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Websites all look the same

What happened to the website design industry?

Everywhere I look now I see website designs that look like one another, steal from another and are following a formula that is seemingly stuck in one direction.

I too am guilty of following this formula on some projects. In fact at the clients request the formula seems very enticing. Clients want what other companies have. They want the video, rotating images, top nav etc… We build and design websites that have been done before. The client is happy. But we are not.

We may try to provide the client with something completely different. But its, well, different. And that is the problem. Clients can not see the possibilities. They want solid ideas. Ideas that have been done before.

So how do we allow the clients to see the possibilities?

For me the possibilities evolve from content. When I delve into the clients content, their business and their goals I can start to create interesting functionality that delivers their content to their audience in a way that makes sense for them. It can be something simple, elegant or just one bold statement.