Posts Tagged:Basecamp

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


[Basecamp 3 Redesign] Phase 1: New Nav and a unified Hey! Inbox.

Over the next few months we’ll be rolling out a visual refresh to make Basecamp 3 even easier to use — and more approachable for new users. Today we launch the first set of updates.Most products get more complicated as they go. More stuff, more screens, more options, more ways to do things. It’s natural — evolution tends to create more complex creatures over time. Software development is no different.That’s why it’s on us to push back on complexity and clutter as we go. If we’re smart about it, we can add power and clarity over time, while making everything feel simpler than before. With that in mind, we’re ready to share what we’ve been working on for you.Phase 1 goes lives todayFirst things first. This initial refresh is centered around simplifying the global navigation at the top of the screen.We’re going from this:(that’s a lot of stuff which can be especially intimidating for new users)To this:(simpler and more approachable,…

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It’s time for recurring meetings to end

Why are we still doing this to each other?It’s thankfully been a really long time since I’ve been invited to a recurring meeting. But I heard a couple mentions of them last week, and it brought back terrible pre-Basecamp memories.It reminded me that not everyone is so lucky — many people still have to attend those soul-sucking, brain-draining, pointless recurring meetings. You know the ones — they’re usually filed under euphemisms like “stand-ups”, “status”, and “check ins” and happen on a daily or weekly basis.They’re terrible. Let’s discuss why and see if we can help each other get rid of them.They force people to meet even when there’s nothing to discussEver gone to a recurring meeting only to find a bunch of blank expressions and everyone just kinda looking at each other? Welcome to the recurring meeting.For some reason the default corporate mindset is that there will always be something to discuss, so having a regularly scheduled meeting…

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Managers, screw the Golden Rule

Don’t treat employees the way you want to be treated. Here’s why.“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”This is The Golden Rule we all learned growing up. As a manager or CEO in a company, you’d think it would make sense to follow it too. Managers should treat their employees the way they’d like to be treated, right?Not quite.In a recent interview I did with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH), the Creator of the popular web framework Ruby on Rails and Chief Technology Officer at Basecamp, he shared this insight: You shouldn’t treat other people the way you want to be treated because the other person isn’t you.The other person has different preferences (beliefs, ideas, and experiences) and is going to react to a situation differently than you. You might think something is reasonable or fair, but that’s you thinking that, not the other person. You cannot assume that the way she…

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Running in Circles

Why Agile Isn’t Working and What We Do DifferentlyAgile started off as a set of values. Values are subtle and abstract, so as agile spread, what spread wasn’t the values but the practice of working in cycles. Cycles are easy to explain and easy to copy.People in our industry think they stopped doing waterfall and switched to agile. In reality they just switched to high-frequency waterfall.Agile became synonymous with speed. Everybody wants more, faster. And one thing most teams aren’t doing fast enough is shipping. So cycles became “sprints” and the metric of success, “velocity.”But speed isn’t the problem. And cycles alone don’t help you ship. The problems are doing the wrong things, building to specs, and getting distracted.Claiming there’s a True Agile™ somewhere in the past or future doesn’t help either. When your team struggles with shipping, you need practical steps you can apply here and now. Not just an ideal.Cycles…

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Move Slowly and Fix Things

Synoptic Table of Physiognomic TraitsRuminations on the heavy weight of software design in the 21st century.Recently I took a monthlong sabbatical from my job as a designer at Basecamp. (Basecamp is an incredible company that gives us a paid month off every 3 years.)When you take 30 days away from work, you have a lot of time and headspace that’s normally used up. Inevitably you start to reflect on your life.And so, I pondered what the hell I’m doing with mine. What does it mean to be a software designer in 2018, compared to when I first began my weird career in the early 2000s?The answer is weighing on me.As software continues to invade our lives in surreptitious ways, the social and ethical implications are increasingly significant.Our work is HEAVY and it’s getting heavier all the time. I think a lot of designers haven’t deeply considered this, and they don’t appreciate the real-life effects of…

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The value of human, exploratory testing

Ann and Michael find things programmers never would have.Since unit testing and test-driven development burst onto the programming scene in the early 2000s, too many programmers have deluded themselves into thinking that they could ship high-quality software with automated testing alone. It’s a mirage.Don’t get me wrong. The industry took a big leap forward when the tooling and conventions for automated testing got put in the spotlight. But in many corners, it also threw the baby out with the bathwater. Automated testing does not replace “testing by hand”, it augments it.Testing by hand, or exploratory testing, is a crucial technique for ferreting out issues off the happy path. It is best carried out by dedicated testers who did not work on the implementation. Those pesky auditors who have the nerve to try using the application in all the ways a real user might.None of this is news, of course. I remember reading a statistic…

