Will UX be automated? (Answered for 2022)

Are you at risk of losing your job due to automation? Will UX be automated? That is an understandable fear many people have. Oh, and that includes me, by the way. However, after careful consideration, I have an answer to that question that’s promising for the future of UX.

Will UX be automated?

What makes something prone to automation? That’s an important question to answer before determining if UX will be automated.

Something is prone to automation when the tasks you have to complete are repetitive and follow a similar structure every time. If that’s the case, algorithms and scripts can do your work.

However, there’s also a kind of manual automation you have to keep in mind. More on that later when we discuss the role of design systems in the automation of UX.

Table of Contents

Will UX be automated?

No, UX will not be automated. There’s enough work in UX that requires custom work and a way of work that is not repetitive enough for automation. The good thing about custom work is that it is hard (if not impossible) to automate.

That means there are enough reasons to get a job in UX still. Regardless, let’s look at the main components of UX and see how they will stand the test of time.

UI design as a part of UX

As a UX designer, you will work on UI design at some point during your projects. And that’s okay! Many UX designers want to do more than just work on UI design, but how cool is it to translate your ideas into visually appealing UI design?

Anyway. You can already see some manual automation happening in UI design. It is called building a design system.

Imagine the following scenario. You’re designing an application where people must sign up to use your service. That means you have to create a sign-up form. After designing and testing your sign-up form, you make some adjustments to improve its usability further.

How crazy would it be to start your next UX project from scratch? Why not reuse the components and all your knowledge about those components?

That’s what a design system is. It is a way for you to automate your work so that you have the time to focus on bigger things.

Let’s talk about those bigger things. You still have to build the design system the first time and find out what components to reuse. Furthermore, you always have to keep developing your design system. That never goes away.

UX research and ideation

Up next is UX research and idea generation within UX projects. This area of UX is what I called custom work earlier in this post. It is a critical part of UX that will not be automated.

Unlike UI design, the work you do during your UX project’s research and ideation phase is different for each project.

Every project has different business goals and user pain points. Sure, the methodology is the same every time, but you still have to translate unique user insights into a solution for those pain points. You can’t automate UX like that.

Further reading

As it turns out, UX will not be automated. Not entirely, at least. The UI design you create as a UX designer will move more towards design systems. It sounds scary but is a part of the evolution that UX is going through.

What remains is mainly UX research, ideation, and validation. In addition, your work on design systems is never finished either.

If you put it all together, you can have a good career in UX that is future-proof. To make things even better, there’s a high demand for that kind of UX work. So why not get started today?

Useful resources to boost your UX career 👇

Or check out all UX resources on Gumroad.
Profile picture of author Nick Groeneveld, a senior UX designer and mentor for The Designer's Toolbox

About the author

Hi! I'm Nick Groeneveld, a senior designer from the Netherlands with experience in UX, visual design, and research. I have completed a wide range of projects in finance, tech, and the public sector.

Take a look at my LinkedIn and Medium for more.