Let’s Bring AI Design Out of The Shadows

To be honest, it’s the first time I have felt like a secret agent since I was a kid. The path of covering your tracks and identity is a lot more complicated than you would think. Especially for the first time, but those are the steps you must take if you are planning to coax a controversial subject out of the shadows which in turn could cause a group of people to hunt you down to the ends of the Earth. More on my escape plan later.

Of course, that subject would be “How AI Design is going to rock our Industry” (Don’t worry, by the time this blog hits the printing press, I will be gone like the wind 😊)

I have spoken with people lately about AI Design and I swear I hear them lower their voices so not to be heard before they broach the subject. “Thad, do you think AI will change the way we manage design in the future?” I even hesitate before responding as I scan my office for prying ears. My faithful furry sidekick Baloo is the only one in view and he is happily chewing away on one of his “bribery bones” so all is safe. I clear my voice to cover my fear and say, “Hell yah! AI is going to be doing our dishes, tying our shoes, and even walking our dogs soon.” I also add, “So what?” which always brings a look of disbelief.

It’s not like this is the first time that technology has impacted industries and I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of it. There are two types of disruptions that can take place:

  • The first one eliminates the current model and replaces it with a new standard. Think about the rise and fall of Blockbusters. The company was riding high with over 9,000 locations and six billion in revenues when the streaming services quickly came in and dismantled the existing model. (BTW, Blockbuster passed on a deal to buy Netflix early on. Oops!)
  • The second type of disruption is that an existing traditional model goes through a transformation and the market share shifts to newer ones.

I believe our Industry will go the route of the second type with the low-tech companies competing with the high-tech businesses. But you already know all this, so back to the point about AI design.

Think about it this way; Designers used to do designs by hand and if a customer wanted renderings, they would have to be sketched. Along came technology that could help facilitate the process and so most Designers followed.

Now we will have a new technology that can take information and create designs and selection ideas. Is that going to replace the need for Designers? No, but the total number of Designers required to meet demand will certainly decrease and the remaining ones will learn and be stronger in certain skill sets like:

  • Interpersonal – being able to make a connection with people and building relationships.
  • Open Minded – learns to embrace new ways of doing things.
  • Tech savvy – You don’t have to be a programmer, but you should throw away your fax machine.

Just to name a few. It’s not like a lot of other jobs won’t need to go through this same transition. In fact, over the next 5 years, 50% of jobs or more will need the PERSON to go through training and learn new skills for the position. That’s why I say, “so what.”

Here is the good news, The #2 most sought-after skill set in the next 5 years will be creativity. Sound familiar? Now that might mean understanding the best way to work together with AI design. This could lead to creating the most amazing plans for your customer and in less time.

These new tools are only going to be as good as the person using them. Another plus for Designers will be spending less time doing mundane tasks like pulling quotes together, entering orders and trying to find that customer’s phone number which was written on the backside of a job folder! All very value-added activities… 😊

Here is the last but certainly not least of all the benefits: Those awesome Designers will be making more money and working less hours. Yes! Who knows, we might start attracting additional talent to our industry as the jobs become more desirable and with better benefits. Call me silly, but that sounds like a bonus round!

So, I think it’s time that we pull AI Design out of the shadows and put it in the forefront of our discussions. I might even tear up my fake Peruvian passport and sell my hut in Bora Bora.

Time to wind this blog down and leave you with one suggestion: You and your team need to get more comfortable with tech. Period. How about encouraging everybody to use ChatGPT or something similar? It’s a step in the right direction. We have it and hardly a day goes by when I am not using it. It’s awesome!

We need to stop fearing the changes and start figuring out how to leverage them, so they benefit the business, the team, and maybe, just maybe, the customers too!

Let’s get out of our own way so we can figure this out together!

Let’s do this! Thad

How about scheduling a 20-minute jam session so we can talk about business?