Here’s why design is crucial


In this issue:

  • AI isn’t enough, you also need design
  • OpenAI announces text-to-video tool
  • AI threatens white-collar jobs
  • You have to spend the time to learn AI
  • Study: AI can be a great co-creator

Have you ever read an article and feel like it was written just for you? That’s how I felt when I read Richie Etwaru’s recent Forbes article AI Isn’t Going to be Enough to Win. As soon as I read it, I knew I wanted it to lead this week’s newsletter.

In the article, Richie basically says, “yeah, AI is important, but design can be a secret weapon.”

That’s perfect for this newsletter, isn’t it?

There is an undeniable importance of design in the age of AI. It’s a refreshing take that highlights how, despite AI’s advancements, the human touch in design remains irreplaceable. This perspective is particularly reassuring for creatives and marketers who view AI with a mix of curiosity and caution.

Richie eloquently argues that AI, for all its computational brilliance, lacks the empathy and intuitive understanding that humans bring to the design process.

Design's role is the crucial link between technology and meaningful human experiences.

For those of us in creative fields, the message is uplifting: our ability to empathize and anticipate user needs is what will make AI truly transformative.

It’s not about machines taking over but enhancing our creative capabilities to produce work that resonates on a deeper level.

The article serves as a rallying cry for a more collaborative approach between AI and design thinking. By marrying AI’s analytical prowess with our creative intuition, we can develop products that aren’t just smart but also deeply connected to the human experience.

This partnership doesn’t sideline designers; it spotlights our essential role in the digital age. For anyone navigating the intersection of AI and creativity, Richie’s insights offer a compelling roadmap for harnessing AI as a tool to unlock even greater creative potential.

Disclosure, I have worked with Richie on and off for the past six years. He is the type of leader who puts a huge emphasis on design being perfect because he understands it’s a true differentiator.

News at the Intersection of AI and Design

🎥 OpenAI releases Video Creation Tool: Sora

This was made wtih AI!
The animation is so realistic!

It’s not generally available yet, but OpenAI just announced its new video creation tool. It’s called Sora and it looks very impressive!

The gif above doesn’t do the video any credit.

Each video on the sample site shows the prompt that was used to create the video. And OpenAI is very clear that the videos were not manipulated after the fact. It looks like they learned from Google’s mistake.

Check it out to learn more.

If you’re interested in how I created the above gif:

  • I Downloaded the mp4 from OpenAI’s site
  • Uploaded the video to Adobe Express to trim the length
  • Dowloaded the trimmed mp4
  • Uploaded the mp4 to Giphy to convert it to a gif
  • Downloaded that gif
  • and then uploaded it to here
  • I had to do this a few times to hit the size requirements for Giphy and ConvertKit
  • Phew

🥹 AI Is Starting to Threaten White-Collar Jobs. Few Industries Are Immune.

After decades of automation eliminating blue-collar jobs, it’s time for white-collar workers to feel the heat. White-collar professionals, from managers to marketers, are seeing their roles reshaped by AI’s growing capabilities. For graphic designers, this evolution is a double-edged sword, offering both new tools for creativity and challenges to job security.

  • Generative AI is transforming knowledge work by automating complex tasks and creating content, potentially making some managerial roles obsolete.
  • This shift could streamline workflows for graphic designers, automating routine tasks and freeing up time for more creative endeavors.
  • Companies are investing in AI to boost productivity and cut costs, leading to layoffs linked to AI adoption.

Keep reading

🗑️ Garbage in = Garbage out

If you’re not spending the time to properly learn to use, and train, AI, you’re not going to get quality results.

This was a central part of the conversation on a recent #TimTalk with guest Rob Durant. Rob runs Flywheel Results, and an adjunct professor at D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University

  • We’ve moved from AI 1.0 to AI 2.0, though many people are still thinking in the 1.0 mode
  • You have to understand why you’re using AI before you start using AI

Watch now

New Resources for you
Fist bump with AI

A new study on co-creation with AI

As AI continues to evolve, there’s a silver lining for the creative world that’s often missed. A recent study from Aarhus University shines a light on a soon-to-be necessary idea: co-creativity between humans and AI, a concept that could reshape what we think of as the future of creativity.

This isn’t about machines replacing professionals. Rather enhancing our creative capabilities. Led by Janet Rafner and Jacob Sherson, the study advocates for a partnership centered around humans and AI, where technology complements creativity than replacing it.

I’ve written extensively about how AI will replace some people’s jobs (as mentioned earlier). But looking at this through a different lens shows a more likely future.

The heart of the matter is about crafting spaces where our gut feelings and AI’s brainpower can work together, making the creative process even better. This shift in thinking transforms AI from a rival into a partner in crime for creativity, opening up exciting new doors for designers who might be giving AI the side-eye. It’s about tapping into AI’s strengths to pump up our own creative muscles.

There’s a real need for us to come together across different fields to shape these co-creative adventures. By pooling our collective smarts, we can cook up AI systems that don’t just mimic human creativity but elevate it. For designers sitting on the fence about AI, this is the dawn of collaborative times where AI isn’t the bogeyman but a magic wand that reveals uncharted territories of creative exploration.

This partnership could be our golden ticket to unlocking creativity that knows no bounds, offering a canvas for artistic expression that we’ve only dreamed of.

It’s why you often hear the expression, “AI won’t take your job. But someone who knows how to use AI will.” How are you using AI to co-create your work?

AI Quote of the Week

If you’ve only used the free versions of these AI tools, you haven’t really used them.

– ​Paul Roetzer, founder, Marketing AI Institute

How can I help you?

If you want to learn more about what’s available, here are some links:

Thanks for reading!


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Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod was a graphic designer for more than a decade before pivoting to adjacent areas of focus such as marketing, digital experience, and branding. Knowing that AI is going to displace many graphic designers, Jim set up After Design to help designers prepare for this impending change. 

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