Signal v. Noise, a publication about the web
Flashback: The 37signals homepage back in 2002.
Wow. Looked good then, looks good now.
Makes a great case for simple and well-focused design.
How many of those clients on the front page are still in business?
I miss Professor K and Kicksology. That site design and photography was simple and ahead of it’s time.
I disagree. It sucked then and it sucks now. There is too much information – then and now. For a company that espouses the ideals of simplicity, ironically your homepage is anything but. With that being said, I still love your work – except the homepage that is.
Wow, looks like a basic version of the current home page.
Amazingly simple and elegant!
I have to disagree with JP. Of course that is in the context of all the other ridiculously complex web sites out there….
The www.writeboard.com page still looks quite a bit like this, actually.
@JP – The current home page has a lot on it, but it’s clear what the main points are (the 4 main apps, a super-succinct overview of the advantages of web-based software, and a big customer count that gives them credibility).
The rest of the page simply reinforces those points over and over again. It’s packed with info, but to be fair, they’ve got a lot to talk about and they’ve provided an hierarchy. If a reader reaches the bottom of the page, it’s because the information was valuable to them.
If they’d taken out, for example, the bit about Sortfolio and buried it deeper in the site structure, it would certainly clean up the home page… but it’d be much more painful for a visitor to find, and it’s not out of the question that someone would have visited 37signals.com just to learn more about Sortfolio. It’s a good example of a home page giving the right in-roads to the rest of your site.
Simple isn’t just a clean look with plenty of white space… simple is about reducing big-picture pain points, too.
You guys were ahead of the game even then. It’s great how you have maintained the simplicity and usability year after year.
I remember you used to offer to redesign a single page, for a pretty reasonable flat rate (around 2005, I think).
I always thought that was a fantastic deal, and wondered why blue-chip companies didn’t take advantage of that for all the frustrating web applications they had.
HA! I was just looking through your old sites on webarchive.org. I love the focus on copy writing and message — super strong.
Professor K now works at Nike.
Totally dug it. But I also really liked all the old school pages like these where Basecamp started getting introduced
I believe you guys have said the latest redesigns of Basecamp and Highrise lifted your conversion rates. I’m curious if you’ve seen similar improvements of the 37signals.com site. I like the present design myself just fine, but I love old stuff. Did the present 37signals.com redesign change your bounce rate at all or conversions?
This was called 37express. We did one page redesign, in a week, for $3500.
We’ve considered starting this up again as a creative outlet to work on quick projects other than our own.
This is a little before I started following you lads (I found you via Kathy Sierra’s blog, for a time reference). I still love the style. Focused & clean, both in terms of design and rhetoric. Something I miss about your old stuff, though I understand tastes change.
Nostalgic sigh :)
If I had a dollar for every time I forwarded along the 37Better Fedex page, I’d be a wealthy man.
Great work, even 8 years later.
Your writing style is the same as today. Nothing more than what’s needed.
There is a good deal of content, but the headers and bullets break it up nicely. This is writing for the web in its infancy!
That reminds me. I’ve always found it odd that you never mention your book “Defensive Design for the Web.” In the promotion for Rework, in fact, you mentioned having written one book in the past, when in fact you have written two.
What is it about Defensive Design that you no longer like? I still keep it on my shelf, and I still think it’s a pretty great book!
You still have a case study up for it, even though the main page is missing:
Ugly then, ugly now. http://www.designbyfire.com/?p=27
@ JF 27 May 10
I’d be interested in a couple of redesigns. $3500 USD (converted to Australian Pesos, ha ha) would be pushing it, perhaps.
But, interested, much.
Who is this anonymous coward? He appears on Aussie cycling blogs also.
Good design for 02.
+1 the comment re: Defensive Web Design: it utterly and completely changed my iPhone app design, as well as my web design.
It shocked me (in a good way) and I constantly recommend it to people.
Wow, I remember when this was the ultra new and fancy design. This is the one that replaced the original manifesto, right?
I was in the small batch of regular readers pre-basecamp that knew of you guys through the htminimalism chapter in the Eye Candy From The Underground book. I love the other retro stuff going on around here lately too, like bringing back your workshops and 37express.
Now: The creator of Vooza, "the Spinal Tap of startups." Previously: Employee #1 at 37signals and co-author of the books Rework and Getting Real.
Read all of Matt Linderman’s posts, and follow Matt Linderman on Twitter.