Will Design Soon Become Obsolete?
We are living in a time when the visual is all-important. While it’s hard to imagine a world where visual design doesn’t have a huge place in our lives, many believe that visual design is actually on its way out, to be replaced by voice technology and written content.
While myself and most people reading this will probably find it hard to imagine a world without computers and smartphones, many, including Bill Gates, believe that in our future computers won’t play a central role. There is no doubt that screens while not quite disappearing yet, are becoming one among a number of different ways we operate the technology in our lives.
Think about voice recognition systems and chatbots – they operate with or without the use of screens and while they are relatively new now, it’s only a matter of time before they really take off and become something we all take for granted. So what will this mean for all those website designers and visual marketers out there?
Are designers in trouble?
As well as the increase in voice operated technology and the Internet of Things, design is becoming increasingly automated and cheap with sites like Canva, 99 Designs and Upwork allowing people to create their own designs or outsource very cheaply and still get a professional quality result.
When it comes to design it’s hard to find anything truly unique any more, with most websites looking fairly similar. Differentiating your brand is arguably no longer about standing out visually, it’s becoming more about your content or the core product and service offerings you provide.
Design also faces threats in the future from automation technology. Design engines are being developed that can create layouts based on a piece of content. While they don’t rival human designers in terms of quality, they will provide a reasonable result that will appeal for those looking for cheap, decent design.
In an article recently published on Digital Telepathy, Jason Amunwa makes an interesting argument that words and language are the oldest form of communication and they remain the only way to communicate effectively with computers and other devices. Language and words are crucial not just between people and devices, but also for devices and systems to communicate across multiple platforms and channels. Hence the need for designers to consider language in their design and user interfaces.
Whether this is an extreme idea or not, it’s always a good idea to consider the future of design especially as marketers and there is no doubt that text is an important part of any design and needs to be of equal significance in the process, not just added on afterwards.