Online Project Management…

I’ve been using the infamous Basecamp for a few months and I’m moderately satisfied. Business applications are notoriously difficult to do well since everyone’s needs are so different. If you were to develop a Project Management app that had all of the functionality that was wanted by everyone, you would have the equivalent of an ERP system – something that does everything, but requires a never-ending stream of customization, consultants, and training. Moreover, the result isn’t something that anyone loves to use.

Throwing that caution to the wind, I’ve gone ahead and investigated a few other project management solutions:

Unfortunately, neither GoPlan or Wrike quite do it for me… I jotted the following note to the Wrike team as I prepared to return to my Basecamp task list.

During signup, I was not aware that you do not support Safari, which is the primary browser for myself and my team. During signup, I noticed that you wrote several times about “Time Tracking”, but I was very disappointed to see that at the actual Task level, there was no support for logging the hours spent by a given employee on a given task, and then download that information into a CSV file to create billing documents and status reports. The use of the “Rich Text” input in the description area is interesting, but that Javascript control does not support Input Methods such for Chinese or Japanese, while a simple text box works just fine. I would personally greatly prefer the use of Textile or Markup.

I tried. I’m a basecamp client and I’m quite frustrated with the lack of email support and the relatively week project management ability of basecamp. I have a GoPlan paid account in case they ever get it right, but their current lack of support for “Time Tracking” (log hours per task by employee, download to .csv file for reporting) it’s a no-go.

Overall, I think the WRIKE site still needs quite a bit of polishing. I like some of the functionality, but Basecamp and GoPlan are both way ahead in terms of Usability and the overall Look & Feel. Everything about WRIKE feels a bit homespun. The color scheme. The typography. Layout design. This textbox is needlessly small, and the one on your Contact Us page is ridiculously so. Last up, you’ve got to replace that Introductory video, the voiceover, the photos selected, the example content, and the horribly pixelated logo at the end is just wrong… Anti-aliasing has been around since the 80’s.

Please don’t take the above the wrong way – I’m only pointing these things out because I care and would like to see somebody create a better tool than Basecamp. Knock ’em dead!

Best-

-Erwin

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