorance (widely known as Tweets). But if you try to dive into AI capacities, use cases, and tools, it's not autonomous enough to replace flesh-and-bone design. At least not now (not today Skynet, not today).

How To Take Advantage of AI as a Designer

Let's think together. What's the primary skill needed to be a successful product designer? I'd say empathy. Empathy on what? On humans. What do you need that human empathy for? To create solutions for human problems! And lastly, can AI do any of that? Nope. So, it can't go all Blade Runner on us anytime soon. That's it; that's my very vague but to-the-point thesis.

But on the other hand… what are some of the most negative traits a product designer could have? I'd say ignorance and selfishness. Ignorance blocks us from gaining knowledge for our end goals. Meanwhile, selfishness blinds us from exploring ideas and results. And guess what? AI isn't affected by emotion or ego. It isn't able to produce this kind of biased information (to an extent).

Our work as designers is utterly human at its core. Yet, AI is entirely un-human, devoid of any empathy nor selfishness. Think of it as the most powerful search engine ever created. A tool capable of prioritizing, categorizing, and merging information. It's a f*cking dream! And let me tell you, I've never met a designer fond of those three tasks. AI is here to assist us. It helps us cut the tedious cores of gathering info and coming up with conclusions for our research. Also, it's helpful when analyzing data or scorching the internet for inspiration. With these tools, we have more time to make the most human-centered interfaces we could ever think of. We also can leverage the most information in seconds. In other words, we'll be creating better solutions with less effort.

So, now that my rant is over, I'll leave some of my favorite ways to use AI and how it helped my daily work:

Researching proto-personas or benchmarks with ChatGPT as a powerful search engine. It scans every piece of relevant info to come up with summarized, tailored data. Specify what you need, the type of info (common biases or market revenue), and the industry (Fintech? Healthcare?). Add all the specifications you need, and the engine will do the rest, which is only one simple way to use it. Google? I don't know her.

Creating imagery for our blog. Well, to be honest, I don't 👀. I'm not on the team responsible for creating assets for our blog posts. But what I know for sure is that we've seen both crazy progress on MidJourney engines (our favorite AI image generator to date). Also, we gathered great practice from our team on getting exactly the images they wanted. Go ahead, scroll through our articles, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Creating imagery and concepts… in general. Sometimes we're stuck in a creative block. Even though some designers argue that professionals don't get those, but that's a topic for another post. When translating new ideas from inside our head, try recurring to our new friends. Make it create concepts based on your rough, literal input or a bunch of images based on your prompts. Surely you won't end up using these AI results, but it will help you unlock your process and potential.

Helping me with my inglisch (pun intended). As a non-native English speaker, there's a level of the language I'll never get to. At least it's not on my priorities because it won't affect my career as it is right now. But we, as Spanish speakers, use different dialectical structures and ways of talking and writing compared to English. So, that's where ChatGPT (yes, again) comes in handy. I can check grammar, adjust my text's tone, and find better ways to express myself. And these are a glimpse of how this tech helps us communicate better.

Having trouble understanding a piece of data? Do those paragraphs seem written by a Shakespearean Einstein? Give it to ChatGPT (yup, again) and prompt it to outline it. You'll get amazed at the results. Your text from an academic paper is now for dummies. 

Product Designers, UXers, and such often face the challenge of being a jack-of-all-trades. This tendency often includes being in charge of creating text content. And copywriting hardly ever is on our courses and careers' syllabus. Since it is an essential part of our UIs and directly affects users' behavior, it becomes a critical part of our job. AI is here to help us with it! Tools like help create punchy, to-the-point, best-selling product lines. Ask which is the best copy to prompt users to do something, get help adjusting your text's tone of voice, and more.

SHow To Take Advantage of AI as a Designer

See? It's mostly the predictable, tedious, and repetitive tasks we're getting rid of with this tech. And good riddance. Now you have more time to think about the humans behind it all. You can focus on users and put all your very human, very unique traits into that little project of yours. Don't fear AI; use it to your advantage.

But if the thingy shows any emotion to the Voight-Kampff test, it's time to switch careers.

Or run ¯\*( ͡❛ ͜ʖ ͡❛)*/¯