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About Jamie

He is Filipino.

Contest: Two Free 3-Day Passes to Pitchfork Music Festival

Jamie wrote this on Discuss

Our friends (and Basecamp customers) at Pitchfork Media are bringing the Pitchfork Music Festival back to Union Park in Chicago this July 18–20. They use Basecamp to plan and organize the entire event, and we’re giving away two pairs of 3-day passes to the festival to celebrate!

How do you enter? Tweet a lyric, song title, album name, or artist related to “Basecamp”. Add the hashtag #basecampmusic. Here’s an example:

When is the contest over? We’ll be watching the #basecampmusic hashtag on Twitter between today (Monday 7/7/2014) and tomorrow (Tuesday 7/8/2014) at 11:59pm CDT.
What’s the prize? We’re giving away two pairs of 3-day passes to the Pitchfork Music Festival—happening in Chicago on July 18–20. Not included: airfare, hotel, meals…
Anything else? Basecamp is going to have a special presence at the festival this year. Please visit us near the Blue Stage!
We’re excited to see your clever #basecampmusic tweets. Good luck!

Crossing Streams

Jamie wrote this on 16 comments

When I switched to Android a few years ago, I promised myself this: I’d switch back the minute Apple added smart notifications, app data sharing, widgets, and a better keyboard to iOS.

Apple’s WWDC keynote yesterday was exciting. Craig Federighi is super awesome (I wanna hang out with him). iOS is finally getting the Android features I love. Yesterday I was ready to switch back, but now I’m not so sure.
Some iOS fans have pointed to Google’s Android as being a poor copy—thermonuclear theft. On the surface there are similarities, but conceptually Android started from a power user’s perspective. Where Android had power features it also lacked in the simplicity and obviousness of iOS. Simply because iOS did far less.
Yesterday Apple showed iOS doing a whole lot more. Apple is refining iOS by layering on functionality. They’re adding features to the simple iOS foundation. However, the more features there are, the more complicated it becomes—and the harder it is to use.

Meanwhile, Google has done something interesting with Android. It started out as a very power-user complex platform, but they’ve been refining it in a different way than Apple. Instead of adding features, they’ve pruned them. Historically Google hasn’t been afraid to nix apps or services in an effort to focus and simplify. You can see these efforts in Google Now. With Google Now you don’t interact with apps or widgets. Their “cloud” knows what you want to know and tells you. No interaction needed.

It’s always harder to take away features that are already there. But, I have no doubt Apple will try to continue making iOS easy-to-use while they layer on new power user features. At the same time, Google’s not afraid to take away features. Maybe Google will keep simplifying Android, pushing all you need to know from their sentient “cloud”.
I’m curious to see what happens next. But, I’m not switching back to iOS just yet.

Yelp's nice settings toggle

Jamie wrote this on 5 comments

Yelp updated their Privacy Policy so now businesses can get some insight on their customers. The nice thing is Yelp gives you a preview of how your information would appear to these businesses.

You can Change Privacy Settings to toggle between how much info you want to reveal. As a Yelp user I’m not passive in this. I’m given a choice. I thought this was a pretty cool interaction—a nicely done modal.

App Store Ratings Mystery

Jamie wrote this on 32 comments

All software developers want to get good ratings in the app store. That’s how customers judge the quality of your app. The other desirable metric is quantity of ratings—the number of people who have reviewed the app. It’s hard enough to get good ratings, it’s even harder to get a lot of people to review your app.
Here’s the mystery.
Basecamp for iOS has been out for over a year and has received 578 ratings (as of today).

Basecamp for Android has only been out for a few weeks, yet it has 358 ratings (as of today). That’s over half of the number of ratings we got for the iOS version which has been available for over a year.

Do Android users like to review apps? Do iOS users hate to review apps? Is Google’s Play Store designed so it’s easier to rate apps? I have no idea, but I’m curious about this uptick in Android ratings.
What do you think?

Google Play Banner Design

Jamie wrote this on 3 comments

Apple provides a nice “Smart App Banner” hook for developers to promote their iOS apps from within their web apps. Unfortunately Google doesn’t have anything like this for the Play Store. Now that we have Basecamp for Android, we want to promote it to customers using Basecamp on their phone browsers.
Thanks to GitHub there are a few nice solutions:

These combine both iOS and Google Play designs which we didn’t really need. In the end we rolled our own solution, but I based the banner design on Vitaly Glibin’s Smart App Banner.

I uploaded a working version of the HTML to GitHub. Please feel free to use this design to promote your apps in Google Play. Thanks again to Vitaly’s Smart App Banner for the inspiration.
And if you’re an Android user get the Basecamp app on Google Play!

