March 21, 2012

Interface Details: Ohama’s Grid, plus the People behind The Nerdery and Opower

Yoko Sakao Ohama, a designer and Studiomate, has a delightful feature on her website. It reveals the baseline grid upon which information rests. A pleasant pattern displays. More importantly, the layout’s underlying structure is revealed. I’m reminded of the “Show Grid” option found on The Grid System website. Ohama’s baseline grid doesn’t align perfectly in the Firefox browser, but works in Safari. This isn’t a surprise—Apple believes in the power of the typographic grid.

A business is nothing without people, so it’s inspiring to see a company that visibly surfaces its staff. It’s obvious, but many groups choose to keep their employees opaque. The Nerdery, who describe themselves as “An Interactive Production Company”, show their people. Looks like a fun workplace. Working with nerds shouldn’t be anything but fun.

What’s more, The Nerdery displays figures about their staff—the Nerds—whose programming skills are highlighted.(1)

People is a clear theme for The Nerdery’s website, as further demonstrated in the videos of its Careers section, which take the job descriptions out of flatland. A company’s online job openings are typically presented as paragraphs and bulleted lists. By offering an insider peek into their work and setting, The Nerdery delivers an atypical way to pique a person’s interests.

Opower, who deals with people’s use of energy, also showcases company personnel. Similar to The Nerdery’s approach, rolling over a portrait reveals a splash of colorful personality.

As an added emphasis, Opower encourages visitors to meet their team. Just showing faces gives the immediate impression of humanity.

(1) But The Nerdery’s adjacent graphic “Adults Who Could be Killed by the Total Caffeine Consumed at The Nerdery in a Week” went over my head.