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AI in UX Design: Custom Creations vs. Tailored Templates

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The world of design is filled with a wide variety of client needs, driving the diverse ways UX is implemented. As AI becomes a buzzword for many clients, they are increasingly curious about how it can be leveraged in UX design. In this context, let’s explore the contrasting approaches of situations requiring fully custom designs tailored to the problem and customized templates that are merely modified to suit the situation and how AI impacts each scenario.

Adapting to different needs

For some clients, UX may just be one step in a long design process while for others, UX is the defining approach focusing on solving both business and user needs. Apart from the varying levels of UX integration, the work itself also varies, whether the team is crafting custom designs tailored to the moment or simply customizing some standard templates that get the job done. Whichever the situation, UX designers must adapt their approach to fit the demands of their specific project and think about how to leverage AI in the process.

When you need custom design

These are situations where you’re creating something novel, something not yet commonplace in the design world. You may have a unique situation or design problem to solve and you need truly custom designs to make a successful user experience. In situations requiring custom designs, UX designers will employ AI as a valuable source of data points, much like how surgeons benefit from data analysis to make informed decisions and innovate new solutions. This market constantly seeks innovative approaches and designs that don’t yet exist, making AI blind to these options until we achieve Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Here, designers emphasize creativity and uniqueness while addressing real-world problems.

Team X : Custom designs + AI
Design Team X incorporates AI into their custom UX design process, particularly during the initial stages and prototyping. They utilize AI-powered tools to analyze user data, pinpointing pain points such as an unusually high drop-off rate at a particular step in the user journey. The AI identifies opportunities to streamline navigation, improve CTAs, and optimize the overall user experience. When prototyping, designers leverage AI to quickly generate multiple layout variations, including alternative menu structures and onboarding flows. The AI-generated prototypes help the team explore a wider range of creative solutions. Human designers play a crucial role in guiding the AI and making informed decisions to ensure the custom designs effectively address clients’ needs and objectives.

When you need tailored templates

Not every client wants to change the world with their new designs, they simply need and want design that can simply get the job done. They don’t mind following established design patterns as long as they will work for their customers. In circumstances that call for customized templates, AI can automate a significant portion of tasks that were previously done by hand or by individual designers. This approach is driven by small teams who know how to manage prompts and guide AI to fulfill their needs. This market has always been content with templates; the need to stand out is often eclipsed by the desire to be “good enough.” In this scenario, designers focus on efficiency and practicality, ensuring the user experience is seamless and familiar.

Team Y : Tailored templates + AI
Design Team Y embraces AI to enhance their efficiency in creating customized, template-based UX designs. By focusing on practicality, the team uses AI to identify the most important areas to customize within a base template, ensuring the design caters to clients’ specific needs and target audience preferences. Design Team Y also relies on AI-powered tools to evaluate templates against established heuristics and design patterns, optimizing for usability and user experience.

AI delivering on the UX mission

As AI continues to evolve and integrate into the design process, its impact on UX design will vary based on clients’ needs. For those who don’t need their designs to stand out and prefer a more streamlined approach, AI will play a greater role in automating tasks and creating efficient, practical experiences. Conversely, clients who demand innovative and novel designs will find that AI has a lesser impact, as human designers will still be relied upon for their unique creative flair and ability to address complex, real-world problems. No matter the situation, the future of UX design will depend on the careful balance between human creativity and AI-driven efficiency. That partnership between designer and machine exists today and will only continue to grow.