The Launch isn’t Dead.

06/06/13 Joe

I wanted to take a minute to write a rebuttal to this.

http://layervault.tumblr.com/post/52226746701/the-launch-is-dead

Obviously we just had a major relaunch, so it’s fresh on my mind. While iteration is a huge part of of software development, it’s not all of it. The web has enabled developers to zero in on fixes, and release code on a daily basis rather than boxed gold masters as Kelly so accurately described. It’s a fantastic way to work.

But we came to a time when we were quite literally trapped inside our own platform. There was not a smart way for us to make the design responsive. There wasn’t a clear way to add the new features we wanted without them feeling “stapled on.” So we set about something more ambitious. We rethought the layout and organization of the application.

Maybe we could have subtly tweaked our way from there to here. I can’t imagine it, and it would have take 5x as long.

At one point Kelly says:

“If you’re at the helm of a young company preparing for a launch, don’t. Roll out what you have today to the appropriate users.”

If we had done that, we would have quite literally rolled backwards. Our first drafts were not hatched, and had no business seeing the light of day. We tested internally, tested with users, and when we were happy we released. Diving in sounds great —but in reality? What successful team doesn’t iterate then also periodically relaunch? Apple? 37Signals? Surely you can’t only iterate and stay in front of your competition forever?

Kelly goes on to talk about PR value, and its being a short-sighted goal.

We’re small; we rarely get any media attention. So it’s great for our team morale to have people talk about us and to us. We all had a blast yesterday, and that’s nothing that moving a button 5px could ever aggregate to. Either in publicity or in love for your job.

Not to mention, the hundreds of new users we got yesterday. Momentum is a funny thing. It picks up speed the more you get. It’s really hard to develop that gently rolling up and down small hills.

Anyway. LayerVault seems great. And I don’t know Kelly. But there is definitely more than one way to run a company. So for any of you feeling like you should reevaluate your launch plans: Since Kelly worked some great movie references in to her article, did you also stop drinking Merlot after watching Sideways?

Announcing the Launch of Jumpchart 5!

05/21/13 Kristin


Intro Image

You’re good at what you do. But now there’s a tool to help make you great. If you’re a designer, programmer, copywriter, project manager, art director, or all of the above, you know how much work goes into planning a website. We originally created Jumpchart to help keep you organized — now Jumpchart does so much more than just organize content. Introducing Jumpchart 5. 

What’s New with Jumpchart.


Performance Enhancing Responsiveness. If you’re anything like us, you work from all over the place. So you’re not tied to a desk all day, right? Jumpchart is now tablet optimized, so it will adjust according to your screen size, allowing you to do great work from anywhere. Easy on the eyes at all sizes.

iPad-Retina-Display-Mockup3

Organization Boosting Interface. We’ve taken an extra step to help keep you more organized. We’ve moved some buttons, made content formatting easier, and put the features you use most right at your fingertips. Intuitiveness + Edginess = Jumpchart’s new interface.

organization


Drag and Drop File Uploads. The days of a 3-click file uploading process are behind Jumpchart. Now you can drag and drop your files onto the page for a quick and easy upload. Get back to what you’re doing – faster.

Resources. The all-new resources section gives you an aerial view of all the files used across an entire project. Instead of being limited to viewing files on a per-page basis, you get an incredibly helpful at-a-glance view of your uploads. Read more about the new resources section.

resources

Better Sitemap. The newly improved sitemap view is much easier on the eyes. Up against a versatile grid background, you can see the entire site in a clean, clear layout – including parent pages and subpages. Click any page to view the content in detail. This view is great for collaboration meetings and at-a-glance architecture analysis.

sitemap

Homepage Organization. Your Jumpchart homepage is now organized visually. If you’ve uploaded a mockup, that mockup will serve as the project icon, helping you identify what’s what just by glancing at it. If you manage lots of projects, you won’t believe how such a simple thing can improve how you use Jumpchart.

homepage-organization

Team Member Avatars. We’ve found it’s helpful to visually associate a team member when collaborating on Jumpchart projects. Now you can identify who’s commenting on which pages just by looking at their avatar, bringing communication full circle.

team

Content Formatting Options. You’ve always been able to format content inside Jumpchart – nothing new there. We improved how you move inside the content edit field; we took the most frequently used features of Jumpchart, and put them at the tips of your fingers.

content-formatting

Revised Plans and Pricing

We’ve added a new Freelancer plan that we think will be perfect for a lot of you, so be sure to check that out. In addition, if you pay in advance for a year, you get a discount (who doesn’t like discounts?).

pricing

We’re really psyched about releasing Jumpchart 5. We’ve been using it internally for a while now, and we can’t wait to hear how it improves your workflow. We’d love your feedback, so as you dive in and (we hope!) watch your productivity skyrocket, shoot us a note!

Check it out yourself.

Who’s in Charge?

05/16/13 Kristin

I hear it all the time. “That project has too many chiefs…”

This situation can derail an awesome project faster than a parent chasing a two year old making a mad dash for the stairs.

When lots of people are giving their input, it’s often the case that sidebar conversations get left out of the general stream. Progress loses its groove and you’re headed straight for stalls-ville.

