Thoughtful design — Comparing the user experiences at Basecamp and Atlassian

At Makalu, we’re longtime users of Basecamp, the online project management system created by the folks at Basecamp (formerly 37signals). 37signals care deeply about design, and this is evident pretty much everywhere in the user experience of their products.Recently, we started using the Bitbucket git repository management system, by Atlassian. So far, it has not seemed evident that the people at Atlassian care as deeply about user experience.

For starters, simply upgrading from a free trial account to a paid account has been a nightmare—resulting in somehow accidentally upgrading a personal account I didn’t even know I had, and subsequently getting locked out of our team account. (Hopefully I can get a refund, once I determine which “Support Entitlement Number” corresponds to the personal invoice.)

This difference in design priority between Basecamp and Atlassian became really apparent this morning, when I clicked on links in transactional emails from both services, whilst not being logged in.

At Basecamp, I was redirected to a login screen. I immediately understand what the problem is.

At Bitbucket, well, just have a look for yourself.

Most likely this screen would have made a lot more sense, had I had DEBUG set to “True”.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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