Ginormously Scalable and Wicked Fast: Redesigning Whamcloud.com
Whamcloud, the newest addition to the Loud Dog client family, has nothing to do with Wham!, the 80’s band, and has everything to do with High Performance Computing (HPC) — the supercomputers that forecast weather patterns, run nuclear simulations, and build molecular models. Whamcloud is a leader in HPC, pioneering innovation around Lustre, the open source ultra-high performance file system behind a lot of heavy duty computing.
We had a great time getting to know Whamcloud. These people are really smart– they really are the rocket scientists people talk about. During our initial creative workshops it became clear that there was also a fun, subtly silly culture underneath all the serious intelligence. We kept the look and feel of their website relatively staid, and let their personality shine through its messaging and copy. At first glance, it’s another corporate website; but with a few clicks, you can get a sense of the people behind Whamcloud.
Below is a screenshot of the homepage. Read on for details on how it all came together.
During our internal brainstorm sessions about the benefits of Lustre (scalability, speed, and availability), we came upon water as a great metaphor: it’s ginormous (all the oceans on the planet), can have tremendous speed (imagine draining Lake Tahoe in seconds), and has nearly endless availability (again, oceans). This rang true with Whamcloud’s CEO, Brent Gorda, who often uses water metaphors when describing Lustre’s capabilities. It was great to have direct feedback that we were on the right track with a visual representation of a complex system.
Technology Behind the Site
The site is built on a highly-customized version of WordPress, which gives the non-developer staff at Whamcloud the ability to update and post content on a regular basis. We created custom post types to make it easier to manage content like news, events, and partners. In addition, we installed the Gravity Forms plugin, making it easier for Whamcloud to manage and customize their contact and lead gen forms.
In conjunction with the new website, Whamcloud has also announced their new product Chroma™, which streamlines the barrier to entry for installation, configuration, maintenance, monitoring, and fault diagnosis for Lustre. Launching a new website and a new product at the same time seemed pretty ambitious at the start of the project, but with hard work from the Whamcloud and Loud Dog crews, we were able to do both.
Congratulations to Whamcloud on their new site and new product release!
Hey! This wasn't written by a gang of elk! It was written by Jodi Wing, who does awesome work at Loud Dog, a digital branding firm in San Francisco that helps businesses express themselves authentically via identities, websites, and marketing collateral.
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