Designers Jam Together To Create Beautiful Websites
Website design is more of an art than a science. Through countless iterations, web designers work to craft the ideal landing page. A great landing page can be the difference between landing a new customer or user. However, it’s challenging to provide feedback directly on the page being edited. Dani Grant and Mohd Irtefa created Jam to solve this overlooked problem. Jam allows users to edit their websites collaboratively. The San Francisco-based startup has raised $3.5M in venture capital funding from Union Square Ventures, Version One Ventures, BoxGroup, Village Global, and angel investors such as GitHub CTO Jason Warner, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia, former PagerDuty CTO Andrew Miklas, former Kickstarter CPO Jamie Wilkinson, former Robinhood VP Product Josh Elman, Cloudflare SVP Emerging Technology and Incubation Dane Knecht and Cloudflare Head of Innovation James Allworth.
Prince says, “I’m a big fan of the Jam team. Both Dani and Irtefa were terrific members of Cloudflare’s team. I got to know them both well. When they asked me to invest it was a no brainer. One of the things that has been surprisingly fun for me running the company has been seeing the Cloudflare Diaspora (which I think is a more appropriate term than “Mafia”) go and start new ventures. I’ve been honored how many of them have reached out and allowed me to help support them. And I’m really excited to see the company that Dani and Irtefa build Jam into.”
The main challenges surrounding website design reviews are coordination and collaboration. Coordination during a design review can be complex because different parties are involved with competing and clashing interests. Beyond the design team itself, sales, marketing, engineering, and executive leadership teams all may have feedback to provide in the design process. Such feedback is traditionally collected over email and word documents, which can be difficult to keep track of in real-time as changes are made simultaneously to the website design. Collaboration is its own separate issue. There is a lack of viable software or design review standards where teams and individuals can work together in a central place. Usually, collaboration consists of sharing screenshots or specific design software files with others over email. These necessary steps involve a lot of friction regarding how fast a design team can work to complete a project in a timely fashion. As the massive design software market grows, collaboration and coordination are valuable problems in themselves to be addressed.
Warner states, “Investing in Jam was easy. They were building something that would have made my life easier and better at every place I worked in the past. Jam was simple, intuitive, useful, elegant and fun, while solving a real pain point. Simply put, I wish I had this product multiple times, and know I would need it in the future.”
The global knowledge worker market is estimated to be $126 billion according to Atlassian. Diving in deeper, the non-technical knowledge work market, which would include designers, sales and marketing teams, is worth $74 billion. While it’s difficult to assess the size of the design collaboration software market directly, the valuations of several late-stage design product companies serve as a relevant benchmark. Canvas recently appreciated to a $40 billion valuation after its latest fundraising round of $200M. Figma raised $200M at a $10B valuation. InVision is valued at $1.9 billion after raising a $115M Series F. These three companies show that the design space is ripe with innovation. Further value will be generated for designers with a collaboration tool crafted for their specific needs.
Grant and Irtefa created Jam as a centralized review tool for design teams to collaborate and efficiently create websites. Jam operates in the browser (and recently also as a Chrome extension). A Jam user first types in their website to collaboratively edit into the tool’s prompt. From there, the website is displayed in the browser. To activate Jam, a user types ‘jam.dev/’ before the normal website URL. By making this change, the website is now converted into a collaborative document, similar to Google Docs; multiple people can now edit that simultaneously. There is a change tracker dialog box on the right-hand side of the screen that records all of the edits made in the website-turned-collaborative document. Jam leverages Slack’s API to connect a team’s Slack channel to the collaborative doc. Anyone can be tagged on certain specific changes and be notified in the Slack channel instantly. Team members can also respond to comments via Slack. Jam also has integrations with Figma, Loom, Linear, Jira and other common design, video or productivity software to interface well with a design team’s existing workflows and external tools.
Jam is the hub that either subsumes the functions of Google Docs and annotation and design editing software and connects other software apps useful for collaboration and coordination that function as spokes. Jam effectively becomes a centralized source of truth for various teams responsible for a particular webpage design. Coordination and collaboration are orchestrated and executed all in one single medium. The startup has recently released three new features to further cement its software as the centralized design review tool: Jam Wand, Jam Browser, Bug Jam and Jam on Chrome.
Grant says, “Jam Wand is a no-code tool that allows users to make copy changes from their websites to the source code. Jam Browser is one seamless workspace where teams can browse and annotate the web together, and Bug Jam captures debug logs and a screenshot in one click. Jam on Chrome gives designers the ability to leave feedback for developers directly on any webpage.”
Grant, Irtefa and the Jam team have diverse backgrounds to iterate and ship new features fast. Grant graduated from NYU with a degree in human computer interaction. She spent time as a product manager at Cloudflare and an analyst at Union Square Ventures before starting Jam. Irtefa obtained his bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Urbana-Champaign. He worked at RetailMeNot as a software engineer and as a product manager at Cloudflare, where he met Grant and started Jam with her afterward. The two have assembled a remote team from seven hailing from the U.S., Poland, Bangladesh, Serbia and Turkey. These seven are creating the new standard of website design with Jam.