For the past few months we've been secretly working on a ground-up visual redesign of Highrise. We'll be rolling out the redesign to our customers the week of January 3, 2011.
Before we roll it out, we wanted to preview some of the highlights of the redesign.
First: Why redesign Highrise?
When we launched Highrise in 2007, we piggybacked on the visual design and layout of Basecamp. That design has served us well over the past few years, but we never felt the layout was optimized for Highrise. People use Highrise differently than Basecamp. The UI should reflect those differences.
The new design is optimized around the most frequently used parts of Highrise. Things people do most often, like jumping to a specific contact, case, or deal, are now possible from everywhere all the time. You can also add contacts and tasks from any screen. You no longer have to back out or switch screens to access essential features. This saves you time and erases frustration.
Further, the design is significantly more refined. We worked hard to remove the elements that weren't important and play up the elements that were. Key features, buttons, filters, and links are now right in your line of sight down the left half of the screen (instead of being spread out across the whole screen before). The new design puts everything you need right where you'd expect it.
Everything's been carefully considered. From font sizes, to shades of grey, to the layouts of every screen. While it's a big change, we've worked hard to maintain a sense of familiarity as well. It'll feel brand new, but you'll still know your way around. Like all change, some parts may take getting used to, but we think you'll like the design the more you interact with it.
Here are some highlights of the new design. Note: Since the design hasn't launched yet, some stuff you see here is still subject to change.
Global contact, task, and jump.
You can now add a contact or task from any screen. Further, you can jump to a contact, case, or deal from any screen. These features are located at the top of the screen on every screen.
Buttons and filters.
We've moved the "add" buttons from the far right side of the screen to the left side - right above the content you already have. This is a more natural positioning of these buttons. Further, we've eliminated bulky filter pulldown menus and replaced them with more elegant, descriptive sentence-based filters.
10 recently viewed contacts, cases, deals, or tags.
Whenever you view a contact, case, deal, or tag, they'll automatically be added to a list in the lefthand sidebar. This way you can quickly move between the last 10 contacts, cases, deals, or tags you've worked with. It's a huge time saver. The stuff you work on most often will always be in front of you. No more searching or browsing for contacts, cases, deals, or tags you're frequently working on.
We've added contact zooming in a few more places. This is especially helpful when you need to make a call or write down an address, but you aren't directly in front of your screen. Just zoom it up and you can see it from across the room.
Significantly improved contact filtering.
Now you can filter your contact list by a variety of fields. Filters can be as simple as a city, or as complex as a combination of city, title, zip, and phone area code. For example, you could set up a filter to show you all the CEOs you know in Miami or all the people who live in Oregon that have gmail.com email addresses. Here are a few examples of filter combinations you could create.
Private items are more obvious.
We've improved the private flag on contacts, cases, and deals so it's even more obvious than before.
New overall layout.
Here's a blurred view of the new overall layout. You'll see the sidebar is on the left instead of the right.
More surprises in store
There are some other things we think you'll love about the redesign, but we'll save those for launch. Stay tuned, it's on the way.
Thanks for your continued support. Highrise had its best year yet in 2010. We hope you did too.
See you in 2011!