Defensive Design for the Web: How To Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
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One of the things that has surprised me most when talking with customers who use Basecamp is how many people work in a culture of fear, deception, and distrust. It’s often not their own fault, but more the result of the culture they are forced to operate in. It seeps in. It puzzles me.
There are a lot of people who ask if they can hide this or hide that or only let certain people see certain people’s names inside a project or hide the last time someone logged in, etc. There’s a lot of hiding going on. A lot of obscuring the truth going on. It puzzles me.
One of the top requests as of late is for a company to be able to hide contractors from their clients. They don’t want their clients to know that third party contractors are working on their projects. Anyway you look at that, someone isn’t getting the whole truth. It puzzles me.
And then there are the cases when people want software to step in with a solution instead of just politely explaining the situation to their clients. They want new features, modified features, obscure feature exceptions when all that is required is a simple conversation with their client to explain the way something works. It puzzles me.
Of course people are free to use Basecamp however they want (and Basecamp does provide the option to make certain messages or to-do lists “private”), but Basecamp is not now nor will it ever be a tool for concealment. Or control. Or to keep the project opaque. Basecamp believes that project management is communication, which is of course all about transparency and sharing. Projects end up better when the communication channels are open and honest.
At least that’s our point of view. What’s your take?