Embrace 2024: AI Revolution, UX Mastery & Design Evolution!

In 2023, Adobe’s potential acquisition of Figma revealed strategic insights, reflecting a paradigm shift in design industry competition. Meanwhile, AI tools continue to transform design workflows, reshaping the landscape. Additionally, Nielsen Norman Group’s top 10 articles offer valuable UX insights. Looking ahead, the AI skill set becomes vital for designers in 2024. The future promises AI’s pervasive influence across industries, demanding adaptability and proactive learning.

Hello people, in this issue, we’ll look at…

  • 🃏 Playing This Game Like Amazon,
  • 🤖 AI Tools to Explore in 2024,
  • 📘 Top 10 Nielsen Norman Articles of 2023: UX Insights You Can’t-Miss,
  • 🔮 The Future of Skills: A Glimpse into 2030,
  • 🤹🏽‍♂️ Design Skills to Learn in 2024,
  • 🌟 2024: The Year AI Takes Center Stage,
  • 🍟 and extra things to bite it…

🃏 Playing This Game Like Amazon

An illustration containing black Adobe logos in front of white Figma logos on a red background.

As 2023 wrapped up, a significant event unfolded in our industry – the Adobe and Figma acquisition saga. In a surprising turn of events, Adobe did not acquire Figma, a development many designers globally might consider a Christmas miracle, especially for those not so fond of Adobe.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. I recall my time in Brazil’s e-commerce sector, pre-Amazon era. Amazon had set up shop but was still ‘studying’ the market. This created a frenzy among local startups and established companies, all preparing to be potentially acquired by Amazon. They exposed their inner workings to Amazon under NDAs, naively revealing their strategies and weaknesses. It was a tactical move by Amazon, gathering insights without direct involvement.

The CEO of Netshoes, Marcio Kumruian, back then shared a similar mindset, thinking they were playing the same game as Amazon. But they missed the bigger picture – Amazon wasn’t just an e-commerce website; it was building a comprehensive ecosystem encompassing AWS, Prime Video, logistics, creating their own brands, marketplace, and more. This misconception highlights how easily companies can misunderstand their competitors’ strategies.

This brings us to the Adobe-Figma situation. Adobe, a seasoned player in acquiring design-related companies, seemed poised to take over Figma. But like Amazon’s approach, the process revealed much about Figma’s internal strategies and operations to Adobe. While Figma has been a favorite among designers, especially for its innovations, it has recently shown signs of stagnating, particularly in areas like AI integration – something Adobe has been aggressively pursuing.

2023 was a year marked by AI’s growing influence in design. Adobe has been at the forefront, continually integrating AI into tools like Illustrator and Photoshop. In contrast, Figma’s advancements, like AI plugins from Diagram, have been less impressive.

With the acquisition falling through, Adobe is now back to the drawing board. They might focus on bridging the design-to-product gap, potentially leveraging AI even more. Tools like Framer are already using AI, and Adobe might follow suit, accelerating product development.

For Figma, 2024 will be a year of proving its mettle. They need to innovate, especially in AI, to stay competitive. Additionally, they face the challenge of converting their vast user base, often reluctant to pay, into paying customers.

Adobe, on the other hand, might be relieved not to deal with users resistant to monetization. They’re financially equipped and strategically positioned to explore new avenues in the UX/UI world, possibly revisiting projects like Adobe XD with an AI-driven approach.

Lastly, it’s an interesting moment for other players like Sketch, which is known for robust design systems capabilities. Adobe’s strategic shifts could open opportunities for such companies.

In summary, this development is not just about Figma or Adobe; it’s a pivotal moment in the design industry, where strategies, user expectations, and technological advancements are all in flux. Let’s watch how 2024 unfolds for these giants and the design community at large.

🤖 AI Tools to Explore in 2024

It’s time to embrace the AI revolution! AI tools are not just the future; they’re here, enhancing our workflows in ways we never imagined. Here are some AI tools I’ve been experimenting with, and I highly recommend you dive into them too:

Sketch to Design

  • tldraw: Transform your rough sketches into polished designs. It’s like having a design assistant who understands your scribbles!

Creative Tools with Runway ML

  • Runway ML: A playground for creative minds. Explore, experiment, and create with AI models that push the boundaries of your creativity.

Revolutionizing Website Building

UI Design Innovations

Copy And Strategy

  • Chat GPT: A strategic partner for crafting compelling narratives and design strategies. It’s like having a brainstorming buddy, always ready with fresh ideas.

Image Generation – The New Frontier

  • Adobe CC Generative AI: Adobe’s bringing its A-game to AI in image generation. Prepare to be amazed by the possibilities.
  • Midjourney: An AI journey into the heart of creativity. Midjourney takes image generation to new heights.
  • Krea AI: is where art meets AI. It’s a canvas for your imagination, powered by artificial intelligence.
  • Microsoft Designer: The new kid on the block from Microsoft, blending AI with design in a unique, user-friendly package.
  • OpenAI’s Dalle 2: is redefining creative expression. It’s like having a digital artist at your fingertips.
  • StockImg.ai for AI-generated stock images that are a cut above the rest.
  • DreamStudio AI, your dream designs become reality, thanks to the power of AI.

These tools are reshaping our design landscape, offering solutions for immediate and future needs. They’re not just tools; they’re companions in our creative journey. If you have the time, I highly recommend exploring these AI innovations. They’re sure to add incredible value to your design process.

📘 Top 10 Nielsen Norman Articles of 2023: UX Insights You Can’t-Miss

2023 has been a remarkable year for user experience insights, and Nielsen Norman Group has been at the forefront of this knowledge wave. Here are the top 10 most-read articles from their collection that every UX enthusiast should check out:

  1. Heuristic Evaluations: How to ConductDive into a step-by-step guide on systematically reviewing your product for usability issues. Plus, grab their free heuristic evaluation template!
  2. User Journeys vs. User FlowsUnderstand the nuances between user journeys and user flows. Both are pivotal in planning and evaluating experience, but they differ in scope and purpose.
  3. AI: First New UI Paradigm in 60 YearsAI is revolutionizing UI, introducing a paradigm where users dictate the ‘what’ and not the ‘how’, effectively shifting the locus of control.
  4. Error-Message GuidelinesLearn to craft error messages that are visible, constructive, and respectful of user effort, enhancing overall UX.
  5. The Negative Impact of Mobile-First Web Design on DesktopExplore how mobile-first designs can lead to usability issues on desktops, including challenges with content dispersion and layout.
  6. ChatGPT Lifts Business Professionals’ Productivity and Improves Work QualitA study reveals how ChatGPT improves task efficiency and quality for business document creation.
  7. The Anatomy of a Good Design: An Analysis of 4 SitesDissect what makes a design visually pleasing through an analysis of consistent type styles, visual hierarchy, and grid structures.
  8. Bottom Sheets: Definition and UX GuidelinesGet to know the bottom sheet UI pattern, commonly used in mobile apps for contextual details or controls.
  9. Onboarding Tutorials vs. Contextual HelpCompare tutorials and contextual help, understanding how the latter can be more effective and less intrusive.
  10. UX-Research Methods: GlossaryA handy glossary to demystify key terms and concepts related to UX research methods.

Each of these articles offers a wealth of information and actionable insights, perfect for keeping your UX knowledge fresh and relevant.

🔮 The Future of Skills: A Glimpse into 2030

Curious about the future of your job? Enter the fascinating world of AI predictions! I’ve stumbled upon this intriguing AI tool by Pearson that forecasts the demand for various jobs by 2030: Future Skills. It’s like having a crystal ball for your career!

While I wouldn’t advise basing your entire career trajectory on this tool, it’s definitely an eye-opener. It offers a fun and insightful peek into what the data suggests will be hot (or not) in the job market a few years down the line. Think of it as a data-driven glimpse into the future, showcasing trends and potential shifts in various industries.

So, if you’re ever pondering over a coffee break, “Will my skills still be relevant in 2030?” or “What new skills should I be picking up?” – this tool could provide some intriguing answers. It’s a blend of data analysis and AI wizardry that offers a unique perspective on the ever-evolving job landscape.

Remember, though, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Your passion, adaptability, and continuous learning will always be key ingredients in your career success recipe.

Future Skills

🤹🏽‍♂️ Design Skills to Learn in 2024

As we dive into 2024, the design world continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Here’s a rundown of the key skills you should be honing this year:

  1. Cross-Platform Design: The line between mobile, desktop, and even wearable tech is blurring. It’s more important than ever to understand how to create seamless experiences across all platforms. Think responsive, adaptable, and fluid.
  2. Motion Design: Animation isn’t just for cartoons anymore. Subtle motions can guide users, convey information, and add that extra layer of polish to your designs. Time to get your feet wet with tools like Lottie Files or After Effects. Dynamic experiences are the new norm in captivating users.
  3. Voice User Interface (VUI): Siri, Alexa, and their friends are becoming household staples. Learning to design for voice interactions is no longer optional. It’s a skill that’s rapidly becoming a necessity.
  4. AR/VR Experience Design: Augmented and Virtual Reality are not just gaming gimmicks. They’re transforming how we interact with digital content. Understanding spatial design and user interaction in 3D spaces is the future.
  5. Accessibility and Inclusive Design: Design isn’t just about looking good; it’s about being usable for everyone. Brush up on WCAG guidelines and start incorporating accessibility into your workflow from day one.
  6. AI and Machine Learning: AI is changing the way we design and interact with digital products. Understanding the basics of AI and how it can be applied in design will give you a significant edge.
  7. Design Systems: Gone are the days of reinventing the wheel for every project. Efficient, scalable design systems are the way forward. Learn to create and manage them to ensure consistency and improve collaboration.
  8. Storytelling: Transform skeptics into supporters with compelling narratives. The ability to articulate your design process and outcomes is as important as the design itself.
  9. Active Listening: Often overlooked, active listening is a superpower for designers. It leads to more effective, actionable research and deeply resonates with users’ needs.
  10. Strategic Design: Aligning your design initiatives with business strategy is crucial. To get started, I highly recommend the book “The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design” It’s a game-changer in understanding how design and business intersect.
  11. Data-Driven Design: Let data guide your design decisions. Understanding and interpreting data ensures your designs are not just aesthetically pleasing but also functionally effective.
  12. Research: The backbone of any good design. Deep dive into user needs, market trends, and technological advancements to create relevant and impactful designs.
  13. Lean Methodologies: Agile, efficient, and effective. Embrace lean approaches to streamline your design process, reduce waste, and deliver faster.

Remember, the key is not just to learn these skills but to understand how they fit into the bigger picture of user experience. It’s an exciting time to be in design, and the opportunities are endless.

What other skills are you hoping to learn?

🌟 2024: The Year AI Takes Center Stage

I recently came across an insightful article on Medium: AI-pocalypse Now, that sparked some fascinating thoughts about the trajectory of AI in 2024.

Rapid Evolution of AI

Earlier this year, I had an enlightening chat with an AI engineer from Google who hinted at the transformative changes AI would bring in 2023. True enough, we’ve witnessed AI’s staggering impact across various fields. What’s even more astounding is the speed at which AI is advancing. I’ve spoken about this in several events this year, comparing the older Classic AI with the newer LLM, more advanced AI systems we have now. The pace of self-improvement in these AI systems is something many still haven’t fully grasped.

AI in Customer Service and Sales

I’ve been experimenting with AI tools for customer service and sales. It’s remarkable how these tools can handle tasks that would typically require extensive human resources. This technology is set to reduce the number of employees needed, reshaping company structures and payroll dynamics. It’s a shift we need to be aware of, especially regarding its impact on our industry and job market.

AI’s Creative Leap

Reflecting on my past work, creating e-cards for Avon in Brazil, I’m amazed at how AI is transforming even simple creative tasks. For instance, Coca-Cola’s recent project utilizing AI to generate and customize Christmas cards offers a glimpse into a new era of personalized experiences. AI’s ability to blend creativity and personalization is not just impressive; it’s a game changer.

Create Real Magic

Looking Ahead

As we step into 2024, it’s clear that AI will not just be a part of our world; it will shape it in profound ways. Whether it’s revolutionizing customer interactions, altering workforce dynamics, or redefining creativity, AI’s influence is set to grow exponentially.

So, as we embark on this AI-mazing journey, let’s stay curious, adaptable, and informed. The AI revolution is here, and it’s time to embrace its immense potential.

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See you next week! 🤗

Designer, writer, educator, UX/UI advocate, and mentor for startups.

Juno Jo

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