Behind the scenes: Designing the REMOTE book cover

Jamie wrote this on 13 comments

Many months ago Jason Fried asked me to think about a cover idea for REMOTE, a new book that he and David Heinemeier Hansson were writing.
I thought REWORK, their previous book, had an iconic cover. The sole image of crumpled paper alluded to “back to the drawing board.” It’s a great cover.

I decided early on to keep the main color scheme for the REMOTE cover: red, black, and white. I liked how the titles “REMOTE” and “REWORK” read like they’re part of a series. It made sense for them to have some relationship. I also wanted the book cover to be white. There was no meaning other than I wanted REMOTE to feel related but be visually different.
My first two covers were designed to be directly related to REWORK: title centered top with an image in the middle.

I also thought it’d be fun to try something similar in attitude to the crumpled paper.

During this time, I was reading a book by David Byrne called How Music Works. Like all (most?) designers, I’m always filing away graphics, signage, type I see every day into my brain somewhere. I appreciated the boldness of the cover design (still do).

Could I make REMOTE typography that communicates remote? I imagined an unplugged electrical cord. So, I drew and scanned one spelling out the word “Remote”.

Then I traced it in Adobe Illustrator and set type around it.

I still like this cover idea.

Then I thought about not alluding to any physical objects. Let’s not hold on to the crumpled paper. Let’s ditch cut neckties and electrical cords. Could I communicate “remote” with type in an abstract way?

The “O” in REMOTE had a lot of potential. The perfect circle “O” (set in Futura) could act as an anchor.

I uploaded that to Basecamp and 5 minutes later Jason Fried texts me: “You are a genius.” Actually, he didn’t say that. I can’t remember what he said because I don’t have his text anymore. He liked it.
We showed the cover to the publisher and they weren’t crazy about it. The publisher showed the cover to bookseller buyers and they didn’t like it. All the while, Jason and David kept pushing my cover design.

After a few tweaks and some uncertainty we had a cover for REMOTE. I’m honored that Jason and David advocated for my design. Thanks to Crown Business for going with the cover.
Pick up a copy of REMOTE if you don’t have it yet. I designed the cover.

The home screens of 37signals (2013)

Jamie wrote this on 32 comments

Back in 2011, we shared our phone homescreens with you. We get a kick out of how others personalize their mobile phones. A lot’s changed in 2 years: retina-ized screens, bigger phones, redesigned OSes. We thought it’d be fun to see how much—if at all—our homescreens have changed. First up, the side-by-side comparisons:

Attention: there are a lot of homescreens in this post. The screens all start to blur together (apart from the Android ones), but they’re all interesting when you take the time to examine them. This is a great article for your lunchtime/afternoon break browsing…

Michael Berger (Quality Assurance)—Michael got more cheery.
Merissa Dawson (Support)—Merissa’s got more personal.
Jamie Dihiansan (Designer)—Jamie went Android.

The worst thing about Android...

Jamie wrote this on 16 comments

The latest version of Android was released in July—a little over 3 months ago. Yet the popular HBO Go app is not compatible! You can’t watch HBO Go on your brand new Nexus 7. You can’t watch HBO on any Android device that was updated to Android 4.3.

Can you imagine if HBO didn’t make its app compatible with Apple’s iOS 7? Nope, I can’t.

Bad Rap

Jamie wrote this on 32 comments

I’m tired of hearing “Android seems cool, but the apps just don’t have that same polish as iOS ones.” Yes, there are duds on Google Play (their App Store). But there are duds in Apple’s App Store too. Here are some Android apps I’ve been using that feel “as good as iOS”

Google Music. Google Music’s All Access (their new all you can eat music subscription service) is really nice. I love how my uploaded music lives in the same Library as their store’s music. Radio feature is great. Search, of course, is pretty good too.

Flickr. They made a splash last week with their web app redesign. The new Android app design brings it up to the same level as their iOS app. It’s very nice.

Pocket Casts. When I’m not using Google Music I’m using Pocket Casts. If you like listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s voice, this is the app for you.

Press. I’m an RSS guy. I know that’s not cool anymore. I’m sad about Google Reader. I use Press every day to catch up on interesting stories across the web. Really nice app.

DashClock Widget. Android’s nice because you can run apps on the lock screen. DashClock gives me information without having to drill into apps.


By showing the shark less, the movie was even scarier, and as Steven Spielberg said in the documentary The Universal Story, “By the shark not working, it allowed me to be much more experimental and find a way to make the surface of the water, and the threat of the unseen, as powerful as having seen the shark too early. I think the film would have made half the money had the shark worked.”

Jamie on Apr 25 2013 Discuss