As you might have already noticed, AI tools are becoming more and more popular, also in website design. Inspired by this AI craze, I decided to take up a challenge and create a website using ChatGPT and Midjourney.
You can watch a full video of my attempts here:
If you watched the video, you might already know, that I decided to create a website for a plant care app. It was all that I had in mind. I didn’t plan the website’s content or appearance. I decided to rely on artificial intelligence in that matter. Let me tell you how it went.
AI tool no 1: ChatGPT
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI in late November 2022. It’s a chatbot that was created to mimic a human interlocutor. To achieve this goal it was trained using supervised and reinforced learning. The results were satisfying enough for The New York Times to call ChatGPT “the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public”. The ChatGPT quickly became extremely popular with over 1 million users gathered in just 5 days.
Encouraged by the numbers and very enthusiastic feedback from public opinion, I decided to give it a try.
How ChatGPT works
ChatGPT doesn’t require much to get started. Once you sign up, you’re ready to start a conversation with your new AI-powered friend. The UI is simple and easy to navigate.
You can have multiple separate conversations with the bot, each on a different topic. ChatGPT remembers everything that was said previously in the course of the exchange. It makes you feel like you are talking to a real human being.
I was skeptical when I read all the pean about how human-like ChatGPT is but I had to let go of my doubts quickly. Using it was a very pleasant experience.
ChatGPT has limitations. It possessed the knowledge before 2021 and sometimes can give you an answer that doesn’t make much sense. However, even with its limitations, ChatGPT is an impressive tool.
How to use ChatGPT to create a website
Considering that you can talk with ChatGPT about almost anything, I decided to give it a try and ask it to come up with a name for my app. It quickly gave me a list of 10 names, and, to be completely honest with you, some of them were pretty good.
If you are in a creative process and need some ideas quickly, don’t hesitate and go to ChatGPT. You will at least be inspired.
But back to my website.
After the chatbot helped me to name my plant care app – I went with Bloomify – I asked it to create a content outline for a website. It’s an excellent facilitator.
At the first attempt, it proposed the site’s structure. Each section was specified with two bullet points explaining what kind of information should be included. Because I wanted to create a homepage for this website, I kept typing prompts directly referencing it. Knowing that I will need a hero section with a headline, a tagline, and a call to action button, I asked specifically for providing such content. Otherwise, I would still be getting rather general answers.
Eventually, I got the content that I could put into my website.
I can already tell, that ChatGPT can be great when you’re creating website templates or a portfolio as a beginner web designer. Unlike in the process of working with clients, when they usually already know what their website must contain, you’re starting from scratch.
Turn to ChatGPT for website outline and content ideas and focus on website creation and showcasing your design skills. Imagine how much time you can save when you don’t have to think about the copy.
AI tool no 2: Midjourney
What is Midjourney and how to use it?
Midjourney is a popular AI web image generator. Images are created from text descriptions – prompts. Currently, 4 versions of Midjourney are available, with the latest released in an alpha version in November 2022.
You can access Midjourney via their official Discord and the artwork is generated by Discord bots. Once you type in /imagine command and then your prompt, you get 4 propositions of your artwork. You can keep generating another 4 versions of each image or render them in higher resolution and download them.
You get to generate 25 images for free.
Midjourney is easy to use, however, it takes some time to generate the artwork, so you have to be patient. There are a lot o users in each newbie’s room and new art will come up on your feed all the time. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed by it, but once I got used to the way it works and how much I have to wait for an image to generate, the whole experience was better.
How to use Midjourney in web design
As predictable as it is, I wanted to use artwork created in Midjourney on my website as design elements. I decided to choose a similar approach that I had to ChatGPT and first write a general prompt asking to create a layout for a plant care app website.
Inspired by the results, I opted for a hero section with a mock-up of the said app. I started working on it by typing various prompts. With each artwork created, I was getting more and more specific, adding details about the color palette or even including a monstera leaf in the design. The right prompt is a key to success in working with Midjourney. Writing the precise description requires a trial-and-error method. Changing just one word can invert the final result. In my case, it took me 17 attempts to generate the art I was satisfied with. I chose my final images from 48 unique artworks. Just think how much time it would take to create all of that by yourself! AI once again helps you work faster and more efficiently, especially when you’re just creating a prototype of a website.
