Oct 25, 2017

Can AI really design your website?


Website creation has lately been changing in order to appeal to the rapidly growing market of those not particularly skilled in the area, who are wanting to build websites. CMS went some way to solve this as people could completely remove themselves from the code-based technicalities of web development, such as WordPress. Despite this many people still struggled with the whole design side of website creation.


In an attempt to solve this, CMS based around templating which restrict the freedoms of design (in order to ensure websites are usable and consumer friendly) such as Wix and Squarespace were created. However, all of these CMS are still not entirely self-explanatory, with problems like confusion over naming of menus (due to menus being created by those who are technologically minded).

This is where AI is starting to creep in.

A number of companies are attempting to automate both the design and development of the website through AI systems. One of the most prominent at the moment is Wix’s own ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). With this system, you simply give it your company name, the type of company you are and a few words about what your company does. Wix then returns with a complete site, sub-pages and all – based on what it thinks you should have on your site – ready for you to drop in all of your content. You may be thinking, but what happens if you don’t like it? Well, you can either restart and roll the dice again, or use a range of menus which let you change very broad things on the site; colour palettes and the kind.

But let’s take a look at the example result they give:



It’s an appealing site, I’ll agree with that. However, Wix say “no two sites ever looking the same”, yet, to me, there doesn’t appear to be anything special about this site. But reading into this a bit further, I may have found why. “…choosing from billions of high-quality, stunning combinations and possibilities...” Wix’s ADI seems to only look through its own templates, taking parts of them and merging them together into another new template; hence why there can be billions of combinations without any fear of exact repetition. But is this really the best we can do?

I took a look at another AI designer, called Firedrop, to find out. Similar to Wix, Firedrop attempts to make design easier by minimising the learning curve needed to create a website. However, Firedrop does this by using a chatbot for an interface which starts in the exact same way as Wix – asking for your company name, type and description. After that all you need to do is type what you want to do and everything else is done for you.

So again, let’s take a look at the 4 example outputs: