What AI Tools Do Designers Use the Most?

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionised the design industry. Today AI helps to streamline workflows and enhance creativity. Furthermore, new technology has caught on so fast that many people can't imagine work processes without input of large language models or art generators anymore.

To gain deeper insights into the usage of AI tools among designers, we conducted a short survey. The survey tackled 3 interesting aspects, such as tool adoption, payment trends and the perceived gaps in the market of AI-powered products. In this blog post we discuss the results of our experiment and share some insights.

The Setup

A form for the survey on AI tools usage created with an AI form builder in Figma

Before we jump to the results, you might be curious to know more about the setup of the experiment. Embedded on our commercial website, our survey has been reaching a daily audience of approximately 400 visitors. The majority of the visitors fall within our target demographic: designers. On the image above you can see a form with which we collected responses. To make it blend with our website, we used the Weavely Forms plugin for Figma, as it gives you full freedom in forms customisation. We designed our form using brand colours and a brand visual and then easily launched a ready-to-embed form straight from Figma.

The Most Popular AI Tools Among Designers

One of the key questions in our survey aimed to identify the AI tools designers are currently using. So, let's take a closer look.

Most popular AI tools among designers

ChatGPT stands tall as the most favoured AI tool according to the results of our survey. A staggering 90% of respondents reported using it for work. This result is not at all surprising as ChatGPT can handle a large range of tasks - from generating content to articulating design concepts and preparing user interface copy.

The second-runner in the AI tools usage trends is an AI art generator Midjourney. With a 23% adoption rate by AI users, the tool helps designers to generate ideas, explore different styles, create moodboards and illustrations. Although only used by 10% of our respondents, both Dall-E 2 and especially Uizard can be really useful in design. As an AI-powered UI design tool, Uizard lets designers as well as non-designers create mockups, wireframes and prototypes.

Interestingly, none of our survey respondents reported using Bard. This might be related to the delayed launch of Google's large language model in Europe, therefore a big loss of the market share for Bard.

Paying for AI Tools: a Majority Decision

Payment trends for AI tools among designers

The second question tackled the issue of paying for AI-powered products. In the ever-evolving design industry, professionals are keen to invest in AI tools that enhance their capabilities. And the results of our survey prove this statement! A remarkable 59% of designers using AI tools do pay for them. This could only mean that premium versions of AI-driven solutions bring additional value that definitely beats their free alternatives.

Paying for AI tools provides access to more advanced features, unlimited usage and early access to significant updates. It also signals designers' commitment to innovate and move the design industry forward, where AI plays an increasingly important role.

Identifying the Gaps in the Current AI Market

The final question of our survey was about unmet needs with regards to AI capabilities and potential tools our respondents might miss in today's market of AI-powered tools. The majority of respondents struggled to identify specific areas of improvement. They either left the field blank or stated that there is no specific AI tool they wish existed in the current AI products offering. Nevertheless, those designers who left a response had very similar views on what AI-powered tools they are still missing.

Enhanced AI Tools for Design

Respondents expressed the desire for AI tools that can assist with more intricate design tasks. These tools could include generating custom vector-based illustrations, animations, or providing design recommendations based on user preferences. As a result, such products would not only boost productivity but also bring innovation to the design industry.

Potential AI products to facilitate design processes

In conclusion, AI tools have become integral to the design industry. Large language models and art generators enable designers to push boundaries and create even more unique designs. While (not surprisingly) ChatGPT emerged as the frontrunner, designers appeared to actively use tools like Midjourney, Dall-E 2, and Uizard. The willingness of 59% of designers to pay for AI tools reflects their recognition of the value these tools bring. As the design landscape continues to evolve, we can expect to see new AI-powered innovations that address the gaps identified by designers. Potentially, there could be more AI-powered tools specifically  tailored to facilitate and innovate designprocesses. Who knows what companies like OpenAI, Midjourney and others have up their sleeves and what we can expect in the nearest future!

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