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Jonas Downey

Over the last decade, software product design has become hyper-focused on growth and engagement: getting more users, more eyeballs, and more data to prove unicorn business performance to shareholders and investors. To achieve this, designers use dirty psychological tricks and sticky UI patterns to juice their metrics. They treat users like cattleβ€”just a bunch of dumb animals whose behavior can be manipulated and harvested for profit.

At Basecamp, they think these practices are despicable and destructive. Users aren't users, they're PEOPLE. So when they started to design HEY, they took the opposite approach. How can this app protect people's attention, eliminate their anxiety about email, and restore a sense of calm? How can they help people reduce their email volume, so they spend less time in our app, and more time doing what they actually want?

Jonas will tell the story of how they made HEY, and how you can apply similar principles-first thinking to your projects.


Jonas Downey

Jonas Downey is the Design Lead at Basecamp, the premier project management and communications tool for remote companies. For the past two years he's been building Basecamp's radical new email service, HEY.

Jonas is also the co-creator of Hello Weather, the super useful weather app for iOS and Android.

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