The Crucial Role of AI in Web Development

January 25, 2019 0 comments

Artificial intelligence is undeniably no longer a buzzword in the web development space.

Sure, the vast majority of web developers can have a lucrative career without ever touching AI. But in an industry where tools can decide your place in the competition, you can’t afford to be left out when it comes to the strides of AI in web development.

Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in machine learning to take advantage of AI in your web development activities.

As long as you understand the different roles of AI in specific web development workflows, it’s only a matter of finding the right tools that will give your ideas some legs.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dig into some of the functions of AI in web development.

 

1. Design Automation

Perhaps the most straightforward application of AI in web development can be found in platforms that “automate” the early design process based on the preferences set by users.

Sure, platforms have been offering customizable themes based on website type for years. True AI-based implementations, however, are capable of fine-tuning every single aspect of the design — from the arrangement of site sections to the color schemes.

A popular example would be Wix ADI, which stands for Artificial Design Intelligence.

It works by asking you a series of questions regarding your website goals.

By the end of the initial setup process, Wix will provide you with three homepage suggestions from billions of possible combinations — all of which are optimized for user experience and conversion rate.

Of course, the site is still fully customizable, but it’s as close as you can get to a finished product using an automated web design process.

Aside from Wix ADI, below is a list of alternative platforms that use AI to automate web design:

•  Bookmark
Similar to Wix, Bookmark uses AI to speed up the early design process by having the user to answer questions. They call the program Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant or AiDA for short.

•  The Grid
The Grid
is an AI website builder that focuses on the content you upload. Molly — the AI designer of the platform — works by learning design patterns from users 24/7.

•  Jimdo Dolphin
Lastly, Jimdo Dolphin is another implementation of automated web design through AI. It will also provide you with different customizable design options to get the ball rolling.

 

2. Integrating AI Into Your SaaS Product

If you’re a SaaS business, integrating AI-powered features into your website has to do with personalization.

Many services like e-commerce and CRM platforms preemptively ask several questions upon registration to tailor the experience to your objectives. You may encounter questions pertaining to the number of employees in your organization, your niche, your target keywords, and so on.

For tools used in web development, a questionnaire during the account creation process may sound like a simplistic customization feature. Even so, it can significantly accelerate the web development process by showing you the platform’s most relevant features.

There are also countless cloud-based services that assimilate user data and recognize patterns to constantly improve the user experience. You, too, may incorporate machine learning into your SaaS product to deliver the best value possible to your customers.

 

3. Using AI to Augment Your Content & Traffic Channels

If you’re a one-man developer working on your own website, there are two things you need to handle when it comes to your content: development and promotion.

Both fronts can be improved with AI, especially if you choose to go beyond traditional blog posts and spice up your content mix.

Suppose you chose to create a YouTube channel or build an online course. To make the most out of those content promotion channels, chances are you rely on ads to push your value propositions to more people.

That’s where AI steps in and enhance your ad targeting efforts, which is already implemented by a number of display networks like Google AdSense with the “Auto Ads” feature.

Another emerging trend involves standalone content development platforms that utilize Natural Language Processing or NLP and Natural Language Generation or NLG.

Verbolia, for example, analyzes bits from your existing content and matches it with external information to automatically create conversion-optimized landing pages. Their NLG engine is then put in high gear to generate product descriptions — therefore, automating a huge chunk of your web development tasks.

 

4. Transform Hand-Drawn Sketches Into Code

For years, we’ve seen platforms that enabled non-programmers to develop professional-looking websites from scratch — without writing a single line of code.

WordPress, for example, is a Content Management System that allowed users to build sites using a visual editor, a customizable theme, and a handful plugins. But as easy as this process may seem, it’s nowhere near as effortless as what AI-enabled solutions allow.

With tools like Sketch2Code, all you need is a hand-drawn sketch of your web design mockup and the AI will write the HTML code for you. It’s, by far, the biggest shortcut in web development that even absolute beginners can leverage.

Since the code itself can be downloaded, Sketch2Code can be an excellent starting point for web development projects.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring website owner with zero coding experience or a veteran developer. Sketch2Code will help you save a significant amount of time giving your web design ideas some legs.

The technology works using five different components — the most notable ones being the Microsoft Custom Vision Model and Computer Vision Service.

Put simply, the Microsoft Custom Vision Model is an AI trained to recognize HTML elements like text boxes and buttons from hand-drawn designs. The Microsoft Computer Vision Service, on the other hand, is capable of reading text and translating them into design elements.

Sketch2Code also utilizes a couple of Azure services, namely Blog Storage and Function, to handle the platform’s backend.

 

5. Utilize Machine Learning for Cyber Security

Although cybersecurity know-how doesn’t have to be in a web developer’s skillset, it’s an excellent factor that would make them stand out.

Of course, it’s the owner’s prerogative to choose the cybersecurity tools to keep your website safe from hackers. But if you’re developing your own website, you should ensure the usual blend of a web application firewall, antivirus, and SSL certification.

You should also go with a platform that can match the adaptive nature of online threats.

A managed SIEM  or Security Information and Event Management service, for example, works by using machine learning to detect anomalies in your website or online application. This is combined with up-to-date threat intelligence feeds to protect your site from threats before they even cause symptoms.

 

Conclusion

As AI technology progresses each year, we observe more and more disruption in major industries.

Web design is just one of the fields that may forever be changed by self-learning and self-experimenting programs. Although we may not see them replacing human developers soon, it’s clear that AI has great potential in lowering web development’s entry barrier.

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