I predicted Figma AI would replace us (and here's what to do)

Designalily
8 Jul 202408:09

TLDRDesigner Lily discusses the impact of AI on the design industry, predicting that platforms like Figma will use AI to replace human designers by leveraging cloud data from user designs. She suggests three strategies for designers to adapt: seeking complex projects, becoming specialized, and focusing on personal development to remain valuable in an AI-driven future.

Takeaways

  • ๐Ÿค– Figma's AI is predicted to replace designers by utilizing cloud data from all designs created within the platform.
  • ๐Ÿ”ฎ Lily, the senior product designer, foresaw this development and shared her prediction in a previous video, which initially did not gain much attention.
  • ๐ŸŒ Figma's cloud stores a vast amount of design data, making it a valuable resource for training AI to perform design tasks.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Adobe's interest in acquiring Figma for $20 billion highlights the value of the design data stored in Figma's cloud, not just the software itself.
  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Designers should seek out complex and ambiguous projects to grow and stay ahead of AI capabilities, ensuring job security.
  • ๐ŸŽจ Becoming an advanced and specialized designer, rather than a generalist, can provide protection against AI replacing common design tasks.
  • ๐Ÿ›‘ Exceptional skills, such as advanced prototyping that involves coding, are difficult for AI to replicate and can secure a designer's role.
  • ๐Ÿ† Specializing in areas like visual design or product thinking can make a designer invaluable to a team, reducing the risk of AI replacement.
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Personal development is crucial; skills like public speaking, collaboration, and relationship management are irreplaceable by AI.
  • ๐Ÿ›‘ The ability to tackle hard challenges and step up when needed makes a designer a valuable asset, regardless of AI advancements.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก The core message is to evolve into a problem solver, as this mindset is essential for adapting to changes brought by AI and ensuring a successful career in design.

Q & A

  • What did Lily predict about Figma's use of AI?

    -Lily predicted that Figma would use its cloud data to train AI, which would eventually replace human designers by learning from the designs, permutations, and variations uploaded to its cloud.

  • Why did Lily believe Figma's cloud data is valuable?

    -Lily believed Figma's cloud data is valuable because it contains a vast array of designs from various tech companies, startups, and big tech firms, essentially representing the entire technology industry's worth of designs.

  • What is the significance of Adobe's interest in Figma?

    -Adobe's interest in Figma, particularly its attempt to acquire the company for $20 billion, highlights the value of Figma's cloud data, which Adobe could not easily replicate with its own features.

  • How does Lily suggest designers can evolve and adapt to AI advancements?

    -Lily suggests that designers should seek out complex and ambiguous projects, become advanced and specialized in their field, and focus on personal development to stay ahead of AI advancements.

  • What is the role of ambiguity and complexity in a designer's career growth?

    -Ambiguity and complexity in projects challenge designers to solve tough problems, pushing them out of their comfort zones and helping them develop into better problem solvers, which is crucial for career growth and security.

  • Why is it important for designers to avoid becoming generalists?

    -Becoming generalists can make designers more susceptible to being replaced by AI, which can handle common tasks. Instead, specialization allows designers to perform exceptional work that AI cannot easily replicate.

  • What are some examples of advanced design skills that AI cannot replace?

    -Examples of advanced design skills include advanced prototyping that involves coding, exceptional visual design, and strong product thinking that can rival or even replace a product manager's role.

  • How does Lily define personal development in the context of a designer's career?

    -Personal development, in this context, involves improving skills like public speaking, collaboration, relationship management, and the ability to take on challenging tasks, which are all human-centric skills that AI cannot replicate.

  • What is the overarching theme of Lily's message to designers regarding AI?

    -The overarching theme is to become problem solvers. Designers should focus on helping others and solving problems, which is a mentality that will keep them valuable regardless of AI advancements.

  • How does Lily suggest designers can protect their future in the face of AI?

    -Lily suggests that by seeking complex projects, specializing in advanced design skills, and investing in personal development, designers can protect their future and remain relevant and valuable in the industry.

Outlines

00:00

๐Ÿค– AI's Role in Design Industry Disruption

Lily, a senior product designer, discusses the impact of AI on the design industry, particularly focusing on Figma's use of cloud data to train AI, which may eventually replace human designers. She predicted this development less than a year ago but received little attention. Lily explains that Figma's cloud accumulates vast amounts of design data from various tech companies, providing a rich dataset for AI training. She also touches on Adobe's interest in Figma, not for its features but for its valuable design data. The video aims to address the fear in the industry and suggests strategies for designers to adapt and evolve in this changing landscape.

05:00

๐Ÿ›  Strategies for Designers in the AI Era

Lily outlines three strategies for designers to secure their future in the face of AI advancements. The first strategy involves seeking out complex and ambiguous projects to enhance problem-solving skills and job security. The second strategy is to specialize and become an advanced designer, focusing on areas where AI cannot easily replicate, such as advanced prototyping or exceptional visual design. The third strategy is a broader life advice to invest in personal development, emphasizing skills like public speaking, collaboration, and taking on challenging tasks. Lily believes that individuals who are intrinsically motivated by self-growth and have a strong problem-solving mentality will remain valuable and secure in their careers, regardless of AI advancements.

