August 14, 2023

Humans VS AI: Who’s Better at Designing? Part 3

We're back with our review of the ways automation changes the work of designers. Today's article focuses on the future: what skills will be relevant along with further development of AI-tools, Alexey Kulakov's predictions on the evolution of UX/UI design, and his typology of designer roles. Read Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed it - and enjoy!

What’s gonna happen tomorrow 

In the future, the interface environment will change: there will be a bunch of new MR or VR input/output interfaces; voice, haptic and other I/O interfaces will change. 

UX design will be without screens. Haptic interfaces don't have them anymore. In the MR interface, when we look through headsets that add a 3D model of the virtual world on top of the real world, there is a screen – a graphically enhanced 360° view of what's around you.

Most importantly, machines will be much better at predicting a person's next steps. Previous interface paradigm was almost completely based on what the user chooses to do by clicking a button, typing requests, and giving voice commands to a virtual assistant. In the future, more interfaces will anticipate what a person needs, and the interface environment will adjust to this. 

All of this will lead to new graphical user interface (GUI) paradigms.

Timeless skills 

In a world where machines will take over a lot of activities, we, as humans, will still possess some in-demand skills. Based on my experience, I think the list is like this:

  • reflexion  – the ability to analyze one's own experience;
  • Generalization – the ability to make conclusions from observations;
  • the speed of learning new tools;
  • the ability to give and receive feedback to and from colleagues;
  • the ability to model people's experience and behavior using user scenarios.

Specific designer roles 

I talk about experience design, and it can be created not only by designers, but also by programmers, managers, marketers, financiers, data scientists, as well as directors, writers, producers, game designers, and game technicians.

Indeed, we perceive reality through our eyes, so quite often experience is designed by people with excellent visual taste. 

Ability to use the visual language, and knowledge of visual culture is crucial. It’s what makes the profession of a designer unique. 

As I see it, designers have 3 roles that make them specifically valuable. 

  1. A camertone is a person with a keen sense of taste. They have a very good intuition about whether a particular feature of an interface is accurate and in tune with the whole style structure. An example of this role for me is Jony Ive, ex Apple's chief designer. I switched from Windows to Mac just because of style preferences, as I simply didn't enjoy the Windows interface as much as I enjoyed the Mac’s one.
  2. A director is the position that’s closest to what I do. Directing that designers do is similar to directing a game: they manage people who interact with a product freely and achieve their goals so that the company benefits. The director-designer looks at the system as a way to manage people's behavior.
  3. A stalker is the most interesting role, in my opinion. It's why I started web design many years ago: because designers and programmers come up with new experiences that no one else has ever experienced before. 

If you want to be a relevant designer and not to worry about your future, you should develop one of these three roles. Sooner or later robots will do the rest of your work for you. 

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