How to Avoid a Generic Looking Web Design

“Please don’t notice us! We are just like our competitors,” said NO business ever! The truth is, that companies now compete in a global market and competition is stiff. To gain market share, a business needs to stand out from the rest of the crowd and for most, that means that their website must stand apart. Yet, with the overabundance of templates and “build your own website” services, thousands of websites just look like clones of one another. So, how can you avoid a generic looking web design?

There must be a way you can have a unique website that attracts and converts new prospects.

There is!

The secret is to build a custom website.

Vanilla = Boring

The most common flavor of ice-cream sold across the country is vanilla. Why? Because it goes with everything and everyone eats it. But, who really gets excited about vanilla? Love it or hate it, rum raisin, pistachio, or even bubble gum flavored ice cream inspires much more passion, and the people who love those flavors, REALLY love those flavors. They are loyal and get excited about them. They go out of their way to try to convince others to give their flavor of choice a try.

Nobody has ever said, “Come here, you really need to try this vanilla ice cream.”

Engagement = Conversions

Have you ever walked into a crowded room of strangers? Suddenly, across the hall a person waves. You recognize them. They are your cousin’s neighbor that you once met two years ago at your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. Relief floods through you. You “know” someone and so you start walking in his direction.

  • There were lots of people in a room.
  • One of them caught your attention.
  • You “suddenly” remembered that you had a connection.
  • You made the move to further the connection.

Do you get the analogy? The internet is crowded with websites. You need to catch the eye of potential clients. Once you have their attention, you can then engage with them. Sometimes it may take as many as seven touches before they feel comfortable enough to make contact. That means you have to catch their eye seven times.

How will you do that with a generic looking web design?

You can’t!

Here are 5 ways you can avoid a generic looking web design.

The best way to avoid a generic looking web design is to be different. Pretty obvious, huh? And yet, thousands and thousands of website owners never once considered “different” as a viable alternative. They just copied what everyone else in their industry was doing.

1. Be bold with your web design!

Bold does not mean garish. An estate lawyer’s website should not have cartoon characters or exploding firework animations.

However,  it would be appropriate (and bold) to incorporate a free-form design or ADA-compliant elements not normally found on other lawyer’s websites. In fact, ADA compliance is not common to most websites.

Look for needs that are not being met, and fill that gap. Helping others rather than “selling them” on something…  now that IS a bold idea.

2. Look outside your industry for web design ideas.

Before you speak with a web designer you should look for layout designs that you like. That way he knows which elements appeal to you.

“But wait… didn’t you say different was better”?


However, you can choose a banner from this website, a sidebar from that one, or a footer from another. You can copy elements without replicating the entire web design. Make sure you look at sites outside of your industry. For instance, a landscaping company might consider looking at wedding sites. Both industries rely heavily on visual imagery. You might see new ways of presenting images you had never considered.

3. If you are going to copy, copy from the best!

There are times when you might want to replicate a web design. Pick a company with a large budget, that has probably invested lots of money in A/B testing and web design. Look at the layout of their pages. What types of elements are present on the homepage?

  • Buttons
  • Forms
  • Bullet Points
  • Images
  • Banners
  • … And so on.

If you are going to copy, make sure you only copy the best!

4. Think about your customers, not about yourself.

Too many web designs are built to suit a company, rather than their clients. If you meet the need of your users, then they are more likely to engage and move from visitor to viable lead and then even further into a lifelong customer. UX Design means that your website is built specifically for your clients. Tailoring your website to specific groups will help you avoid a generic web design.

5. Hire a custom website designer.

So, what is the best way to avoid a generic looking website design?

That’s easy! Hire a custom web designer.

I know.

You probably think you can’t afford a custom web design. Truth is, that when you take into consideration the increase in leads that a custom website will bring, how can you afford not to build a website specifically for your client’s needs? That truth is so real that we wrote an entire article on that idea alone:  Why Cheap Websites are a Waste of Money.

But, we understand that all businesses are concerned with the bottom line. So, Thomas Digital offers a Free Mock-Up Offer . We don’t build ‘cheap websites.’ Instead, we build custom websites that meet the needs of our clients at a price that works with their budget. Find out how you can avoid a generic looking web design with no risk or future obligation.

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