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January 18, 2024

Designing With AI: Get More Creative by Becoming More Productive

Lisa Panke



UX/UI Designer & Webflow Developer
Buffalo, NY

Last week, we explored how to Design For AI. In the second part of our blog series, we turn our focus to Designing With AI. It is probably no news to you that leveraging tools powered by AI is a game-changer. In the creative tech sector, AI offers new dimensions and possibilities in how we conceive and execute design projects, and provides opportunities to be much more creative by automating mundane tasks.

Today, we'll explore how AI not only complements but elevates the design process if you have the right assets in your tool belt.

Enhancing a UX/UI Designer's Work Through AI

AI tools are revolutionizing how designers work. The shift from traditional design methods to AI-assisted techniques is becoming more common. For example, instead of manually creating an image in Illustrator, designers can now input prompts into Midjourney and receive instant results. Instead of going through days of Affinity Mapping, you can get all information sorted in Figjam, now powered by AI. This transition not only speeds up the design process but also opens up new avenues and chunks of time for creative exploration throughout your day.

How AI Tools Can Save Us Time

One of the most significant advantages of AI in design is its time-saving potential. AI tools can automate routine tasks, analyze large datasets quickly, and provide instant design suggestions, allowing designers to focus on more strategic or creative aspects of their projects.

To give you an idea, here’s a scenario:

Scenario: A digital marketing agency's design team is redesigning a client's website.

Traditional Approach: Weeks of manual research, content drafting, wireframing, and building the website.

AI-Assisted Approach:

  • ChatGPT: Rapid generation of industry trend reports and initial web content in hours instead of days.
  • Uizard: Overnight transformation of sketches into detailed wireframes and UI designs, cutting down days of work. Alternatively, you can use Relume to generate wireframes from a prompt. Those wireframes can then be imported into Webflow to create a new website.

Outcome: The redesign process is significantly expedited, with a client-ready prototype delivered in a fraction of the usual time. The team reallocates saved time to refine the design and enhance client engagement.

Tip: Precise framing of questions or prompts with AI tools like ChatGPT can lead to more relevant and effective responses, saving significant time. Echoing best practices from industry leaders, Trisha Causley, Content Design Lead at Shopify, shared in a recent webinar with Mia Blume that their teams document their prompts for enhanced efficiency and optimal results. Emulate this approach by diligently iterating on and updating your prompts, ensuring you too can maximize the potential of AI in your design process.

How AI Tools Foster Creativity

AI tools are not just about streamlining efficiency; they are powerful catalysts for creativity. Let's take a real-world scenario to illustrate this.

To give you an idea, another scenario:

Scenario: A digital marketing agency is working on a branding project for a client.

Task: Creating a unique brand identity for a new eco-friendly clothing line.

The Problem Set:

  • Challenge: Designing a logo and mood board that captures the brand's sustainable and modern ethos.
  • AI Tools Used: Midjourney for the logo and DALL·E for mood board inspiration.


  1. Input Prompts:
    For Midjourney: "Design a logo for an eco-friendly clothing brand that combines nature and modernity."
    For DALL·E: "Generate images showcasing sustainable fashion, modern design, and nature integration."
  2. AI Output:
    Midjourney creates several logo options, blending elements of nature with a contemporary aesthetic.
    DALL·E produces a range of images, from abstract representations of sustainability to modern fashion designs.
  3. Designer's Role:
    Review and select the most suitable logo design.
    Curate and refine the mood board images to align with the brand vision.

Next Steps: With a unique logo and a visually rich mood board in hand, the next steps involve:

  • Integrating the logo into various brand materials.
  • Using the mood board as a guide for designing the clothing line's first collection.
  • Continuously iterating on the design based on brand evolution and customer feedback.

In this example, AI tools like Midjourney and DALL·E not only saved time but also opened doors to creative possibilities that may not have been initially considered. They provided a starting point, inspiration, and a range of options, allowing designers to focus on refining and tailoring the final outputs to perfectly suit the brand’s identity.

10 AI Design Tools Everyone Talks About

If you are curious about which AI tools we recommend, here is a list of popular AI tools that every designer should try at least once. They range from data analysis and idea generation to automated UI design and image creation.

  • for running and recording interviews
  • Dovetail or Kraftful for analyzing interviews
  • Miro Assist or Figjam to gather and make sense of data
  • ChatGPT to draft problem statements, brainstorm solutions, and refine the feature list
  • Uizard to draft wireframes and turn rough sketches into a user interface
  • Relume to generate wireframes from a prompt and insert them straight into Webflow
  • Khroma or Coolors to generate color palettes
  • Midjourney to create product imagery or icons
  • to brainstorm ideas for UX writing
  • Maze to test your designs
  • or Canva for presenting your work

When to Use Which AI Tool in Your Design Process

Understanding when and how to integrate these AI tools into your design process is crucial. So, how can you stay up to date and remember when to use which tool?

A 3-Step Process to Integrate AI Into Your Day-to-Day

Discovery Process for AI Tools

Step 1: Keep up to date with the latest tools through blogs, social media, or recommendations from within your network. Take 1 to 2 hours per week to try them out.

Step 2: Identify the best tools and map them to your design process. Keep in mind that they are constantly being updated and will get better over time.

Map AI Tools to your process

Step 3: Define your current go-to-tool for each step of your process and implement it in your daily work.

Keep in mind: Staying current with the rapidly evolving AI landscape is essential and revolves around continuous learning and experimentation.

Don’t Follow AI Blindly

While AI tools are powerful, they are not infallible. It's important to approach them with a critical mindset, understanding their limitations, and ensuring that they align with the project's goals and user needs.

Using AI, like ChatGPT, is like using a compass on a hike through unfamiliar terrain. The compass provides guidance and direction. However, just as a hiker must still pay attention to the path, watch out for obstacles, and occasionally adjust course based on the terrain and conditions, a user of AI must actively review and refine the information provided by the AI. The compass (AI) is an invaluable tool, but the journey's success ultimately relies on the hiker's (user's) judgment, attentiveness, and decisions.

Using AI is like using a compass on a hike through unfamiliar terrain.

AI in design is not just about adopting new tools; it's about integrating them into your workflow in a way that enhances creativity, efficiency, and overall quality of work. As we move forward, let's embrace AI as a partner in our creative journeys, using it to augment our skills and bring our innovative visions to life.

Ready to embark on a journey where AI meets design? Our processes at ZEAL are powered by AI and deliver brilliant results even faster than before. Interested? Let’s Talk!

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