AI has the design industry changed forever

AI has the design industry changed forever

And that's a good thing 🙂


3 min read

The design industry isn't what it used to be, and the way we learn design has changed, too, and I think that's a good thing.

I've been doing design for more than two decades. I still remember the first time I saw Photoshop. I was amazed at its magic. I spent a whole weekend learning how to swap heads from one body to another. It was fascinating, but if I look back, the process was complicated and tedious. I dived into tutorials, books, and online forums during my school holidays. It was in the 2000s when the internet was nothing like it is now. Learning was slow, but by the end of the holiday, I felt confident, even though I still had a lot to learn.

With some courage from nowhere, I read a job ad in a printed newspaper for a part-time graphic designer to create posters for a restaurant. I applied, went for the interview, and got the job. That's how I stepped into the design world.

Fast-forward to now. I haven't touched Photoshop in nearly two years. My design process now involves Figma, Miro, Confluence, Slack, and many meetings(of all those fancy tools, paper and pen are still my favourites). Design isn't just about pixels anymore; it's about communication, alignment, and achieving business goals. But that's another story.

The tools we use today are different from those decades ago. They are easy, powerful, simple, and much cheaper now. Getting into design meant a significant commitment to time, money, and effort back then. It was a long process, and you spent heaps of cash on industry-standard tools. The outcome required lots of complicated steps.

Adobe established the "Pro" standard for professionals and clients, and it became a successful business. Now, it's changed.

Now, anyone can create with simple tools like Canva, FigJam, and CapCut. The gap between a professional and an enthusiastic amateur is much smaller. The feedback loop is much shorter now, and you don't need just the creative director's approval(well, you still do if you work at a design agency).

If I were a new kid in my early 20s wanting to learn design, the process would be much shorter and more straightforward—no need to spend thousands of dollars or all my school holidays learning big tools. Pick a tool that seems worth it, subscribe, and start creating. Within days, you can get feedback from social media audiences. Within weeks, you can build your reputation.

As someone who's been in this industry for two decades, how do I feel about this? It's great. It enables more people to start designing and realize the value of design. Professionals still get the potential outcomes or values they deserve.

You may wonder why I'm talking about design in an AI newsletter. Well, AI is currently shaking up the design industry. These new tools make design more accessible, faster, and more efficient. AI does the same for the design process and other industries.

It speeds up processes, creates more possibilities, and generates more value if you know how to use it. Some professionals who survived the last decade might have a big pushback on AI and be unhappy, but it's inevitable. And it's a great thing. Suppose you're genuinely professional and confident in the value you create. In that case, AI can help you work more efficiently, better, and faster.

That's today's thought.

Check the full article 👇

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Bear Liu by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!