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The Value of the Human Designer

Published: February 15, 2018

Author: Julia Thiel

There’s a lot of discussion and increasing anxiety around the topic of human workers becoming obsolete, replaced by AI. Even though I work at an agency that is fueled by so much of the data that can be found on the internet, I am not worried about the future of the human designer. Let me tell you why.
Many people think of the internet as a giant global brain. I think it’s nowhere near that. It doesn’t know everything. Imagine someone created artificial intelligence based on the content you’ve offered up on the internet (have you seen the Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back”?). Your online behavior, your social media posts, maybe even your whole photo and video archive, your blog musings, your purchases…  in short, your online “brand”.

Now think about how far that “person” would be from the actual you, even with all that information. I dare say that even the most open, outgoing socialmedialytes are presenting a version of themselves that doesn’t even begin to capture the depths their whole mind. Furthermore, I’d like to surmise that a good portion of us humans haven’t even begun to understand all the workings of their own brains.
Now, going back to the “giant global brain”, it seems safe to assume that it is probably still a far cry from actually truly understanding the human mind. How does this relate to design? Simple. Designers are humans, empathetic beings, trained in and highly skilled at visually catering to emotions, feelings, conscious and subconscious triggers. Advertising creative is most effective when empathic design is utilized, and AI does not possess empathy.
Sure, there are plenty of tools out there giving everyone the illusion that they, too, can be a  designer. You can have an algorithm create a logo, and cobble together your own website, but trust me when I say your audience can tell. We live in a highly designed world; every one of us living in urban environments is used to good branding, wherever we look. Your audience expects smart, beautiful design that touches something deep inside them, that makes them want to connect with your product.
In addition to that, and especially at a time when expert opinion unfortunately is valued less and less, I’d like to remind that we all went to school for something. We don’t see a plumber about an aching tooth. He’s missing crucial information. He’s no more qualified for pulling that tooth than a machine is for understanding the essence of your brand.
When it comes to the human feelings you want to evoke in your audience, human designers still know best. So drop us a line if you need branding; we’d love to take a deep dive into your audience’s “mind”.

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