Mindmap

Keywords

๐Ÿ’กFigma AI

Figma AI refers to the artificial intelligence capabilities being integrated into the Figma design tool. In the video, it is suggested that Figma's AI will eventually replace human designers by learning from the vast amount of design data stored in its cloud. This is a central theme of the video, as it discusses the implications of AI on the design industry and the potential for job displacement.

๐Ÿ’กCloud Data

Cloud Data in this context refers to the designs, permutations, variations, and movements made within Figma that are uploaded and stored in the cloud. The video emphasizes that Figma's cloud data is a rich source for training AI because it contains a wide array of design work from across the technology industry, which can be used to enhance the AI's capabilities.

๐Ÿ’กAI Training

AI Training is the process of teaching an artificial intelligence system to perform tasks by feeding it data. In the script, the speaker predicts that Figma will use the data from its cloud to train its AI, which will learn from the designs created by users and potentially replace the need for human designers.

๐Ÿ’กAdobe

Adobe is mentioned in the video as a company that attempted to acquire Figma for $20 billion. The acquisition was likely driven by the value of Figma's cloud data, which contains a wealth of design information. Adobe is also noted for its own efforts in integrating AI into its software, such as Photoshop, which parallels the discussion on Figma's AI development.

๐Ÿ’กAmbiguous and Complex Projects

The speaker suggests that designers should seek out projects that are ambiguous and complex in nature as a strategy for career growth and security. These types of projects are less likely to be automated by AI and require a high level of problem-solving skills, which are valuable in the evolving design landscape.

๐Ÿ’กAdvanced and Specialized Designer

An Advanced and Specialized Designer is someone who has honed exceptional skills in a particular area of design, such as advanced prototyping or visual design. The video argues that becoming highly specialized can provide job security in the face of AI, as AI is less capable of performing cutting-edge or innovative work that requires a deep understanding of complex concepts.

๐Ÿ’กGeneralist

A Generalist in the design field is someone who has a broad range of skills but may not be exceptionally skilled in any one area. The video contrasts this with being an advanced and specialized designer, suggesting that generalists may be more vulnerable to AI automation as their work may be more easily replicated by AI.

๐Ÿ’กPersonal Development

Personal Development in the context of the video refers to the continuous learning and self-improvement that a designer should pursue. It includes skills like public speaking, collaboration, and relationship management. The speaker argues that focusing on personal development can help designers remain valuable and adaptable in an AI-driven industry.

๐Ÿ’กProblem Solver

A Problem Solver is an individual who is adept at identifying and solving issues. The video emphasizes the importance of adopting a problem-solving mentality, as this mindset is essential for designers to remain relevant and employable, regardless of the presence of AI.

๐Ÿ’กLegacy Projects

Legacy Projects are existing projects that have been developed over time and may not require the same level of innovation or complexity as new projects. In the video, the speaker mentions that some designers may choose to work on legacy projects for a slower pace or better work-life balance, but these projects may not offer the same level of challenge or growth potential as more complex projects.

๐Ÿ’กWork-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance refers to the equilibrium between an individual's professional and personal life. The video acknowledges the importance of this balance for many people, but also points out that seeking complex and challenging projects may sometimes require designers to step out of their comfort zone and potentially sacrifice some work-life balance for career advancement.

Highlights

Designer Lily predicts that Figma AI will replace human designers by utilizing cloud data.

Figma's cloud collects all designs, variations, and movements made by users, providing a vast dataset for AI training.

Users inadvertently train AI by designing in Figma, potentially replacing their own jobs unless they opt out.

Adobe's failed $20 billion acquisition of Figma was likely motivated by the desire for access to Figma's valuable cloud data.

Figma's cloud contains a wealth of design data from tech companies, startups, and established businesses.

Adobe has been using AI in Photoshop, and other companies like Microsoft are likely doing the same with their tools.

The fear in the design industry is growing as AI capabilities advance and the potential for job replacement becomes more real.

Designers should seek out complex and ambiguous projects to enhance their problem-solving skills and job security.

Becoming an advanced and specialized designer can provide protection against AI replacing common design tasks.

Advanced prototyping skills, such as coding interactions, are rare and difficult for AI to replicate.

Specializing in visual design or product thinking can elevate a designer's role and make them indispensable.

Investing in personal development, such as public speaking and relationship management, can future-proof a designer's career.

AI cannot replace the intrinsic motivation and adaptability of a designer focused on self-growth.

Lily's three strategies for designers include seeking complex projects, specializing in advanced design skills, and focusing on personal development.

The theme of Lily's message is to become a problem solver, as this mentality is essential for job security in the AI era.

Designers should embrace the challenge of solving hard problems to stay relevant and valuable in the industry.

Lily encourages designers to adapt and evolve with the times, acknowledging the inevitability of AI's impact on the design process.