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New in Basecamp 3: To-do Groups

A little thing that’s a big deal.For years, we’ve been making to-do lists in Basecamp that looked like this:See those === DIVIDERS ===? We were trying to group related to-dos together within a list. All we wanted was to bring a little structure, and an extra ounce of organization, to a single flat list.We weren’t alone. Whenever a customer showed us how they use Basecamp, we’d inevitably run into a similar === DIVIDER === pattern. They were trying to do what we were trying to do.We were all hacking it. As of today, the silliness is over. No hacks required!We just launched To-do Groups in Basecamp 3!What’s a group?A group is like a sublist on a list. It’s organization, it’s structure, it’s an envelope, it’s a box. It has a header, and to-dos grouped below.The anatomy of a Basecamp 3 to-do list with two groupsWhen you drag a group header, all the to-dos under that header move with…

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Can You Sell Water?

Selling is a core skill. You have to know how to sell, whether it’s a product, an idea, or yourself. In 2012, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried saw the results of a bottled water-selling challenge at Techstars Chicago, a bootcamp program for startups. That one-day competition is the starting point for a conversation that includes the art of negotiation, Jason’s experiences selling knives, tennis rackets, and software; and other adventures in business.https://medium.com/media/58ff8dfef9af106a91b4a40509e88056/hrefCan You Sell Water? was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Source: 37signals

To Meet or Not to Meet…That is the Question

One of the most frequent dilemmas I experience as a Digital Project Manager (DPM) is whether something warrants having a meeting…and if it does, who do I invite? Nobody likes having too many meetings, especially if they aren’t valuable, but we also don’t want to have epic Slack or Basecamp threads on one topic that could have been easily resolved with a quick meeting. That balancing act is tricky, but it’s important. When you find the right balance and schedule meetings for your team only when they are needed, you will likely see a couple of benefits. First, there will be a higher level of engagement within the meetings and second, the team may experience a positive morale boost given they are able to better focus on their work. Here are four things I consider when deciding whether to schedule a meeting or not, and four things I consider when…

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Cut the Noise – Five Slack Features You Need to Use

Slack is a core part of my day-to-day. It’s the tool that I spend the most time in and it’s how I handle all internal communication, including project, team, and company discussions, from 1:1 conversations to group chats. It’s increasingly become a primary client communication tool, as well.  With so many purposes and so many participants, it can be challenging to not only stay on top of Slack discussions but balance meetings, communication in other tools (Basecamp, Github, email), and work itself. I’ve found these five features to be key in cutting through the noise and making Slack a valuable communication tool: /leave This one’s going to earn me some 👋  reactions, I know, I know. I’m still going do it though, and here’s why: It’s important for me to be present in project channels and client teams when I’m playing an active role. When that time has passed, though, I’ve found…

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A Kotlin long-term update: calm, peaceful, and productive

It’s kind of hard to believe, but we’ve been writing Kotlin at Basecamp for 20 months now! And with the first ever KotlinConf starting tomorrow, it felt like a good time to reflect on my time with Kotlin.When I first started off with Kotlin, I was a bit…excitable. I was blown away by all the incredible things it could do. Compared to Java, it made my life so much easier and I was just much happier working with it. I was so excited to be learning this shiny new tech that I would tell anyone that would listen about all its wonders.Now, almost two years in, things are different — in a good way.The big thing is that I’m (mostly) past the initial “holy shit this is awesome” moments of discovery when you first come over from Java — finding out about all those crazy things you can’t do in Java, all the fantastic niceties that become…

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What’s new in Basecamp 3.6 on iOS

This feature-packed release of Basecamp for iPhone and iPad is available in the App Store today. Here’s a look at what’s new.Improved attachments and sketchingIt all starts with a redesigned file picker. Tap the paperclip button anywhere in Basecamp to see clear buttons for each kind of thing you can attach. They’re all first-class — especially Sketch which got a big boost in this release. Now, before you upload an image to Basecamp you’ll have the option to draw on it first. It’s great for highlighting and making notes — or just having fun.Pick an image (left), tap ‘Sketch on image’, then add your drawings before uploading to Basecamp.In addition to sketching on images, we’ve also beefed-up the drawing tools. You can now choose the from 3 line weights and 5 colors to add variety and interest to your sketches. Also new: save your Basecamp sketches or share them to other apps.Works great with Apple Pencil on…