We know connecting all the dots can be tough. It’s one of the main reasons we built such a strong collaboration feature into Jumpchart. Here’s my favorite part, though. You can collaborate how you want to – whichever way fits your workflow best, Jumpchart accommodates. We made it easy for everyone to have a voice, or for the elected team leader to share the project with the committee and relay feedback that way. We know not everyone’s workflow is the same, which is why Jumpchart fluently adjusts to fit even the more specific situations. Here are a few we’ve run into:

Situation #1: The Committee’s in Control! 

In this unfortunate situation, you probably have lots of people actually making the decisions. They all want their voices and opinions heard. There isn’t one person “in charge” to give the final word. Well, that’s okay. Keep Reading

Jumpchart 5 Feature Highlight: Receipts.

05/15/13 Kristin

It might seem like a small improvement, but we know it’s the little things that matter. You’ve always been able to access your previous receipts – with a little help from us. But in the upcoming new version of Jumpchart, you can elect to have them sent directly to your email – right from your account tab. We’re passing the control over to you!

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Not a Content Strategist? That’s Okay.

05/14/13 Kristin

We’re not big on titles. Around here we all try to pitch in where needed; we wear many hats. We know it’s like that for a lot of you Jumpchart users, too. Whether or not you think being able to do more is better, know this:

Just because your name tag doesn’t say “Content Strategist” on it somewhere doesn’t mean you don’t play the part as you’re building websites. That’s okay. I repeat: That’s. Okay.

We’re not content strategists, either. That’s partially why we created Jumpchart in the first place; we wanted a tool that allowed us to be better at putting the pieces in the right order. Jumpchart makes it easier to navigate the waters of site architecture and content organization. But maybe more importantly, it allows you to make edits to everything, anytime. You’ll never lose any of your work – you can always change your mind and go back to and older version of content. Pretty great, huh?

Let’s face it. On your quest to help your readers accomplish their goals in the most useful way possible, you probably won’t nail it on the first try. So take a step back, look at the bigger picture (Jumpchart has a fantastic site map view for that) and try, try again.

Jumpchart 5 Sneak Preview

02/26/13 Joe

Though it’s not quite done, we’re almost ready to let a few people in to check out the redesign of Jumpchart. It’s a really exciting, and a bit nervous moment for us. This is the most significant redesign we’ve worked on, and it’s been a lot of work.

If you want to be one of the first to check it out, send an email to info@pasteinteractive.com.

Only catch is that you have to send us some honest feedback once you kick the tires.

Dealing With Purchase Orders.

02/19/13 Joe

As some of you may know, there are two sides of our business. We have the design studio – Entermotion and the app development side with Paste.

This puts us in a really great place. Some of us are building the apps we know the rest of us need to do our job. Since many design studios are just like us – that means (usually) there will be demand for what we build.

We’ve been tossing around an idea for a small application here lately. We have a problem tracking purchase orders for client work. Stock photos, printing, screen printing, etc. all get purchased on behalf of our clients. It is a complete mess to try and track:

  • How much the vendor quoted you
  • Which vendor had the best price
  • If the vendor responded
  • If the vendor included tax, shipping, etc.
  • How much you told the client it would cost with your markup
  • How much it actually cost when the job was done

We’ve been toying with the idea of building a super simple app to help our design side manage this. We’d love your feedback on whether you think it might be useful to your studio or business too. I’ve attached some super simple wireframes below.

What do you think? Would you use it? If it was free? If it was $5?

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Small Details – Project Icons

02/18/13 Joe

Project icon

It’s a small thing, but one of the most helpful features in the new version of Jumpchart we’re building is project icons. On your account homepage, you’ll see a grid full of projects, each with their own customizable icon. If you manage lots of projects like we do, you won’t believe how such a simple thing can improve how you use Jumpchart.

Organizing Files for your Website Project

01/24/13 Joe

A website is made up of lots of files. Website planning is all about organizing those files into a coherent structure. When we first made Jumpchart, we wanted very badly to let people organize their files on a per-page basis.

That way there was no guessing where an image or PDF went when it was time to build. Page level attachments remove all the ambiguity. There is a downside to this organization, though. How do you find one file in the middle of a hundred pages? Hopefully you’ve put the file where it makes most sense, but memory only serves us so well…

In Jumpchart 5, we’re finally solving this problem. The all new Resources section will give you an aerial view of all the files used across an entire project, including their size. It will even show you the mockups you’ve attached, along with their approval status.

We’re hoping this quick way to see all your files at once will really speed up your workflow. It should also make it much easier to see where the largest files are if you’re managing your account limits.

Here’s one last tidbit about the Resources section: We’re caching queries and using Amazon for file storage, so it’s super fast. We’re really excited to have you give it a try when we launch.

Two Columns.

01/11/13 Joe

One thing we worked extremely hard on a while back was supporting multiple columns in Jumpchart. In our minds, we thought it would help with real estate on larger monitors, and also give people more flexibility with organization. After all, websites are rarely just one big column of content.

The problem is, it confused people. It made exports weirder. It was us dabbling in UI type situations when Jumpchart is supposed to be about organization, not design.

Thankfully, we’re ending all that in version 5. But for all the relief that brings, we discovered we had a new problem. How do we handle all the extra monitor space, since a column of text can only be so wide without being impossible to read?

The solution took us full circle in some ways. We brought back two columns … but they’re not indicative of layout. You always have a comfortable reading width, and we take advantage of the extra space on your monitor if you have it. It’s so cool, when we first implemented it I just sat there dragging my browser window back-and-forth like an idiot.