The first grid.io sites have surfaced and they're kinda terrible

almost 3 years ago from , giovanni.io

Blog post from creator: http://thewoods.today/you-suck-means-you-have-plenty-of-opportunities/

Example sites: http://goati.info/http://ascherdenton.com/

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/web_design/comments/49djg6/finally_got_to_see_thegridio_sites_i_think_your/


  • Aikomo OpemipoAikomo Opemipo, almost 3 years ago

    Well. We're keeping our jobs

    128 points
  • Ymar FrenkenYmar Frenken, over 2 years ago

    I have never ever in my life, seen so many mediaqueries for one website.....

    38 points
  • David DarnesDavid Darnes, almost 3 years ago (edited almost 3 years ago )

    More sites courtesy of Cavin Smith on Reddit:

    19 points
  • Chris HampshireChris Hampshire, over 2 years ago

    Why when I hold Command (Mac, not tested on Win) does the site respond to it as if it is an option..

    14 points
  • Willem ShepherdWillem Shepherd, almost 3 years ago

    I have a feeling that this many classes per element isn't a good thing.

    Grid Classes

    14 points
  • Danilo CamposDanilo Campos, over 2 years ago

    Looks like geocities

    13 points
  • Irving TorresIrving Torres, over 2 years ago

    I signed up as a founding member in 2014 because I was working at a Y combinator startup that offered a SAAS website builder . I didn't get invited into theGrid beta until this year! Almost two years later ( I don't even work at that startup anymore). My first impression after using theGrid was that the founders really nailed it with the Marketing because they tricked me into paying and using their shoddy web builder. There was so much hype around this launch and so much advertising that I'm sure everyone knew about it. The "AI" aspect of the grid is a joke because all it really does is try to match color palettes and it does a horrible job at that. There is a chrome extension to add content that is buggy and the layouts are really ugly. They're not even minimalistic. They're just plain ugly and the UI/UX is all over the place. I'm kind of disappointed because I expected this to be a true step towards AI site builders.

    12 points
    • Anton LipovskoyAnton Lipovskoy, over 2 years ago

      Totally agree on their marketing success, It felt like they were all over internet for a couple of days.

      3 points
    • Joseph Decker, over 2 years ago

      Curious, can founding members sue "The Grid" for not offering what they've promised? For deceiving people?

      "The Grid" sounds more like a scam, rather than an attempt to change things.

      4 points
      • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 2 years ago

        Curious, can founding members sue "The Grid" for not offering what they've promised? For deceiving people?

        Not in any sane country. What exactly did they promise?

        2 points
        • Tony Jones, over 2 years ago

          "Just throw in videos, images, text, products and more and magically get a website that looks like it was pored over by a million-dollar design team. Once and for all, content is king."

          0 points
          • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

            Website design is relative. we can all agree that these websites are terrible, but they could say that they provided exactly what they said they would. unfortunately, there is no case against them for that

            EDIT: if they claimed it cured cancer, that would be false advertising and very dangerous, which is why essential oil companies are in trouble with the FDA right now

            0 points
          • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 2 years ago

            Good luck with that.

            0 points
        • Joseph Decker, over 2 years ago

          "The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it - videos, images, text, urls and more - and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you."

          Let me tell you that I'm not very familiar with the in-depth knowledge of AI, so — is it correct of The Grid to say that they've build a AI (website builder)? Seems to me that a AI would be much more complex. If it was purely used as advertisement, then it would ultimately be a scam.

          0 points
  • Chus MargalloChus Margallo, over 2 years ago

    If I'm not wrong one of the founders of "the grid" use to write about it in Designer News.. I'd love to hear from him now...

    10 points
  • Du HoangDu Hoang, over 2 years ago

    I don't think they will recover from this launch. RIP The Grid. Their reputation is zero, rn. No one will support their efforts anymore, and whatever they end up building will never live up to the hype.

    There's a lesson in there somewhere for everyone involved, but we have short term memory, and will be hoodwinked by some new vaporware next week.

    8 points
  • Philip LesterPhilip Lester, almost 3 years ago

    Is anyone surprised?

    8 points
  • Christian BehrensChristian Behrens, over 2 years ago

    Reminds me of good ol' Dreamweaver times.. sigh

    7 points
  • Zuri NegrínZuri Negrín, over 2 years ago

    After all the hype this is really terrible. I never thought it could be this bad, as it really was very well promoted...

