How AI designs affect designers
At the end of March 2023, design software Canva released a new AI feature, “Magic Design.”
Magic Design is a free tool that allows you to create designs almost instantly using a selection of templates and your own media images.
How does it work?
Canva users upload an image into Magic Design and select a category (I chose marketing flyers). AI populates your image into various templates, which can select from and edit. Choose a color palette under style and add a headline, like “Design Workshop.”
Within two minutes, I had a handful of potential designs that could serve as a foundation in my work.
Within a couple clicks I was Margarita Perez leading a design workshop at the business conference on March 10. All of these fields are customizable in Canva and just placeholders in the template, but what might have taken an hour plus of work before pulling together various graphics, colors, fonts, and text boxes was now populated for me.
So, now what?
Has AI taken over the job of designers?
In some respects, yes. Before, creating flyers and other marketing materials like this would have taken time by a graphic designer using expensive (perhaps) tools and software. However, the tools and skills of designers seem to no longer be needed for creating basic materials like flyers or newsletters.
Canva also has a “Magic Write” feature to help you develop written content for these materials.
When I asked Magic Write to create text for “how to design a website,” it responded with the following:
“To design a website, you can start by creating a plan and sketching out the layout and structure of your site. Then, choose a design software or platform that fits your needs and skill level. Incorporate user-friendly navigation, clear and engaging content, and visually appealing graphics. Don’t forget to test your website on different devices and browsers to ensure it is responsive and functional.”
Between both these design and writing tools, designers and writers could lose clients and billable time working on projects.
However, there is a silver lining here. Someone is still making the templates and the content that both Magic Design and Magic Write (and other AI software) pull from. AI needs inputs in order to create outputs. The flyer template that I used, for example, was derived from Ogi Latoh’s Team.
Designers will likely now shift their efforts to working on templates and managing the outputs of AI in order to make a living.
Writers may have a harder time because templates will be less suited to articles and posts on vast topics. However, AI bots have to pull content from somewhere and the text on any of these materials still needs to be reviewed or updated. Writers will likely best succeed as subject matter experts or good editors of AI-generated content.