As a Product Designer at Basecamp for two years I wore many hats – operating as a "manager of one" for new feature development, spanning Product Management, Customer Research, Prototyping, UX/Visual Design and Front-end Development.
- I added CoffeeScript + SASS + Ruby on Rails to my skill-set, working with and learning from the best Rails practitioners on the planet.
- I prototyped and coded many Basecamp 3 features, including the Jump Menu, Focus Mode, Profile Cards, A/B tests for signup flows, typography improvements, and others.
- I learned the best practices and elements required to create a tight-knit, calm, and happy remote culture that enables outsized productivity.
- I wrote articles sharing best practices on the Signal v. Noise blog, including Why we only work 4 days a week during summer, and Slow, Smooth, Fast, Effective.
Key Project: Basecamp 3 Jump Menu
Basecamp 3 Jump Menu
When using Basecamp, I found myself consistently navigating between multiple projects. Navigating took multiple clicks, which added up over the course of a day. To solve this, I wrote up an internal pitch to make switching between projects easier.
The goals of this feature were to 1) make switching between projects as quick as possible, and 2) make it accessible everywhere in the app. With those goals in mind I prototyped a keyboard-invoked overlay, similar to Alfred or Spotlight.
When pressing Cmd+J, an overlay appears, allowing the customer to start typing the name of the project, and press return to navigate to it, without removing their hands from the keyboard. Additionally, customers can use the arrow keys to select an option.
The first version of the Jump Menu allowed customers to jump to a project's home page and was a big success. But a project's home page typically isn't the desired destination - it's often a tool or subpage within the project.
To address that, I pitched, prototyped, and built the ability to track recently visited pages in the browser's local storage and surface them at the top of the Jump Menu.
This made for an even faster navigational experience, since customers often bounce between 3-5 different projects throughout the day, the desired result is typically at the top of the list. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from customers who utilized the jump menu to navigate Basecamp quickly and easily numerous times each day.