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Campfire #43: Design jobs that AI won’t be able to replace

Designers can remain ahead of the curve and produce even more incredible work by embracing AI technology and using it to complement their talents.

Alex Dovhyi
Alex Dovhyi
12 min read
Campfire #43: Design jobs that AI won’t be able to replace

I see why designers worry about AI's impact on their job.

However, it's essential to remember that AI technology is not intended to replace human creativity and intuition but to supplement and enhance it.

AI may help designers by automating tedious activities, producing design options, and providing insights into consumer preferences and behavior. Designers can use these talents to focus on more creative and strategic parts of their work, allowing them to generate higher-quality work more efficiently.

Furthermore, while AI can be trained to execute specific jobs, it lacks human-like creative thinking and problem-solving ability. Designers may use their human skills and perspectives to develop innovative, impactful designs that AI cannot match.

In short, artificial intelligence is not a replacement for human designers but rather a technology that can assist them in working more successfully and efficiently. Designers can remain ahead of the curve and produce even more incredible work by embracing AI technology and using it to complement their talents.

Last week Dan Saffer wrote this thread where he described the jobs of a designer that AI won't be able to replace.

I thought it might be helpful for you to collect some of the resources to learn or advance your skills and make better use of AI instead of being afraid of it replacing your job.

Reframe a problem so it can be thought about differently

Many designers might be familiar with reframing from the famous Slow Elevator Problem. Essentially, reframing begins with asking this question:

Is this the right Problem to Solve?

Problem Reframing is a method of finding better problem that is valuable to solve with different practices and tools. It's is a way to solve problems by looking at the problem with a new outlook or from a different point of view.

Further reading

Reframing the problem
If your solutions are not good enough, maybe you’re just focusing on the wrong problems
Reframing a problem statement
“How do we make the journey from London to Paris better?”
A very Powerful Tool for Problem Solving— Reframing
These are my notes and learnings from the superb book titled ‘What’s Your Problem?’ by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg

Understand the context (physical, emotional, organizational, political, technical) to see what solutions will actually work

In design, context refers to the conditions, background, or environment in which a person, thing, or concept exists or occurs.

Context clarifies concepts and helps consumers understand where your product/service fits in the universe. It is critical to develop a picture of the contextual environment while designing and expressing ideas to non-designers to avoid unwanted concerns.

Further reading

Context in design: A keystone to understanding users
A good design considers the context of the product, audience and business. Useful designs suit the context of how and where users use them.
Importance of Context in Design - UX Design World
August 13, 2020 - “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context—a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” — Eero Saarinen This quote is focusing on a rule that applies to design whether you are building a house or working o…
Design Is Rooted In Context
Everyone has a different understanding of how something works. It could something as simple as baking a cake. Some people may add more…

Create insights about observed user behavior

Observing user behavior is vital for understanding how users engage with your product. At the same time, all the user research in the world will be useless if it does not result in insights that businesses can apply.

Further reading

What are user behaviour insights?
User behaviour is a mixture of quantitative and qualitative consumer facts that assist you to recognize the total enjoyment humans have of…
Understand the “Why” of User Behavior to Design Better
Learn how you can use the “5 whys” method to find out what motivates your users, and how you can use these insights to design better and communicate more effectively.
How to Write Compelling User Research Insights in 6 Steps
Meet the people that matter to you in the moments that matter to them. Qualitative research tools and services for product, innovation, CX, and brand.

Empathize with users to understand what their motivations, expectations, frustrations, and goals are

Developing empathy for the people is the first stage of the design thinking process. It helps designers gain insights into what users needs and want are, how they behave, feel, and think, and why they demonstrate such behaviors, feelings, and thoughts when interacting with products in the real world.

Further reading

How To Empathize With Your Users - Usability Geek
Empathizing with your users creates successful products. So here are some design tools and tips to help you strengthen your user empathy and enhance your UX research. This guide will help you know when to apply user empathy to your design process, what tools to use, and why it is beneficial to under…
Stage 1 in the Design Thinking Process: Empathise with Your Users
The first stage of the Design Thinking process involves developing a sense of empathy towards your users. Learn how to incorporate it into your design work.
Empathize with users | UX Process |
Learn how to master the ability to fully understand, mirror a person’s expressions, needs, and motivations. More on
The role of empathy in user research and interaction design
When designing with empathy in mind, we aim to meet user needs and expectations by uncovering deeper insights. But what is empathy, really?

Manage other designers and stakeholders

Managing designers brings a distinct number of challenges. If you have experience in the subject, you will most likely be able to relate to your workers more easily.

Regardless of whether you have prior experience working as a designer, it is crucial to realize that designers have distinct demands than other employees and have their own objectives, both inside and outside of the workplace.