    6 points
  • Rolf NelsonRolf Nelson, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

    Design cannot fix terrible content, which in this case happens to be terrible design.

    6 points
  • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, over 2 years ago

    A+ marketing effort though.

    4 points
  • Andy ChipperfieldAndy Chipperfield, almost 3 years ago

    I confess, I didn't put any money into the grid, so I don't really have any emotional connection with it; no reason to be angry, or indeed no reason to be happy that sites are beginning to pop up (no matter what they may look like). I've followed their story, seen the promos, read the medium posts, and as an outsider and I'm actually excited that they have produced a product that, to some extent (whatever you feel that maybe), actually produces websites via AI.

    I'm pretty sure this isn't the final product, and this will be built upon. Things may not look visually great, but they have produced a product.

    It may be that this technology could be the base of other things in the future; for instance helping dyslexic or autistic users consume more content much more easily than is possible now. I/we just don't know.

    The fact that the team has produced AI that can do this is a move forward and a move into the unknown.

    4 points
    • Chus MargalloChus Margallo, almost 3 years ago

      To produce a poor MVP is not a reason to be extremely happy either... Specially if we consider how much they are charging, what they are promising and what they've delivered so far...

      If they want to experiment they shouldn't charge for it, or sell it as a finished product...

      4 points
      • Andy ChipperfieldAndy Chipperfield, almost 3 years ago (edited almost 3 years ago )

        Absolutely; as I said, I'm talking from an outsiders point of view with no vested interest. This may be a different one to yours

        0 points
        • Chus MargalloChus Margallo, almost 3 years ago

          I don't have any connection with "the grid" either, I don't know why you assume that...

          Anyway I just don't understand the reason you are "excited" about it. There are plenty of good options out there that aren't a scam... (Just a few examples: Semplice, Squarespace, cargocollective, any good WP theme...)

          But hey if you are so excited about it spend some money on it and let us know how it evolves :)

          1 point
      • Ali StoneAli Stone, almost 3 years ago

        An MVP would usually indicate something that would be viable in the market (in order to achieve a level of success). I would argue that this is not an MVP it's a rushed release or even worse someone's idea that had no basis in reality in the first place (AKA a lie).

        0 points
  • Dmitrij PaskevicDmitrij Paskevic, over 2 years ago


    3 points
  • Thibaud Van VreckemThibaud Van Vreckem, over 2 years ago

    Not surprised at all. what did you expect ? Ai that turns crap content into grade A content ?

    3 points
    • Michael Nino EvensenMichael Nino Evensen, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

      Me neither, it's a fantastic lesson in marketing though. Put money / equity into a fancy Sandwich Video produced promo and charge 100$ bucks UPFRONT before ever even having a product or even showing the product other than nicely panning and tilted After Effects shots. I was always insanely suspicious, but they did one hell of a job promoting The Grid.

      3 points
  • BAKAkid .oBAKAkid .o, almost 3 years ago

    i want to add some that they put in their latest email update: http://pausefest.todayhttp://apex.visionhttps://thegrid.ai/sfcandybar/http://thegrid.ai/visualeyesmedia/http://thegrid.ai/imagejournal/

    and they aren't that great either.

    and this was the update: As far as our learnings go, we figured this would be a good opportunity to share the issues that have been bubbling to the top, and what we're doing to improve them.

    USER INTERFACE You Said: The user interface (particularly on the web) isn't as intuitive as it could be. We Hear You: We're right there with you. When testing our own product, we'll always have blind spots. Because of course we know how it works. But the beauty of beta is that you (Founding Members!) quickly pointed out specific interactions that weren’t passing the “hi I didn’t design this” test. So we’ve shifted our focus - from building the foundational design systems that make up The Grid’s AI, to improving the toolset you use to unleash it. We’ll be rolling out significant improvements over the next few months in our web and mobile apps. Such as:

    Building a better guide for the content + site creation process to make sure you’re set up for success from the start. Improving the way that sites are structured + how you choose which content goes where (in your home feed, on a separate page, or in a global menu). Little improvements to the way that the AI communicates with you. You’ll see better indication of when your site is being redesigned, what’s happening in the background, etc.

