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Breaking out of the Grid: How to differentiate your company’s website

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Is your company BORING? No? Then your website shouldn’t be either!

Clean, simple, grid-based websites are becoming the norm. It’s easy to understand why; simple layouts make sites familiar and easy to use. Grid-based designs are easily responsive, and provide clean layouts from the smart watch to the desktop.

But what is the result of this standardization?
Websites are BORING and they all look the same!

Okay, maybe not all sites, but there certainly are a good number that, when stripped down, have the same grid layout, use the same stock photo sites, and implement the same design trend-of-the-week.

So how does a company break out of the box to create something interesting and unique, without sacrificing usability and responsive user experiences? Here are a few tips:

Change Up the Grid

Grid layouts no doubt create clean lines and familiarity. But they don’t have to be boring! Try varying sizes and shapes (don’t limit yourself to squares!). Change the layouts on different devices. Use color and space to create dimension.


RealStreet Staffing creates an interesting layout by using full-screen overlapping layers, geometric shapes and dynamic backgrounds throughout the site.

Mix Styles

Flat design is everywhere; for good reason. But that doesn’t mean hand-drawn illustrations or organic patterns don’t have a purpose or place in user interfaces. Choose a style that conveys your company’s personality and delivers the right message.


StaffEx stylized their homepage with a custom drawing of their logo, along with a dynamic background video.

Customize your Photos

You don’t have to use traditional stock photos! There is an abundance of low cost, yet high-quality photos available on the web. Want to stand out from your competition? Don’t be afraid to be more abstract and less traditional with your imagery. Want to really show off your team’s personality? Hire a photographer to capture some great portraits, or take candids at your next team building event.


McGrath Systems sets themselves apart with a playful take on traditional stock photos.


Magellan Search & Staffing showcases it’s personality with fun portraits of it’s team.

Set A Tone

The copy on your website sets a tone from the first headline. Maybe you want to appear casual; fun; professional; experienced. Make sure the copy on your site is written in the tone you prefer, and don’t be afraid to be a little different! Unique and interesting headlines certainly grab users’ attention, and help make your company unforgettable.

Setting yourself apart doesn’t have to be difficult – or expensive. There are ways to use templates or standard grid-based layouts as a starting point. Just make sure the end result is a direct representation of your company’s message.

Your company is unique; your website should be too. For help getting started on differentiating your website, contact Haley Marketing Group.

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