Case study

Ad widgets design for news portals worldwide

Ligatus / Outbrain
2017 February - 2019 November
Web Design
Web Development
Project Management
A woman is looking at native ads from Ligatus on her phone


Ligatus was a native advertising agency with headquarters in Cologne. In April 2019 Ligatus was acquired by Outbrain, one of the native advertising giants in New York. Both agencies specialize in the same thing – they connect publishers (e.g. news portals) and advertisers (e.g. car companies) through native advertising boxes with headlines like “Related Stories”, “You might also like”, “Sponsored content”, typically located at the end of the article.

The process

In Ligatus and Outbrain I was designing ad widgets (ad boxes) and they had to inherit the style of the website that it will be placed on. The tricky part was that Ligatus or Outbrain ad blocks had different HTML structure than the websites were having, so it was challenging to achieve the same design, but it was one of my favourite things to do when getting a new task. I was opening around 20 different websites from all over the world daily (so it makes around 5000 a year and I did that almost for 3 years!).

blurred light blue and green background
Smartfeed mockup for Zeit from 2019 ↑
Ligatus native ads on desktop and mobile
Compilation of various Ligatus native ads screenshots

The extra mile

With widgets design I loved to be as close to perfect as I can be, I also enjoyed getting more creative than I was expected to be. None of the publisher element margins, element behaviour on mouse hover or on different devices passed through my sharp hawk eyes. I loved to make my team and client more than simply happy. I always delivered great quality mockups in a short time and I quickly received nicknames like “mockup machine” and “mockup queen” from my colleagues.

Hear whatclient says

Outbrain logo in white
Feb 2020

Martin Henrich

Director global sales engineering at Outbrain

I have known Ruta for almost 3 years as her co-worker and direct manager. She always showed considerable initiative, and I was impressed with excellent work attitude! Her ability to meet tight deadlines with great results are truly exemplary to me. Particularly noteworthy work that Ruta did, was for the publisher “Zeit Online”. Her innovative design solutions and technical support that she provided was fitting all the client requirements perfectly. Ruta is a well-organised person and really nice to work with.

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