Why Content is the Foundation for a Successful Website.

06/11/13 Kristin

I think we can agree that in order for any project to succeed, you have to have all your ducks in a row.

But there’s something else the “content first” theory brings to the table. Something incredibly valuable, but often forgotten. And when it is forgotten, the end result is that you find yourself clicking about frantically inside a website trying like hell to get out.


The transition between website pages should be smooth. Seamless. Melodic, even. But what’s more, it should be expected. In a world where the goal of most advertising efforts is to knock you off your feet and commandeer your attention, you should never be shocked at what’s on the webpage in front of you. You clicked because you’re looking for something, and you expect it to be there when you arrive.

Design and content go hand in hand, but design looks to content to lead the way. Be half a step ahead. Maneuver around a steep drop, or a sinkhole. There’s no better time to work out the kinks than at the beginning of a project. Admittedly, the first thing people see when they come to a site is design – but once the awe of beauty wears off (and it will, eventually), they’re going to read the content. That’s where you either retain visitors, or lose them.

Laying out navigation and content first is a surefire way to lead your visitors down the path of your choice. Anticipate the information they’ll want, and the order they’ll want it in. Figure out what’s most important to them, then make it easily accessible. Develop pages and subpages that will quench their thirst but still leave them wanting more … which just happens to be when you point them to the contact page.

It makes sense to me that content should come first when planning a website. The words and tone tend to dictate the design direction, and how can you do one without the other? Plus, what designer doesn’t love swooping in and icing the cake? They can spend their time actually pushing pixels instead of redoing the nav 8 times because it wasn’t figured out before they started designing. Design follows in the footsteps of navigation and content, but they all cross the finish line at the same time.

The Launch isn’t Dead.

06/06/13 Joe

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?).


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!



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?



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.