Web designers need excellent tools. Modern websites have a lot of moving parts, after all. And the right apps help us meet these growing expectations.
Perhaps artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming mainstream at the right time. It’s about to bring new levels of power and convenience to web design.
We are already starting to see the changes. Tools like GitHub’s Copilot can convert user prompts into fully functional code. And genetic AI has even made its way into Adobe’s Photoshop.
But this is just the beginning. Imagine how AI could change web design tools in the future. What would it look like? Here are a few (thoroughly unscientific) guesses.
Providing a Better Starting Point for Design
The first step is often the hardest. That truth applies to many aspects of life – including web design.
Sometimes a creative block stands in the way. So, you might spend hours tinkering with layout ideas. That’s time you could have spent being productive.
The conversational nature of AI tools seems like the perfect antidote. You might write a tip asking for a “magazine layout”. Or request a home page that is similar to the New York Times.
Like magic, a basic layout appears. From there, you can personalize the design to match your needs.
A much needed tool could be adjusted based on your platform. If you’re using WordPress, it may offer a block theme. If you intend to use static HTML, that’s the output you’ll get.
True, this could take some of the novelty out of the process. However, it could open the door to more possibilities as well. The power is in the hands of the user.
Making Web Sites Accessible in Real Time
The need to build accessible websites is not going away. There are both moral and legal obligations to do so. Therefore, it is a subject that every web designer should master.
But testing is needed to ensure accessibility. That’s a resource-intensive task. These days, it consists of both automated and manual methods.
Automation tools like WAVE are helpful. They can scan a page and provide a laundry list of questions to investigate. But they also return many false positives. In short: they lack context. That’s why we still need manual testing.
AI may not perform a perfect accessibility test. But it has the potential to improve accuracy. Imagine a test suite where you can read your code and interpret how each feature works. From there, he determines if they follow best practices.
And what if a design tool could give us this information from the start? It could prevent us from creating an inaccessible feature in the first place.
For example, the ability to analyze a background image and determine whether layered text should be served. If the text is illegible, a warning would be displayed. And he could offer to adjust the image for us.
This technology could keep accessibility at the forefront of our minds. If it is not already there, that is.
Improving Responsive Design
Tools like Figma help with responsive design. They allow us to test our prototypes on multiple viewpoints and make the necessary adjustments.
It’s a trial-and-error process, though. Especially when testing in a web browser. There always seem to be a few devices that don’t cooperate with certain layouts.
But this is an area where large language models (LLMs) can help. These tools have ingested countless amounts of code. Someday they should be “smart” enough to take a desktop layout and adapt it to smaller screens.
They can even suggest items to leave out on mobile devices. For example, bandwidth-hogging slides or video backgrounds. In addition, it will be easier to implement truly responsive type-scaling.
Again, perfection is not the idea here. But if an AI-powered tool could get us 75% of the way to a great responsive experience, it could save significant time.
See Possible Issues Before Launching
Launching a website is always challenging. It’s always a good idea to keep a checklist handy. But something could still slip past us.
Perhaps the design tools of the not-too-distant future will be an extra set of eyes. They might see impacting issues in our code.
Browser compatibility is a great place to start. Let’s say a code editor finds a feature that doesn’t work on a recent version of Chrome. It advises us that our site will be more difficult to find x percent of users.
But why stop at browsers? All kinds of relevant information could be reported back. Things like privacy concerns, broken links, or page load times are potential areas of focus.
This tool has internet value of data. Therefore, it can predict the potential impact of our design decisions. It can even prevent a big mistake. That could make it a designer’s best friend.
Like Making a Trusted Assistant by Your Side
Some of these predictions may be far-fetched. But from what we’ve already seen, it doesn’t feel like science fiction, either.
AI is starting to be integrated into web design tools. It’s only a matter of time before technology expands its capabilities. They will keep us focused on important aspects of a project. And they will double check our work.
All in all, it will be like having a virtual assistant working next to you. There will likely be some growing pains along the way. But it’s fun to imagine the possibilities.