How a roadside rest stop inspired an entirely different approach to FAQs

Introducing the YesAQ

Years ago I was driving back to Chicago from Wisconsin. On the Illinois side there are a couple of rest stops over the tollway. It’s a great place to get some gas, grab some caffeine, and stretch your legs a little before the final 50 miles home.

The rest stop usually has a booth where you can buy a iPass so you don’t need to stop and pay tolls all the time. During the day there’s a person in the booth to help answer any questions you have.

It appears that a lot of the same questions are asked over and over. Enough, in fact, that the person who answers them is sick of giving the same answer. That answer is “Yes”.

So they jumped on a computer somewhere and put together what I can only describe as one of the smartest formats for an FAQ I’ve ever seen. A single answer on top, and all the questions below. The answer is always YES!! YES, YES. YES!! Then they taped it to the outside of the booth. You can’t miss it.

I thought this was brilliant. I just love it. Yeah, it’s full of passive aggression and spelling errors and formatting problems, but the idea in itself is so refreshing. It’s folk information art.

Inspired by this, we whipped up our own version of a YES! page for Basecamp 3. It was a fun exercise in messaging and design. We call it the YesAQ.

Check it out.

New in Basecamp 3: Jump Menu

Any time we launch a new feature in Basecamp, the support team likes to keep track of what customers say about it after release. When we launched the new Home screen a few months ago, customers loved it, but missed the easy access to switching between projects they had with the previous Basecamps menu.

Well, Kris, one of our designers, got up and nothing got him down. He heard the call and pitched a Jump menu at the beginning of this month to help users get to where they need in a flash. While I figured this was a small project and not likely to take a full cycle, I was surprised and delighted by how quickly it went from pitch to feature.

Only 80s kids will understand.

Now, you can jump quickly between projects, from anywhere in Basecamp. It’s as easy as hitting Command-J (Mac) or Ctrl-J (Windows). The jump menu will pop up and you can start typing to narrow down on the project, team, or your company HQ. Click or hit Enter on the selection and you’ll jump right to where you want to go.

Command J!

And here’s a secret shortcut: Type ‘My’ to jump to your assignments, bookmarks, drafts and recent activity.

The Jump Menu is available in the Basecamp 3 desktop apps and your browser. Give it a whirl in your account today!

Only 90s kids will understand.