The Grid: Artificial Intelligence Meets Web Design (Or Does It?)

Set for release in Spring 2015, The Grid is not another do-it-yourself website builder, according to its website anyway.

Instead, The Grid is the first cloud-hosted platform to bring artificial intelligence into the realm of web design. The brainy algorithm that powers it enables you to simply add content like text, images, videos and products, and The Grid will just know what to do with it all, automatically. 

It knows how to arrange it, how to present it, what colour it should be, how large it should be and more. The Grid will even evolve as you add more content, without you having to tinker with any code or settings. It works it all out by its lonesome. The following video will explain things a little further.

Pretty amazing, right? 

Content Dictates Form

The aim of The Grid is to revolutionize the way websites are created and maintained. 

Instead of selecting a rigid template and adding content to it, The Grid hopes to be an organic pool of creativity, where the users content dictates the way the website looks and works. It's all about reacting to what the user wants. 

The Grid
For example, The Grid is interested in what you want your site to do. You can set a purpose – like gaining email subscribers – and The Grid will automatically optimize your website for the job at hand. It will even implement subtle A/B tests over time, until it eventually hits the digital sweet spot. 

Users don't have to worry about touching any code either, but if getting down and dirty with code is your thing, then The Grid is 

Filters, Not Templates

The team behind The Grid aren't fond of templates. They much prefer Filters. Design should be, “content-driven, not template-driven”, they say.

Filters will act as the starting point for The Grid. You choose one, add your content, and watch it build on the filter's foundations. On top of automatic aesthetics, The Grid's layout filters automatically handle SEO optimizations using your content to auto-create site descriptions, page descriptions, page titles, and so forth.

The Grid

users can select different layout filters with a personalized look and feel. In the future, designers can also extend a design to fully customize it to a specific brand or look and feel, and developers can extend a layout filter

The Grid doesn't use templates, only layout filters, since design should be content-driven, not template-driven. The general release to Founding Members will come with a handful of layout filters.

our layout filters automatically handle SEO optimizations using your content (e.g. auto created site description, page descriptions, page title in url, etc).

A Test of Intelligence?

As I watched The Grid's intro video (above) for the first time, I was highly impressed. Excited, even. 

But by the time I finished watching and browsing The Grid website, I was slightly skeptical about how intelligent The Grid would prove to be in the long run. 

The Grid

If The Grid automatically generates websites, and then continues to evolve along with whatever the user adds in terms of content, just how unique will the average Grid website be? Especially since they will all start off from a finite number of filters — which, let's be honest, may as well be called templates.

If two people select the same template and add similar content (for example, they both want to blog about technology), will The Grid create two identical websites? If not, how different will these two tech blogs be realistically? Will there be easy design settings to help users customize their website without delving into code? 

Because of this potential issue, I think more needs to be said about The Grid's general setup and customization options. On the other hand, I could simply be underestimating the intelligence of The Grid when it comes to creating websites. I guess time will tell how clever it really is. 

Intrigued? You can sign up to The Grid for $96 per year, locking your subscription at $8 per month forever and ensuring early access before full release.