    SITE DESIGN + OUTPUT You Said: The Grid is optimized for social/editorial-style feed. But that doesn’t work so well if I want to port over my existing business site. We Hear You: You’re right. Our baby isn't quite ready for business (sites). The Grid AI is true AI; it learns and grows. But we have to teach it. Ours is still a baby right now, and it’s still taking baby AI steps. Our VP of Engineering, Henri Bergius, recently explained a bit behind this concept at the Lift 2016 Conference - for more, check out the video below:

    Our current goal is to make the feed style site experience beautiful and seamless, and then expand into more varied sites in the future. Your insight on what looks good and bad, and what flows well or poorly, has been immensely helpful. In fact we’re also working on a few new ways for you to vote on what you love/hate - because we want to hear it all! Ultimately this is the fun part for us (and we hope for you) - helping to teach the AI to create more beautiful sites every day.

    PHOTO CROPPING + FILTERING You Said: Umm… I don’t like how my photos are displayed. Could you tone down the photo filters and the cropping and whatnot. We Hear You: Note taken! We’re working on toning down the photo filters and cropping, while improving the overall site design + layouts. We’ve enabled turning off crop + filter on the post level, and are working on a solution for the feedback we’ve heard from you around wanting to do this at a per-site level. More to come here.

    So that’s what’s at the top of our current hit list! While we work out these kinks, we’re going to stay at the rate of adding 200 Founding Members per day, and will ramp up activations as soon as we’re seeing consistently good results from the tools + sites.

    2 points
  • Anton LipovskoyAnton Lipovskoy, over 2 years ago

    This is so bad on so many levels.

    2 points
  • BAKAkid .oBAKAkid .o, almost 3 years ago (edited almost 3 years ago )

    I backed them. I'm not a developer, and i thought it would be cool to be able to whip something up with just some images and text. I got my beta invite, tried to make a page and ended up with this: http://thegrid.ai/maiden-and-viking/ I'm happy to share this as i want others to see. all the images i uploaded 4 months ago aren't there any more. the interface was buggy and unusable, even for a beta, and as you can see, what remains could have been created easily by anyone who knows a tiny bit of html/css.

    also i didnt realise that everything we did would be public in their github, which evidently shows one of the images that is meant to be in there.. i was going to use it as am image blog while my partner and i went to Japan, but we screwed that off and just used instagram.

    2 points
  • David DarnesDavid Darnes, almost 3 years ago

    This is first time seeing Grid sites on custom domains. There does seem to be quite a few issues, but I guess this is what happens when you try to engineer the whole design and development process.

    Prior to seeing these, I was using the following to snoop in on Grid sites:

    2 points
  • Jon LehmanJon Lehman, over 2 years ago

    I will admit, I was one of those that decided to back this project when they were just starting out. I didn't back it because I thought it was the answer to all things web. I just thought that it was interesting and a little different than the thousand different prototype and website creators that have been coming to the market and figured it'd be nice to follow it. As time went on and launch dates got pushed back, it became apparent that maybe the product wasn't going to be quite what they had promised. I got my beta access about a month ago... I hopped on beta with very little expectation... and honestly they didn't even deliver on my little expectation. Haven't logged back in since haha.

    I suppose I could say, at the very least... the backend looks pretty.. but thats about all it is.

    2 points
  • Ryan -Ryan -, almost 3 years ago

    Wow, what a joke

    2 points
  • Jason EtcovitchJason Etcovitch, over 2 years ago

    Each website and many of the images (photographs) on them have like a spotlight hover effect that does absolutely nothing. The blogpost from Grid's creator also has that hover effect.

    Seems like "design" for design's sake, not for any kind of communicative benefit.

    1 point
  • Ed HoxhaEd Hoxha, over 2 years ago

    They FAILED!!! $90 spent and looks like $h!t.

    1 point
  • Filippos ProtogeridisFilippos Protogeridis, over 2 years ago

    What's interesting to me is that all of these websites look incredibly similar, and that's where the MVP undoubtedly fails, for now. The design is something that can be fixed, but the promise of building custom, unique websites through AI is not met in any shape or form.

    The header navigation is identical in all of these websites, the content structure and the IA awkwardness is very similar, resulting in websites that feel like they were exported from the same tool, and don't truly serve their purpose.

    I would really like to see the team tackling the above in next updates. The actual design and aesthetics isn't what worries me the most atm.

    1 point
  • Ed FairmanEd Fairman, over 2 years ago

    Oh. Dear.

