Why humans are necessary in the design process

Why Humans Are Better than AI in the Design Process

At the heart of everything designers do is the design process — aka every stage from concept to end result. The process is inherently interactive and truly needs human involvement, everything from troubleshooting and teamwork on both large and small scales. While everyone might be worried about Artificial Intelligence taking design jobs, we took a look at ways that AI simply doesn’t measure up to what humans can do—and how it’s still merely a tool in need of humans to function. So while a company might be tempted to cut corners by using AI, hiring humans will always be the better move. Here’s why…

  • Designers can think outside the robots.
    The design process is more than the end product, obviously! Whereas AI has one goal (to please the query writer), designers know that a lot more thinking, patience, trial, error, and craft go into high-quality design that moves the needle. Because it's trained on existing visuals, AI is just regurgitating and copying trends in design that are already produced. Not to say that AI can’t help designers ideate and explore. But when it comes to innovation? Designers can go beyond what’s already been done and deliver clients something new and tailored to fit their brands. Designers can also tell when AI is delivering poor design advice or results. Again, AI’s goal is to satisfy queries. It has no idea how to take designs to the next level.
  • Designers know what hands look like.
    The title is a little bit of a joke, but in all seriousness, humans are based in reality. We intuitively know how to separate the surreal from the real and the inappropriate from the appropriate. We can tell when imagery and design are simply terrible. AI generates imagery and design based on prompts and available data—which churns out some pretty funny results. But are these results to be used in products, marketing, and more? Not at this point. AI is still too young to compete with the attention to meticulous details that human designers have. There's a chance that future iterations of AI platforms will learn to more accurately portray details like hands, but that day is not today.
  • Designers can collaborate with teams .
    While we can sit together in meeting rooms, brainstorm together, set goals, deliver on deadlines, and perform ongoing maintenance, AI can only be used to help streamline these parts of the process. AI programs still require parameters in order to help teams with their tasks. Sure, AI project management tools like Notion and Asana are absolutely helpful. But human managers and designers know their teams’ strong suits and eccentricities, who to put on which projects, how much time is needed to perform tasks, and so on. The same goes for generating and brainstorming concepts—humans can easily separate the good from the meh, while AI has no concept of taste (sorry).
  • Designers have the powers of empathy and discernment.
    Ultimately, AI does not know your company or customer better than a human does, period. You can prompt AI to sell your product to [insert your demographic]. But that platform will likely leave out other important demographics and population considerations, thereby handing you results that don’t accurately capture the attention of your full audience. Because AI (just like the internet) holds certain biases, its results might end up insulting parts of your audience, too. You need the help of a diverse workforce that can point out and fix poor design decisions before they go out into the world. It would be a disaster to place all your trust in AI without thoughtful humans to make the best design decisions for customers.
  • Designers know exactly what to test and how to reach the best outcome
    As we’ve mentioned before, AI can be great for generating ideas, even around testing. But after that phase, you’ll need designers who take the ideas, formulate them, test them, and reach the best outcome for your product or campaign. The AI and Machine Learning platforms we're using now have no idea what your company has already done, what has failed, and what has been successful. Why waste your time feeding more prompts into a generator when you have real-life designers who already know the details and can help get you there quicker? 

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