I Asked ChatGPT – AI – Design Questions… Here’s What It Said… And What Does This Mean For Design Blogs/Websites???

We knew it was going to happen, but it’s all of a sudden HERE and NOW. Like most human beings, I have mixed feelings about Artificial Intelligence taking over the world (and my job). By “mixed” I think it’s mostly going to be pretty bad socially and culturally, but it also feels rather inevitable so we need to accept, pivot, and figure out ways to adapt and enjoy our lives while we are here (and pay our bills). Being a digital creator is now being highly challenged as a lot of the information that I try to give as design education, can now be asked to AI instead of Google (which would historically send us traffic). Creativity can be copied, just not as good, and figuring out what holes can NOT be filled by AI is the new challenge. It’s all ok, I PROMISE and we are trying new strategies to stay alive/relevant and stay definitely 100% human:) But first, out of deep curiosity, I asked ChatGPT a few questions based on our most popular posts – the ones that send us “Google” traffic (versus people that come every day as true followers – thank you). These posts are what we call “evergreen successes” and we update them yearly to make sure they are still relevant as they continue to get traffic every day. Historically these posts have brought a lot of revenue as apparently, people are googling them a lot. But as more and more people use AI and TikTok as search engines these posts could get less and less traffic. So here’s what I asked ChatGPT.

My Question For Chat GPT: How High Should You Hang Curtains?

AI answer: The height at which you should hang curtains depends on several factors such as the height of the ceiling, the size of the window, and the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  1. Hang the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible: Hanging the curtains higher than the window frame creates the illusion of taller ceilings and makes the room feel more spacious. Ideally, the rod should be at least 4-6 inches above the window frame.
  2. Length of curtains: If you want your curtains to just touch the floor, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor and subtract 1/2 to 1 inch. If you want your curtains to pool on the floor for a more dramatic look, add an additional 2-4 inches to the length.
  3. Consider the style of curtains: The height at which you hang curtains also depends on the style of curtains you have chosen. For example, if you have full-length, heavy drapes, you may want to hang them higher than if you have shorter, lightweight curtains.
  4. Take into account any furniture or decorative elements: If you have furniture or decorative elements below the window, such as a sofa or a console table, you may want to hang the curtains just above them to create a cohesive look.

In summary, it is generally recommended to hang curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, with a length that either just touches the floor or pools on it depending on the desired look, taking into account the style of the curtains and any furniture or decorative elements in the room.

GAH!!! That’s all pretty correct! Now, of course, what ChaptGPT can’t yet do is add photos, personal anecdotes based on experience with things to avoid, etc. There isn’t a voice that is entertaining, but y’all the information is accurate. Of course, the irony is that it’s searching the internet for this information that is gathered from this very site. It scrapes the world wide web which includes all our past posts. HA! Jokes on us!!!

Question For ChatGPT: How Do I Lay Out My Living Room Furniture?

AI Answer: Laying out your living room furniture can be a challenging task, but here are some general steps and tips to help you create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space:

  1. Determine the focal point: The focal point of the living room is usually the television, fireplace, or a large window with a view. Once you have identified the focal point, arrange your furniture around it.
  2. Create a conversation area: The living room is often used for socializing and entertaining guests, so it’s important to create a conversation area. Arrange your seating options (such as a sofa, loveseat, and chairs) in a way that encourages face-to-face conversation.
  3. Leave enough space for traffic flow: It’s important to leave enough space for people to move around the room comfortably without bumping into furniture. As a general rule, leave at least 2-3 feet of clearance around the seating area.
  4. Consider the size and scale of the furniture: Choose furniture that is appropriate for the size of your living room. If your room is small, choose furniture with a smaller scale to avoid overcrowding. If your room is large, choose larger pieces of furniture that can fill the space without looking out of place.
  5. Add accent furniture and accessories: Once you have the main furniture pieces in place, add accent furniture and accessories such as a coffee table, side tables, and lamps to create a cohesive look.
  6. Experiment with different layouts: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furniture layouts until you find the one that works best for your space. You may need to move furniture around several times before finding the perfect layout.

