Monday, October 24, 2005

Basecamp + Writeboard

I said before that 37signals is one of these companies that "get it". I do not think however that they have got absolutely everything right.

Point in case, they integrated recently their new Writeboard with Basecamp.

For those not in "the known", Writeboard let's you manage the life of a document. You can see and compare older versions, see who changed what, etc. Basecamp is a web application to manage your proyects. You can see who has to do what, what has to be done before the next milestone, messages related to the proyect, etc.

Basecamp was structured in several parts. You had:

  1. Messages

  2. To-Do lists

  3. Milestones

  4. People

Now you have a fifth item, Writeboards.

Do you see the problem?

With the arrival of Writeboards we have two different classes of documents: messages and writeboards. What is the difference? You can track the changes to writeboards, and you can not track the changes to messages.

If you are a paying customer, there are zero reasons to use a message instead of a writeboard. Yet they are completely different things in the Basecamp interface.

Coming from a company that strives to make less, this one more tab to make a split that users could not care less about is bugging me.