Creating a plant care app website with AI tools
After I generated all the content and necessary materials, it was finally time to build a website. I picked two illustrations created in Midjourney and removed the background from them so that I could use them in my project. I created quickly a logo for my app and picked the right fonts for a website. I used the imagery that I created as a guide for all my styling choices. The color palette for my website was also picked out from the AI art.
Equipped with everything that I might have needed I opened WebWave and started the final stage of my creative work. WebWave was great for recreating a layout from an image, because it’s a drag and drop website builder, meaning I can position elements wherever I want. I didn’t have to worry about fitting into tables or grids like in Wix or other website editors. The flexibility of my website builder lets me build the homepage quickly. All I had to do was put elements in the right place. I used pre-built elements like the menu and buttons but could modify them to my liking effortlessly. I copied all the text from ChatGPT and then just added images from Midjourney. In just a few clicks my ai-powered website was ready.
Is the AI website worth it?
Generally speaking, my experience with AI web design is positive. At a very low cost and saving lots of time, I manage to create a good-looking, modern website with unique designs. I didn’t have to think about the copy or look for fitting images online or create them by myself. I want to once again emphasize how time-effective that is.
If you want to design and sell website templates, don’t hesitate and start implementing AI solutions into your creative process. Work smart, not hard, and just use AI web design. You can also use artificial intelligence to improve your already existing website templates. It’s worth giving it a try.
Same thing, if you work in a digital agency or a marketing agency. In your case, ChatGPT seems to be especially helpful. It can accelerate your brainstorming process or help you deal with a creative block. Seeing how well it managed to create a content outline for a website, I imagine it might be as convenient for an article synopsis. It might change the way the content is produced. I haven’t checked AI-generated text SEO performance. If it turns out to be good, I can see Chat GPT becoming an integral part of digital marketing.
If you create custom websites as a freelance web designer or as an agency, you can also implement artificial intelligence into your workflow. It might not be great for custom, specific designs, like ecommerce sites. Just look again at the smartphone image that I used in my project. It’s not customized to my made-up app Bloomify. I was trying prompts that included the app name, but not surprisingly, I wasn’t able to get this highly-personalized image.
However, you can still use AI in the early stages of working with clients, to create prototypes. Because it will help you work faster, you will be able to build better relationships with clients and enhance the image of your brand. Your prototypes will look more professional and help you create a better user experience. A website with artificial intelligence is great to capture ideas that might be hard to imagine for clients. It builds website fundaments that you can later work on, personalize and also customize. AI tools might not be essential in your field, but have a lot of potential to be extremely beneficial.
The main disadvantages I can see are in Midjourney. For now, those images still look rather fresh and new, but they definitely have a certain style. No matter what prompt you will type in, the image you will get looks like something created by AI.
They are not very versatile and can soon look all the same. I am pretty positive that this tool will be developed and improved. In a few years will be able to generate even better stuff, but for now, it’s not something groundbreaking aesthetically. In my opinion, AI art won’t be the right fit for creating a custom website for a small business. It might fail at emulating anticipated online presence.
Are AI tools going to replace web designers?
The answer is a firm no. Those tools are here to help and they will be great at doing it. They are not autonomic solutions that can create comprehensive creations.
Web designers and artists in general create work that is original and has a specific context that makes it valuable. Even if Midjourney gives you unlimited variants of one image, it has no capability of making it truly significant. This factor is necessary to create something that will be speaking to people and will be able to connect with them. Maybe in the future, the human role in a creative process will be reduced to supervision, and AI tools will take over the execution. That’s very much possible, especially in the world of digital art. But I’m not going to get carried away with my predictions.
I don’t think creators should look at AI tools as a threat. It’s better to treat it as an opportunity to be better and more efficient.
The factor of streamlining your work is the reason why AI website builders are becoming more popular. If you can do something in 2 minutes instead of 30, of course, you’re going to take a shortcut. Web design and web development are constantly changing and now it’s time to test AI in the process of building your website. We will see which solutions will stick with us.