Further reading

How to Effectively Manage Designers
And lead your team to new heights.
How to lead designers — 18 practical tips
Managing a team of creative folk is one of the toughest, and most rewarding, roles a person can have. Speaking personally, as a young…
How to manage other designers: 10 expert tips
Leading a design project can be a big challenge. Pete Sena of marketing agency Digital Surgeons has some pointers to guide you to people-management success.
From designer to manager — the trickiest transition
The design manager role has grown considerably over the past five years. As design has been recognised as a business value-driver and…

Evangelize a design solution in an organization/to a client

Excellent design assists businesses in developing the most relevant products and services for their customers while also ensuring that they are enjoyable to use.

If you want your design work to have an impact, you must ensure that you and the companies you collaborate with have a thorough understanding of your users' needs, motivations, and daily activities.

One of the primary skills a UX professional must have is the power of persuasion. You need to understand where your peers in other disciplines are coming from and communicate the message of UX to them in terms they can understand.
— Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Further reading

5 Proven Tactics for Evangelizing UX
Great UX is about more than designing beautiful and usable products, services and interfaces.
How to Evangelize Research in Your Organization | Maze
Melanie Buset, User Research Manager at Spotify, shares a step-by-step guide on how to evangelize research in your organization, and real-life examples of why you should invest in research in the first place.
What Is Design Evangelism?
4 key things evangelists do for design
Evangelizing UX Across an Entire Organization :: UXmatters
Web magazine about user experience matters, providing insights and inspiration for the user experience community

Design conceptual models about the problem space from research findings

Conceptual models are abstract, psychological representations of how tasks should be carried out. Designers utilize conceptual models to systematize processes implicitly and intuitively.

For example, calendars are frequent mental models for scheduling appointments. Understanding the power of conceptual models helps designers create software that matches the conceptual models of their customers.

Further reading

Understanding and Conceptualizing Interaction
In the process of creating an interactive product, it can be tempting to begin at the “nuts and bolts” level of the design.
What are Conceptual Models?
What is Conceptual Models? Conceptual models are abstract, psychological representations of how tasks should be carried out. People use conceptual models subconsciously and intuitively as…

Understand user journeys

Nielsen Norman Group defines a user journey as a "map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal."

They are used to map the relationship between a customer and an business over a timeline and across all channels on which they interact with.

Designers use customer journey maps to see how customer experiences meet customers’ expectations and find areas where they need to improve designs.

Further reading

User Journey Map: Understanding and Improving Interactions
What is a user journey map? Mapping a user journey is fundamental in UX because it details the actions of users and how they feel during a particular experi…
Journey Mapping 101
A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal.
What are User Journeys and Why are they Important to your Website? - Crucible - London Creative Digital Agency
A user journey is a step-by-step process web visitors take to reach their desired goal and we talk about why user journeys are important.
User Journeys: the complete guide
How to create User Journeys and apply them to real projects.

Help find a product-market fit

According to Marc Andressen: “Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.”

It is a temporary state in which your product solves a large enough issue with the appropriate solution for your customers.

Further reading

How To Find Product Market Fit
The term “Product-Market Fit” can be baffling, but here is simple guide to cut through the noise.
What Is Product Market Fit? How To Find It in 6 Steps
Learn what product-market fit is, how to prove your product concept, and how to use marketing and customer feedback to determine product market fit.
A Playbook for Achieving Product-Market Fit the Lean Way
It’s hard to know how to actually achieve product-market fit, but Dan Olsen’s pyramid framework will help you define and build your product.

Make informed aesthetic choices. That is, have taste. Know what UI looks elegant and is still usable.

Design aesthetics are extremely important in product design. Stakeholders anticipate the development of highly valued premium products by improving product design aesthetics. Nonetheless, the issue of determining the worth of design aesthetics has not been completely addressed.

Further reading

Effects of Design Aesthetics on the Perceived Value of a Product
Design aesthetics play a crucial role in product design. Stakeholders expect to develop highly valuable premium products by improving the design aesthetics of products. Nevertheless, the question of how to evaluate the value of design aesthetics has not been fully addressed. In this study, the effec…
The Aesthetic Turn in Strategy: Creating Value with Style | Emerald Insight
The Aesthetic Turn in Strategy: Creating Value with Style - Author: Gino Cattani, Simone Ferriani, Frédéric Godart, Stoyan V. Sgourev
Aesthetic Usability: Beauty on Duty for User Experience
In this article, let’s consider the role of beauty in user experience design: learn what the aesthetic-usability effect is and how it makes both users and businesses happy.

Alex Dovhyi Twitter

Product designer exploring design’s interplay with product, business, and technology, and answering your questions about freelancing, career, and personal growth.


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