    1 point
  • Josh Carr, over 2 years ago

    To me, these examples seem worse than the average DIY site builder used by cheapskates everywhere. If I were a potential customer of that law firm, I'd look elsewhere because that website is terrible. My mind thinks: "If you can't afford a well-designed website, you probably don't win cases." Is that fair? No... but I certainly know that you don't understand and appreciate the things I do.

    1 point
  • Marc Olivier LapierreMarc Olivier Lapierre, over 2 years ago

    I thought it was going to be bad, but not THAT bad. Damn!

    1 point
  • Ali StoneAli Stone, over 2 years ago

    Just goes to show the power of marketing and the ubiquitous nature of bullshit

    1 point
  • Martin BavioMartin Bavio, over 2 years ago


    1 point
  • Alec LomasAlec Lomas, over 2 years ago

    Running these sites through CSS Stats is so funny.

    0 points
  • Mark JenkinsMark Jenkins, almost 3 years ago

    Anyone have any idea of how you actually cancel the subscription to the GRID? I got roped in too, complete waste of my money

    0 points
  • Joe VillanuevaJoe Villanueva, over 2 years ago

    Well at least this one is a bit funny.


    0 points
  • Braden HammBraden Hamm, over 2 years ago

    I feel bad for the designers who are really talented and showed thoughtful thinking in their work and process.


    https://www.behance.net/leightaylor Unfortunately, the resulting product is... less than desirable.

    Maybe they can iterate and improve enough to please their customers.

    0 points
    • Tony Jones, over 2 years ago

      what's the purpose of linking to their portfolios?

      1 point
      • Braden HammBraden Hamm, over 2 years ago

        Just to show that they had talented people working on it, but the execution was off.

        Creating a WYSIWYG website platform that makes great looking websites regardless of the type of content is a challenge, even with money and a talented team.

        2 points
    • Jorge MartinsJorge Martins, over 2 years ago

      I think the designers did a great job with the concept and marketing materials, but this we are now seeing, is just AI doing, not the designers doing.. so I guess there is no need to feel bad since it's not their fault?

      0 points
      • John PJohn P, over 2 years ago (edited over 2 years ago )

        Blaming the AI seems silly to me, this whole thing just feels like a glorified wordpress template that looked good in screenshots and trash in the wild.

        Seems like all the """""""""""AI""""""""""" does it normalise the images with filters (Probably just colour LUTs), crop the photos using OpenCV face detection, then generate a colour palette from the images (like how iTunes does with albums). These are then chucked haphazardly into some "editorial" style wordpress-like theme which would only look good in a PSD or sketch file and looks/feels awful in the wild.

        Marketing should be blamed for the AI lies, but seen as the end result is pretty much a wordpress theme then the design team are to blame for these shoddy sites.

        0 points
  • Andrew C, almost 3 years ago

    The design aesthetic of these sites remind me of Ello. That's not good, because nothing is easily discernible as clickable. I was curious to see if this could work (despite it being self-defeating). Bummer... better luck next time.

    0 points
  • Bryant HughesBryant Hughes, over 2 years ago

    Riddle me this:

    Dreamweaver was criticized for writing poorly constructed code. Back then (5 - 10 years?) your average website was obviously much simpler than websites are now.

    Fast forward to modern times. New apps are coming out with the same value-add Dreamweaver was selling back then. They undoubtedly have more robust technology than Dreamweaver; however, websites have also gotten much more complex.

    Why do people think these new incarnations will be any better? Dreamweaver was OK for building amateur'ish websites back then, [new app X] will be good for building amateur'ish websites now.

    I don't get how people are surprised about this?

    0 points
    • Tony Jones, over 2 years ago

      Well the criticism of Dreamweaver were unfair and really only coming from newbs and people who don't code. It was just meant to be a text editor with live view. Which means DreamWeaver is awesome if you can code.

      0 points
  • James Young, almost 3 years ago

    The markup they generate can be reasonably (you'd think) easily tidied up and improved.

    I'm curious about the AI and how that part plays out on the sites that are being showcased here as there doesn't initially look like there's much you wouldn't see on any site out there.

    Is there anything out there yet that showcases this side of the product more than just the layout and generated markup?

    0 points
  • Richard I TaitRichard I Tait, over 2 years ago


    0 points
  • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 2 years ago

    Is this the equivalent of a scandal?

    0 points
  • Matej LatinMatej Latin, over 2 years ago

    All these examples kind remind me of websites that we were creating with Front Page 17 years ago. Unacceptable for these days.

    0 points