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New Search and More in Basecamp 3!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve told you about what we’ve been working on in Basecamp 3. The entire team has been plugging away at making it the best it can be. Here’s the latest features available for all Basecamp 3 accounts:SearchBefore, searching in Basecamp was a bit like making your bed with a cat around. Yes, the job will get done, but it probably could have been faster and your assistant wasn’t as helpful as it thought it was. Today, we announce the new search feature in Basecamp 3, faster and better than ever! This is a huge update to our search feature, brought to you by designer Conor and programmer Pratik.Making it work.Now you don’t have to go to a separate page to search. Click ‘Find’ in your toolbar and you’ll see our new search tool, right in place. You can filter by type of item, who posted…

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From an internal Basecamp announcement re: pings/IMs

Direct/instant messaging is something many people are doing more and more often at work. And while it’s a handy way to quickly get ahold of someone, it’s a forceful interruption often coupled with an expectation of a quick response. That makes it costly communication. And that’s why the etiquette around it is important.Recently we noticed some internal behavior around pings (Basecamp 3’s name for direct/instant messages) that we didn’t like. David and I discussed it and we decided to post an internal announcement to everyone at Basecamp detailing the problem as we saw it. We also suggested ways to improve the efficacy of a ping, and reduce the burden of empty notifications for everyone.I figured this might help other people outside our walls, so here’s the announcement in full (and here’s a link to the announcement in Basecamp itself if you want to share or reference it elsewhere):📢 “Ping” /…

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Take A Stand

Flowers for Dreams put this pop-up on their website after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.Business and politics tend to make uneasy bedfellows, but in these divisive times, even businesses that have historically stayed out of hot-button issues are coming off the sidelines. In this episode: An online florist tells racists to shop elsewhere; Basecamp stops reimbursing employees for Uber rides; and a Chicago couple creates a lighthearted product with a serious message about the treatment of female bodies.https://medium.com/media/7c68a2fd96517d7d90dfbc6e2c6eca4d/hrefIf you’d like to get new Rework episodes delivered to your phone as soon as they’re released, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, RadioPublic or your favorite podcatcher app!Take A Stand was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Source: 37signals

Say No

https://medium.com/media/1fae2c9e0850bf1d9a9fe5556167e3f3/hrefSay NoIt’s easy to say yes, whether it’s to a customer request or a deadline from your boss. But saying yes too many times can result in an unmanageable workload or distract you from the stuff you really want to be doing. It’s good to practice saying no and setting boundaries. In this episode of the Rework podcast: A personal organizer helps her clients say no to physical clutter; a programmer at Basecamp peers into the abyss of burnout and steps back just in time; and a healthy meal-planning startup rejects complexity, even if it means letting some customers go.https://medium.com/media/d895073c9c1ef09d123148e216408b9c/hrefSay No was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Source: 37signals

What’s new in Basecamp 3.5.4 for iOS

🍂 Fall is here, there’s a new version of iOS, and with it comes a new release to Basecamp for iPhone and iPad. It’s available in the App Store today. Here’s a brief look at what’s new:Quick jumpQuick jump is one of our favorite new things in Basecamp this year and we’re excited to bring it to iOS. It works exactly like the desktop version, especially on iPads with a keyboard attached (either 3rd party keyboards or iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard). Command + J to start. Arrow up/down. Enter to select. Type to filter. It’s just the same.Quick jump to projects, people, or recently visited items.It’s also available on as an experimental feature on iPhone. That’s an atypical approach for us so let me explain. As of today you can quick jump by swiping from the top edge of your iOS device with two fingers. It works pretty well but the…

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Highrise about town

Recent places Highrise has been spotted in the wildPhoto by Christine Roy on UnsplashConference organizingCongratulations to the Girls to the Moon team for another successful Campference providing a safe space for girls to keep kicking ass! Alison directs operations for the group and we know how tough it is to keep those pieces together. She uses Highrise to help.Girls To The Moon Sponsors underwrite our programmingJob interviews are ineffectiveSince starting the Highrise team from scratch when we spun off from Basecamp in 2014, we’ve learned a thing or two about hiring. A big one being how terrible interviews are for finding successful fits.What we do is find a few top candidates and we pay them for a one week mini project and see what they come back with. It’s not cheap, but it’s worse to hire someone who doesn’t work out.Many Hirers Turn to Alternatives to Job InterviewsToo many marketing optionsOverwhelmed by all the…

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