Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the way work gets done across the board, and the design industry is no exception. What was once exclusively the purview of providers like Adobe Creative Suite is now changing rapidly as a new wave of AI-enabled software tools and systems are creating alternative ways for designers (and non-designers) to design with excellence.

Here are just a few ways in which we expect AI to transform the design department:

Creating Generative Art & Designs

As AI hits mainstream, the two most popular consumer-facing applications thus far include Chat GPT and associated large language models and AI-based art generators. Art generators allow anyone to create a new image with a simple text prompt.

This type of AI application is only the beginning as many tools are quickly going mainstream automating tasks as varied as presentation design to document designs. New entrants will need to compete with existing software incumbents who are embedding generative AI features amidst their software platforms (Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, etc.)

Automating tedious tasks

One of the most significant ways AI is expected to transform the design department is by automating tedious tasks. Many design tasks involve repetitive, time-consuming work such as resizing an image or providing a basic color treatment that can be done more efficiently by automation. Tools like Canva have been at the forefront of doing this on an everyday lay level while heavy hitters like Figma and Adobe are going all-in on integrating AI across their suite of products.

Similarly, AI can also be usedd to generate and update style guides, create design assets like icons and illustrations, and perform other tasks that are currently done manually. Collectively, these types of AI tools shifts the role of designers from visual editors to brand strategists.

Improving design workflows

Another way AI is expected to transform the design department is by improving design workflows. AI can be used to analyze data on user behavior and preferences, which can inform design decisions and help designers create products that better meet users’ needs. From product to engineering to design, every aspect of the creation process is increasingly informed by actual customer data.

For example, AI can be used to analyze user feedback and identify patterns in user behavior, which can then be used to improve the design of a product. Similarly, AI can be used to predict how users will interact with a product and provide designers with insights into how to optimize the user experience. 

Enhancing design creativity

Contrary to popular belief, AI is not expected to replace human creativity in the design industry. Instead, AI is expected to enhance designers’ creativity by providing them with new tools and resources to work with. In a best case scenario, we should see an even greater flourishing of new styles that bring products to life. In a worst case scenario, we may see the same types of images and visual styles regurgitated through AI algorithms trained on the same data sets.

On a practical level, we can expect AI to be used to generate new design ideas and variations based on sets of parameters, allowing designers to explore more options and spark new ideas. This could include color palettes, font pairings, and other design elements that complement each other and work well together.

Creating personalized design solutions

Personalization is a major trend in many industries, and the design industry is no exception. AI can be used to analyze user data and create personalized design solutions that are tailored to each user’s needs and preferences. One generic version of this concept is that AI can be used to create personalized product recommendations alongside personalized marketing ads based on a user’s browsing history and purchase behavior. 

On the other hand, users who are able to harness AI to create personalized designs (e.g. new iterations of basketball shoes) may benefit from the increased choice and sense of identity this enables.

Streamlining collaboration

Finally, AI is expected to transform the way designers collaborate with each other and with other departments within the company. AI can be used to streamline communication, automate project management tasks, and provide real-time feedback on design work. For example, AI can be used to automatically assign tasks to team members based on their skill sets and availability, reducing the amount of time spent on project management. Similarly, AI can be used to provide real-time feedback on design work, allowing designers to make changes and improve their work more quickly.

Putting it all together, AI is expected to transform the design department as tedious tasks get automated in favor of enhanced design creativity and personalized design solutions. For design teams seeking support in areas of collaboration and project management, Xembly can serve as an effective AI chief of staff to support individuals and keep team members aligned toward common goals.