Although websites may once have been simple, static resources, these days the best sites take advantage of the latest technological advances. As a result, the field of web design is constantly evolving.
There are few better examples of this in action than the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Of course, AI has applications in a huge variety of fields and situations. However, what you may not realize is that it offers a lot of opportunities to website owners and designers.
In this post, we’ll explore the new and exciting world of AI. Plus, we’ll talk about what it means for web design, and how you can take advantage of its benefits. Let’s jump right in!
An Introduction to AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of those terms that nearly everyone has heard, but not a lot of people understand. It’s been around since before the technology really even existed. In fact, it was once a theoretical concept – something from the realm of science fiction.
So just what is AI? To be honest, it’s a broad and new enough term that defining it can be a little tricky. In general, however, it refers to computers that have the ability to demonstrate human-like intelligence. Rather than simply running programs, machines with AI capabilities are able to learn, adapt, and even solve problems (albeit to a limited extent right now).
A core component of AI technology is ‘machine learning’. In other words, it’s the ability for a computer to learn and improve over time, rather than to just follow a set of pre-defined rules. For example, Netflix’s algorithms use machine learning to analyze viewer behavior, in order to provide better and better recommendations to its users.
It’s worth noting that most forms of AI that exist today aren’t really ‘true AI’. There’s no machine yet that’s capable of learning, making decisions, or problem solving as well as a human can. However, the technology is improving rapidly, and there are a lot of examples out there of partial AI systems being used to great effect.
Why AI Is Relevant to the Field of Web Design
Websites aren’t the first thing most people think about when they consider AI. Self-driving cars and cell phone assistants like Siri are probably what first come to mind. As it turns out, though, AI is something you’ll need to consider if you want to build a website that stands out and gets results.
While a website can simply be a static source of information, it can also be much more than that. Effective sites react to visitors by offering engaging, interactive, and even personalized experiences. AI technology can make all of that possible.
Just a few of the ways AI can be used to design a better website include:
- Tracking visitor behavior, and using it to improve the effectiveness of your content and advertising.
- Automating rote tasks to save time, such as collecting data and customer information.
- Using ‘chatbots’ and other types of virtual assistants to answer visitor questions and direct them where they need to go.
- Providing search functionality that’s adaptive, and returns relevant and useful results.
- Personalizing website and store content; for example, presenting visitors with recommended articles or items based on their past actions (such as browsing and purchase histories).
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities for applying AI on your website are just about endless. Of course, this may all still feel a little theoretical and high-concept. Before we wrap things up, therefore, let’s look at a few of the ways you can actually use AI technology right now.
How You Can Apply AI and Machine Learning Technology on Your Site
Developing AI technology from scratch is a time-consuming and complex process. Unless you’re a very talented developer (or have one on hand), you’ll want to find one or more tools that can help you implement it.
Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there. They range from simple and beginner-friendly, to highly-advanced. You’ll want to start with the former, naturally, and work your way up from there.
For instance, there are a lot of very accessible AI and machine learning tools for improving the way ads are displayed on your site. The Facebook pixel is a perfect example:
This is a small piece of code you can add to your website, which tracks the way visitors react to your ads. It then uses that information to place future ads more effectively, and offer messaging that is more relevant to your audience. You’ll need to be using Facebook ads in order to set this up, of course. However, many other platforms are beginning to offer similar tools.
You can also find solutions that help you with content optimization, such as HubSpot’s SEO & Content Strategy tools:
This platform makes use of machine learning to help you track analytics on your site, create more optimized content, and improve the effectiveness of your Calls To Action (CTAs).
Of course, we should also mention chatbots. These offer a machine-driven ‘live chat’ experience, and can be used to answer visitor questions, collect information, offer personalized marketing, and more. Solutions like Botsify can help you set them up easily:
Finally, you’ll probably have access to other dedicated AI tools, depending on the website platform you’re using. For example, WordPress users can take advantage of plugins like IBM Watson Assistant to set up a powerful chatbot, MyCurator Content Curation to conduct research, and Askimet to combat spam via machine learning.
In the movies, AI is all about evil robots that want to take over the world. In reality, however, it’s a currently-limited but evolving technology that promises to change the way we do a lot of things – including how we build websites.
By adding AI and machine learning-powered features to your site, you can transform it from a static resource into an interactive one. You can provide personalized experiences, helpful chat systems, and more relevant advertising to your visitors. What’s more, you can automate the process of tracking user behavior and applying it, to make your site’s design and content more effective.
Do you have any questions about AI, and how you can take advantage of this technology? Ask us anything in the comments section below!