Putting the Bow on OmniTI

18 Jan 2009

2008 was a marathon year, and in the final sprint to the finish (which included barely pulling off another PHP Advent), some very exciting news for us at OmniTI managed to miss my blog. I'd like to share it with you now and provide my thoughts.

First, the exciting news. Jon Tan has joined OmniTI as Creative Director! Jon shares some of his own thoughts on his blog:

Since 1997, a lot of people I admire — like Chris — have found a home at OmniTI. They've grown in almost the exact opposite direction to most other companies: from operations, to data management, to web application development, and now to interface design and user experience.

Thanks, Jon! He's right that our history is quite different from a lot of other web companies, with our roots in web infrastructure and branches growing in every direction. This gives us a culture that everyone in the company really appreciates, a culture with a gentle blend of humility and confidence.

Jon describes OmniTI as "the most important web company you've never heard of," but with the widespread appeal of his designs, I have a feeling that won't be true much longer. :-)

Jon and I first worked together a few years ago on the new design for shiflett.org, and it was subsequently showcased on more design-related sites than I knew existed, including a birthday surprise for me when my site was featured in 60 Elegant and Visually Appealing Designs, an article that gets a lot of attention to this day.

Another article, Block Quotes and Pull Quotes: Examples and Good Practices, showcases the unique blockquote and note styles. I thought I'd make a note of this to show it off. :-)

I'm also happy to share that Jon Gibbins is joining OmniTI as well! He shares some of his own thoughts on his new role as an accessibility engineer:

I'll be doing the stuff I love: accessible interface design, consulting and training, and quality assurance ("pedant duties"). And I'll be doing it from within the loving arms of one of the Web's cleverest companies.

Jon is the JavaScript and accessibility genius behind the clever archive navigation we created for my blog which has since been featured in 5 Useful Coding Solutions For Designers and Developers:

Jon Gibbins, Jon Tan, and Chris Shiflett combined both levels of navigation — year and month navigation — within a compact two-lines-block.

Although it's a simple feature, Jon's attention to detail makes it a solution worthy of attention:

The markup and JavaScript are quite straightforward: the designer uses unordered lists and definitions lists to markup the year as well a special class to indicate currently chosen year and month. When some year is clicked, a new layer under the year navigation is displayed — there visitors can also define the month they are interested in.

As you can probably tell, I'm very proud of our past successes and giddy with excitement about the ones to come. Welcome to the team, Jon and Jon!