Mind Blown: Your website can design itself
It looks like we will be outsourcing our design to a computer soon (and I'm ok with that!)
The Grid is a crazy, awesome idea. Instead of designing a website yourself, you decide what the objective for your website is, load it with content and an Artificial Intelligence does the design for you.
This isn’t picking a template or a one-size fits all approach. Instead, it looks at the content and images you provide and it designs the site to suit.
It’s smart too. These are some of the key features:
- Intelligent colours for text picked based on the colours in the images uploaded with the content.
- Intelligent images which are resized and cropped based on their content. It uses face detection so the right part of the image ends up in the right location.
- Simple and open content structure with plan text files using markdown for formatting. There will be sweet apps for you to manage and create the content in to begin with too and it’s easy to get the content out of the system if you wanted to in the future.
As designers, we also have the ability to control the overall style and approach the AI uses so that the pages still have the sort of look and feel that fits your brand. They have a new technology for the too: GSS (Grid StyleSheets).
The best part
If that isn’t enough, The Grid uses Machine Learning and A/B testing to refine and improve the design itself.
Every time the page is loaded, it’s slightly different, testing out the most effective design to meet the function of the site.
Seriously, a website that learns stuff about it’s users and improves itself.
You pick the function
You decide what the site needs to do, for example: Followers, Media Plays, Re-Shares, Post views, Sales, Sign-ups, Event Registrations, Crowdfunding, etc. You can pick multiple functions and the site will optimise itself to suit. Including eCommerce, selling physical and virtual products.
Content is always king
For me, the most interesting factor is that the site becomes all about your content, how good the images and text you use are and how you craft that message.
We have been using flexible structured layouts for a while in WordPress. With structured layouts, we set the design and rules and make it possible for both us and our clients to easily select colours, images and layouts which suit their content without touching code. We have found this working very well on recent sites like GPS Investment and Your Trades.
The thing we find most revealing with this type of design is that engaging, concise content and a solid idea is the key to it being successful.
So having a flexible layout approach that makes it faster to build sites from a technical perspective has also allowed us to put that time into crafting the images and content that goes into the site, and making the site better for it. With the Grid’s approach, this gets taken to the next level. It won’t work for every site, but for a leading page, or for a site you are willing to experiment on, it’s going to be very interesting.
Check it out now
The Grid isn’t available to use yourself until next year, and we will be watching it with interest (We’ve already signed up), but you can check out their own home page which uses their technology to make the design and if you want, sign up for early access too.
In the meantime, we can give you a website that uses some of the ideas behind how The Grid works right now, but still designed by a real live human (With a Red Beard).
Visit The Grid Website