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Is a Computer Better Than Your Graphic Designer?

As technology advances, so does design. Programs such as The Grid and Firedrop are systems that are set up to create a website “in five minutes” that can save you time and money hiring a graphic designer. But is the quality as good?

These new software programs will evaluate your text content, line of business and imagery, and spit out finished pages without your having to lift a finger. These kinds of automated tools will arrive on the web first, but eventually print design will change too.

The Grid promises to hand the design of your site over to an AI named Molly who will “never ghost you, never charge you more, never miss a deadline, never cower to your demands for a bigger logo and apply a simple five-color palette to your site in more than 200,000 unique ways.” Being launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2014, The Grid is not everyone’s cup of tea. You’ll probably find videos out there that say “The Grid Sucks”. People claim that Molly the AI’s role mostly involves generating color palettes and auto-cropping photos: a job even a non-designer can do.

Firedrop, developed in 2015, launched as a drag-and-drop website builder that evolved into a design tool using AI at the end of 2015. CEO Marc Crouch says Firedrop chatbot is intended to replicate the experience of working with a professional web designer.

Although these tools and programs are helpful, they still require hands-on use. You input data, see options and select what works, and then choose from prescribed templates. Site builders such as Squarespace, WordPress and Wix already encompass a lot of these things.

Are graphic designers’ jobs going to be threatened? They may just change into more of content management, but it won’t be a while until that happens. [Read More…]

This article is excerpted from “When Websites Design Themselves” from Wired.

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