Co.Design

Yelp Shoots for a Five-Star Office Redesign

The latest upstart to declare to the world "We're not scrappy anymore!"

Studio O+A has sent us images of its redesigned Yelp headquarters in San Francisco. It's got the vibe of a Mission hipster's thrift-store living room, with loads of graphics on the wall that, in the press materials's telling, are meant to reference an "urban alleyway."

What do you think? Three stars? Four?

Here's some custom wallpaper. It has the Yelp logo plastered all over the place and cheery handbills that say stuff like "Hooked on Yelp!" and "My social life is TEN TIMES more exciting SINCE YELP CAME into the picture." The whole thing's supposed to capture "the energy and color of the chorus of voices that Yelp's online community represents." (Looks more like a billboard to us.)

The space is intended to link "Yelp's brand strongly with references to San Francisco." So, naturally they have bike parking. Tons of it.

You might remember Studio O+A from its redesign of Facebook's headquarters (which was clearly channeling Urban Outfitters). They've done similar work for Paypal, StubHub, and Shopping.com. Seems these guys have the market cornered on making dotcoms look studiedly casual. It's practically written on the walls: Sneakers and sweatpants welcome.

So why did Yelp revamp? Probably because it can. Last year, the company almost doubled its U.S. audience, and pageviews shot up 150 percent. Revenues are estimated at $30 to $50 million a year. Sexing up the office is a media-friendly way of saying to the world, "We're not a scrappy upstart anymore." Next up: Yachts for every employee?

[Images by Jasper Sanidad courtesy of Studio O+A]

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2 Comments

  • John Nawn

    where are all the people? like to see how folks work beyond the reception area. how does the design translate in the work areas? what workplace innovations around integrating technology or facilitating teamwork are being utilized (ala www.workspring.com)?

    john nawn, founder, the perfect meeting