A adaptive AI designing your website for you based on your content? Is it the future and Skynet approaching or is it just prehype overthrowing the finished soon to come product?
The Grid is a interesting concept. A website builder that does not need any kind of code but rather choices in what the focus of the site should be and then thanks to a adaptive AI the design will change based on the content you publish.
It sounds really interesting but I have a few quirks that don´t sit well with me
Things that bother me
For me, I´ve been browsing the internet and looking at design sites for a couple years. There are some truly funky designs out there and I would love to be able to code them, but sadly I can´t.
Still, there are only so many different layouts for websites of today. An adaptive AI that will take anything you throw at it and make the website adapt to make the content look the best it can? It will most likely turn up to be what we see today, a grid or image backgrounds. For people that do not know how to code or can´t hire a designer/developer this might be a good idea.
If you find something that fits your site and don´t mind the AI changing your ever so working design without your knowledge based on what ”type of site” you´ve chosen.
Since it is a payed service that is not hosted on your own server it can become quite a troublesome thing if the servers the AI is living on dies your site dies as well. A trouble for all hosted services sure but just that it is needed to be online and not on your own server like WordPress is something I´m not used to. It might be the future to have everything stored in the ”cloud” but what happends when the cloud fails? dear lord.
It is assumingly going to be posting all the content to github. If I have posts and what not I am not sure I want it all to be stored on github for everyone to see and share. Copyright and all that you know. Yes I am not a fluent user of github as things are now, I´m working on it and I see the fruits of it being a good thing with you being able to share code and what not. But let´s call them ”posts” with info and markup? That someone might clone with ease and then publish as their own? No thank you.
I can not find the info if it is saved under the grid´s github or your own. Which is a big concern for me. I assume the finished product will save it on your own github. But then you are forced to have a github account to store everything on. Not everyone wants to have a account.
What is interesting
If the complaints that I have are based on me being old fashioned and not used to a cloud and sharing basically everything that I do with others then I do see some really interesting options.
As shortly mentioned above, for someone who is not a designer or a developer a builder like this is going to be pretty awesome. Just choose a fitting layout filter that matches your idea and then start adding content. The AI will do the rest.
Everything from choosing the best croping options to configuring colors is done automatically. Titles and such are not discussed as much on the site as I´d want it to but why not.
The site The Grid is made by their own product. So it seems to be quite fascinating. But as said, for all it´s adaptive AI it frankly looks to be a standard design for a product you want to advertise. I´m not impressed. To much like any other website.
A friend of mine mentioned a good option for this as well. He talked about how when WordPress got the Kubrik theme everyone and their wifes used it. I fear the same trouble will happen with The Grid. One design will be used for certain categories of website depending on the AI.
Will I support The Grid?
Currently The Grid is in it´s last development phase. Spring 2015 is the advertised release date and you can still become a founder for 96US a year. 8US/month. If you buy a founder license now you will keep on paying 8US/month untill you stop subscribing to it. When it is released the price will get higher, a whopping 25US/month.
I am interested to see where this will go. As it might be the future of websites. As a designer it will look grim unless I can start designing layout filters for The Grid and sell them. But also I believe it is not a threat to webdesigner or developers since even if the AI can adapt and make all sites look stunning sometimes a builder just isn´t cutting it. That´s where developers and designers come into play.
The future looks bright in any aspect. But sadly at this point in time I will not support The Grid. I can´t even though I am interested. I see the pros and cons of it as this post shows. To a untrained eye not used to saving everything officially and on the cloud.