Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
You need some design work done to boost your organisation’s growth and you should probably hire a freelance designer or engage with an agency to do the job. But, why pay extra when you can opt to use free design softwares like Canva, Genially and WIX to help you do it just as well, right?
While this is a reality that many of us Malaysians can relate to, we might fail to see the need for professionals on the job and embrace a DIY attitude instead.
But, while we benefit from the ease of the process with automated design softwares, what does it mean for the professionals?
Let’s cut to the chase, design professionals aren’t going to become completely irrelevant to the game anytime soon.
Designers in Malaysia face many challenges, the main one being a shared, simple-minded way of thinking “the arts aren’t hard” or “there’s no need for creative professionals”. Automated design softwares have only boosted this agenda in recent times.
Yet, during the past year, the demand for graphic designers, UX designers and so on in Malaysia has still been quite high. It seems there is still a large demographic that believes in professionally done work and are willing to pay for it.
This does, however, bring about some interesting conversations.
Are design softwares and designers really on opposite ends of a spectrum?
Before that, let’s look into how they differ from each other.
One of the biggest things that makes automated design softwares trump over designers is the absence of the man-made curse, the “human error”. Firstly, who can blame us? We’re hardly perfect.
But perhaps design softwares could be just that.
Perfect, with their ability to play into algorithms to select perfect colour schemes, create the perfect looking shapes or put together the elements that compliment each other perfectly.
However, even with its imperfections, the human mind is still brilliant and creative.
Revisiting programmes like Canva, its services function primarily on its archive of design templates that were designed by real people. This alone sends a loud statement about the human mind still being at the core of most design softwares.
Furthermore, design softwares doesn’t make the cut in or social media agencies. There’s a certain humane touch necessary to doing media communications related work that automotive softwares just can’t replicate. That’s why these places have professional designers to handle strategizing, creating and distributing content.
But that’s not to completely devalue designers. According to GraphicsMob, Canva’s easy-to-use format doesn’t always make for good work. It has just enough accessibility to allow its users to get nice aesthetics. But due to their lack of skill, they are unable to create works that fulfill the purpose and functionality they actually need. This is something professionals are more than capable of fulfilling.
And for what it’s worth, designers will always be needed to keep algorithms updated with new design trends and what not. It might only be in the distant future when the automotive outruns its creators.
To conclude, yes, design softwares are a threat to designers but it’s not quite the tragedy you’d expect it to be.
Design softwares and designers are not on opposite ends of a spectrum. Rather they work parallel to each other. One can exist without the other, but make better work when they come together. While we are surely on the road for design softwares to take over the necessity for designers, we currently still depend aplenty on them