In summary, when laying out your living room furniture, consider the focal point, create a conversation area, leave enough space for traffic flow, choose appropriately sized furniture, add accent furniture and accessories, and experiment with different layouts until you find the perfect one for your space.

Again, their response is good and correct. Is there a lot missing? Of course. Pictures, nuance, a distinct voice, humor – none of that is there. After thinking about this for months and months and months, I’ve come around to the idea that this is just a new inevitable creative challenge for us to solve. And solve, we will. So what is our strategy moving forward to ensure that we don’t all get taken over by robots and lose all our traffic to AI? Well, it’s actually super simple. We’ll lean into our human-ness. I’m actually really excited. You’ve already seen it roll out a bit, but essentially we need to be more of a platform of opinions (yes, please), trust (via actual design expertise), humor (which is more and more challenging these days TBH), connection (relatability, vulnerability, and nuance), and very specific projects (like mine, Bowser’s, Orlando’s, my team’s MOTOs, etc). It’s not that any of these things aren’t already here, but it actually gives us more permission to do them more. More journal entries and thought pieces, less tutorials and shopping roundups. Will we still do some design educational posts? Yes, but we have a new goal of making sure that how we position these posts won’t be AI-able or even something you can find on TikTok (which is also taking down Google and Instagram rapidly). I’ll be writing way more posts and we have the data on what posts by what writers you feel the most connected to so we’ll be hiring and publishing those voices the most.

I’m also excited about a new video strategy (with a new local videographer) that will hopefully create some fun ways to learn/share and connect. I have all these super juicy posts in my head, maybe not fully formed but ready to be written – stuff about social media, marriage, feminism, parenting – pieces that I think I would have been scared to write the last couple years but more and more it’s what I want to read, and therefore it’s what I want to write.

Anyway, as always I want to know what you are reading and loving (and coming back for). We can see the evidence through the analytics and the backend – some posts get great traffic, but less engagement (time on site) and others do the opposite. Some both:) We love them all for different reasons, but the goal now is to engage who is already here or here frequently, and not try to necessarily get all those Google hits because as this new tech rolls out it might be a fool’s errand (or one where I’d have to hire a full-time SEO person to execute which I’m not really interested in doing). More and more blogs are dropping like flies (this is also due to many lawsuits from photo agencies about usage – myself included) and the online and social media “competition” is undeniably fierce – just too many people, on too many platforms to follow, and you have to be posting obsessively – practically 24 hours a day – to be favored in the algorithm. But it’s not a zero-sum game and it’s actually not a competition with each other. The only way to not burn out or fold altogether is to try every single day to have a healthy relationship with the shared foe (social media algorithms and now AI) and know that the only thing you can control is your reaction to it.

I paid for five new Substacks last month that I’ve enjoyed reading. Each one is highly opinionated, personal, and mind-broadening. It seems like there is a renewed hunger for the longer form writing as long as it’s, well, really really engaging, compelling, personal, and entertaining. So does that mean that blogs are dead or are the OG personal journal-style blogs actually back? It seems to me that the “design website,” something that we claimed to be might have to shift. And if you know me (which you do), you know that you don’t have to ask me twice to be more personal. I’m excited. We have a big summer of reveals planned (shooting is currently on pause to finish everything) as we “wrap up” this house and I get to move on to documenting two other big projects.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please, sound off in the comments. We’ve thought about text notifications for farmhouse content so people don’t miss it (and still might but the idea of someone asking for my number feels hilarious, while I guess it’s successful for others). Lots of ideas floating around my head and in our brainstorming sessions. Digital media has always felt like the wild west, but now it’s gone full futuristic/sci-fi, where robots could take over creative jobs if we don’t assert ourselves and take control. RIGHT??!!!

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Tessa Neustadt | Styled by Brady Tolbert for EHD | From: Custom Framing For Our Home Office With Framebridge

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