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AI as an ideation tool: Dall-E outdoor baby carriage

by Asbjørn Mejlvang
2 min read
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AI as an ideation tool

UX designer Asbjørn Mejlvang shows how to use Dall-E, an AI system that generates realistic visuals from a description given, to reach your design goals.

In this post, I will showcase a quick example of how to use an AI as Dall-E as a tool in the ideation process.

The object we want to design is an outdoor baby carriage for hiking.

A simplified version of an ideation process

Example of Traditional ideation

As a designer, you might create a moodboard to help you communicate a direction for yourself or others. Followed by drawing some quick ideation sketches. Finally, you then highlight your best idea with a more refined sketch.

(Apologies for the quality of my example sketches. Since I have transitioned to UX I haven’t done many product drawings.)

Moodboard

moodboard, design, baby carriage

Idea sketches

sketch, design, baby carriage

Direction sketch

sketch, design, baby carriage

Dall-E examples

Below you will see how I try different variations to point the AI in the direction I would like to explore.

The prompt sentence used is written below the generated images.

design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A photograph of a muddy rugged baby carriage designed for outdoor experiences on a trail in the woods on a sunny day
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a rugged baby carriage with big terrain wheels inspired by outdoor clothing
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a rugged and waterproof baby carriage with three big terrain wheels inspired by hiking bags with pockets
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a rugged and waterproof baby carriage with dirt bike wheels
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a hiking baby carriage designed by the north face
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a hiking baby carriage designed by Arc’teryx

Exploring a direction with AI

Similar to traditional ideation when working with AI you can refine a direction. With Dall-E you can create variations from a selected output.

design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e

Above is the selected output and below are the variants generated from it.

design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e

Dall-E with an image prompt

Besides text inputs, Dall-E can also take an image combined with a sentence as input. It looks like this:

design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a rugged baby carriage with big terrain wheels
design, baby carriage, ai, dall-e
A product render of a waterproof and rugged baby carriage with mountain bike wheels

Use outputs as inputs

In my opinion, AI is fascinating and inspiring — but very hard to stir in the right direction. So for now I would not use AI output as final output, but instead, combine them with the traditional way and include the most interesting AI outputs in front of me when beginning to draw.

(I however do believe the AI beat me in this round).

post authorAsbjørn Mejlvang

Asbjørn Mejlvang,

Designer interested in how improvements in tech will change how the creative process.

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Ideas In Brief
  • The author gives a brief example of how to use Dall-E, an AI system that can produce art and realistic visuals from a description given in plain language, as a tool in the brainstorming process.
  • According to the author, the process of AI ideation is as simple as that:
    • Write a sentence.
    • Go through generated visuals.
    • Choose a direction to get the most accurate realization of your idea.
    • Receive generated variations from the selected output.
  • Traditional ideation process versus AI ideation process – the article covers how to combine them to get the best result in the most efficient way.

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