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About Jamie

He is Filipino.

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
Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 12.42.44 PM.png

There’s a flash flood warning for all of Chicago today. Unfortunately there’s water in my basement (like other Chicago home owners)...

The flood fixing company U.S. Waterproofing has a cool feature on their website. Look at who we’ve helped in your neighborhood. As you can see, they get around! Gives me confidence to give them a call—which I might do right now.

The only camera you need is an iPhone?

Jamie wrote this on 25 comments

My friend Nick Quaranto is in the market for a new camera. A few days ago we discussed the pros and cons of various cameras (DSLR, mirrorless, iPhone, etc) in our Campfire chatroom. He was overwhelmed by all the options. Where do you even start?

I asked in our “SvN Post Ideas” Basecamp project, and notified the rest of our company:
What kind of camera do you have? Do you prefer DSLR, Mirrorless, or iPhone? Something else? There are so many options out there it’s overwhelming…
The most popular answer was iPhone. However, some of us are enthusiasts who must capture moments the tiny sensor in the iPhone can’t quite get. Here are the answers I got in Basecamp:

Jamie Dihiansan Fujifilm X100S and Nexus 4
I just got a Fujifilm X100S. I really dig it. Been waiting for a while to get one. I like the fixed focal length (35mm equivalent) and the low-light image quality under high ISO (6400). I also use the Nexus 4 for Instagram, Facebook, casual polaroid type shots.

Mig Reyes Panasonic GF-1 and iPhone
I have a Panasonic GF-1, with the pancake lens. The chip inside the body is fried, so I don’t have a working camera. I’d like to invest in a new body that can still make use of my pancake lens, and would love any suggestions.
So, for now I just use the camera I always have with me; iPhone.

Ryan Singer Nikon D7000
I have a Nikon D7000 w/ a 35mm prime lens, which ends up looking like 50mm because of the D7000’s sensor size. I like the D7000’s high ISO and how optically faithful the 35-50mm range is.
I bring it with me on trips and to major events, but I still find myself leaving it in the bag because I don’t like having it around my neck or in my hand on all time. I inevitably take some photos with my iPhone.
I’m usually disappointed with my iPhone photos when I load them on the computer. The colors and res are sharp, but the wide angle distorts close-up subjects and creates lots of empty space in landscape/scenery shots.

Shaun Hildner Canon 5D Mk II
Canon 5D Mk II on a Redrock Micro Field Cinema Deluxe DSLR Rig with an Ikan 7” monitor and a Rode shotgun mic.
Canon 24-105mm f/4L
Damn right you need all this shit!