Web design is an important area, where the creative skills and the conversion optimization knowledge of the web designer can help build a high-performing website.
But will AI-based tools automating design and implementation of websites disrupt the life of web designers? In this blog post, I interview Naser Alubaidi, Head of Marketing at Bookmark, one of the pioneers in AI-based automated web design.
What was impossible a few years ago is a practicality already, and one might ask if web designers will even be needed five years from now?
These are interesting questions that are answered by Nasher Alubaidi in this interview:
What is Your Company’s Background?
Prior to starting Bookmark, David, the CEO founded a successful affiliate marketing agency with his brother from his parent’s basement. They grew it to 60M+ in revenue and eventually sold the company. During that time however, David got the opportunity to work closely with many small business owners and entrepreneurs and got a sense of what their pain points are. Specifically, he got to see how they are reacting to the changes in the business landscape and their difficulties adapting to the “online world”. This drove him to start Bookmark.
The solutions that were available in the market however where all following the same method. Template-based website building where a user would choose a template and then start editing. The result was that thousands of people were using the same exact templates and have the same look for websites.
We decided to try something different. We wanted to build every user a unique website specifically for them. A website that works specifically for their business, their industry and their unique preferences.
And the rest is history. We built a team of software engineers, AI developers, website designers and marketing professionals and Bookmark was born: an AI-powered website builder that uses genetic algorithms, machine learning and years of web design experience to build unique websites in less than a minute.
What Problem Does Your Product Solve?
Bookmark aims to empower non-technical small business owners with the ability to build and grow their online presence.
What Does Your Product do, and why is it Important to Your Customers?
To begin with, Bookmark introduces users to AiDA – their Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant. AiDA would ask them a few questions about their business in order to personalize a website for their unique needs.
AiDA starts by asking a user to choose their business type. This is from a list of more than 750 unique business types. The next step would be to input their business name (this is so that AiDA would try to find any relevant information on the web related to their business such as logo, location, information, images, etc..). Then, AiDA asks if they’d like to include an eCommerce store on their website and finally would get them to add any additional information if they would like to do so.
This information, along with data Bookmark has related to the user’s unique business type would be used to build a user a website in 30 seconds. No two websites are ever going to be the same at Bookmark. The website will be uniquely built for that user.
Then, a user gets the opportunity to preview their website and have a look at every page of the website. AiDA then asks the user if they like that website or whether they would like to simply recreate it. If a user chooses to recreate the website, then AiDA builds a completely new website in 30 seconds. This website will have a different style, images, pages, sections and design. They are able to recreate the website until they are happy with the starting point.
Once a user finds the website they are happy with, AiDA would walk the user through the process of editing the website. They would have two options at this point, either doing it themselves or asking AiDA to do it for them. AiDA is able to edit their website for them by choosing different styles, changing images, etc.. This is done in order to simplify the process of editing a website and adding their own touch to the final look of the website.
Finally, once this is complete, a user can publish their website to the world. However, it doesn’t stop there. Many Bookmark users are non-technical entrerpreneurs and small business owners so Bookmark has created an eLearning section where they offer courses on what to do next. These courses include: “Introduction to Facebook Marketing”, “Building a Personal Brand”, and “Intro to Adwords”. This is to guide users to the methods needed in order to push their online presence to the next level.
How Does Your Product use AI?
Bookmark uses genetic algorithms, machine learning and some human-assisted elements to provide every user with a website that is unique to them, their business and their industry.
This is done by first getting some information about a user’s business and then combining that with data gathered previously. The AI software will then make predictions on what sections, elements, images and pages this website should have based on the data gathered.
AiDA gets smarter with every new website by learning from every user’s choices and design decisions. The mission here is to make AiDA the most experienced website designer in the world. This will hopefully allow users to save at least 90% of their time and energy when creating and designing a website online.
In Your Mind, What is the Future of AI in Business and Marketing?
The best use of AI in business and marketing will be in personalization. Personalization is already being implemented by companies such as Amazon & Instagram who use AI to provide every user with a personalized experience.
However, AI would allow this to be taken to the next level. For example, in marketing, AI could deliver unique campaigns and messages to unique individuals. For example, instead of advertising to “fitness enthusiasts”, AI could potentially cater to “Boutique Yoga Studio Owner in area X”.
This could be pushed even further where websites get adjusted automatically depending on who is visiting the website. AI could in real-time track who is visiting the website and adjust some text, images and overall message to work specifically for that person.
The future in business, marketing and customer service is will definitely lead to personalization and AI could be the perfect accelerator to that future.
Do You Think Marketers Will be Replaced by AI Robots?
No. However, marketers who do not use AI will be out of business. AI will definitely disrupt the marketing landscape in various ways and the sooner marketers realize that, the sooner they will be able to use it to their advantage.
For example, AI could optimize campaigns and maximize conversions. AI could be used to rapidly test different campaigns, messages and images and help marketers increase ROI on their existing campaigns.
Additionally, it will provide marketers with recommendations and insights on who to target, how to reach them and what message to use. Marketing will definitely be disrupted by AI, however, it wouldn’t necessarily replace marketers, it will simply empower them.
Do You Have Any Other Thoughts on AI in Business and Marketing?
We are at a period of time where there’s a lot of confusion and skepticism around AI. Many companies are simply using the term as a marketing gimmick while others are warning against the use of AI in any aspect of life.
What many don’t realize is that they are already using AI in their lives today. For example, Siri, Alexa and Cortana are all powered by AI. Also, many seem to not realize the way AI will change the world as we know it and how it could add value to every person’s life.
In business & marketing, AI will definitely make the process smoother and very efficient. It will empower professionals and allow them to focus on the high level tasks while AI takes care of tasks such as A/B testing, optimization and initial research.
In this interview, Naser Alubaid gave a fascinating view into how AI can be used already now for automated web design.
Even if tools like Bookmark doesn’t replace web designers completely, they do reduce the time required in many cases.
Who knows what it looks like in a few years time. Perhaps, web designers are completely replaced by AI robots with experience on what works best from analysis of millions web sites. The future will be interesting!
I am an author, speaker and consultant in marketing automation and artificial intelligence.
Do you need help with marketing automation or AI-based solutions? Contact me and let’s discuss how I can help you!