The aesthetic of Basecamp

I’m writing up my notes from today’s strategic planning session, and I was suddenly struck by the clarity of information design in Basecamp, our project communication tool. This really is one of the cleanest and most elegant user interfaces I’ve ever used.

Screenshot of Basecamp following a strategic planning session

Things of note about this screenshot:

  • The content dominates the page, not some loudly-screaming logo or “web page header”.
  • The hierarchy of the information is very clear. It’s immediately obvious which label is attached to which object, and what’s more important.
  • It’s simple, easy on the eye — so you can work on this all day.

Which all makes it a fine example of Web 2.0 design.

Plus for some reason I really, really love the way the photos of the whiteboard make a lovely abstract pattern.