Project Management doesn't have to be drab... or boring... or pedantic... or intimidating... or a myriad of negatives your imagination can fill. While some kind of management may be necessary, if you want people to buy into it, it has to be... usable... and understandable... and intuitive... and productive... and even pleasurable.
I offer Exhibit A:
While it may not be so pretty as the face that launched a thousand ships, it could certainly build a thousand ships.
Why is look and feel so important? Think about your operating system for a moment. Do you realize how much effort, over the years, has gone into making your operating system:
And did I mention User Friendly?
The number one key to adoption is making your application, be it on the web or on your hard disk, be it on Windows or on Mac OS, be it 96 dpi or 120 dpi, User Friendly . We believe a computer user wants things well laid out and understandable. And if it happens to entertain them just a little bit along the way, all the better. And that's why there is such a thing as eye candy, which we prefer to call Design.
But in fact it is design, certainly by design, that the operating system has become more friendly over the years even as its grown more powerful. Raise your hand if you still prefer a command line. Have you noticed that 100x the population does not?
This isn't to say Project Management tools are currently at the command line stage, but they are also not at the Windows Vista stage either. Everyone we talk to laments the Project Management experience. All the rules and minutia. The arcane nomeclature. Grids and Gantt charts as appealing as concrete. And of course, who likes deadlines! Face it, intelligible and accomodating Project Management will happen only when... well, when it becomes a priority. And in this day of ever-growing interconnectedness, its a has become a priority.
We've tried to design both the UI experience and the Data experience for the user to provide information, feedback and utilitiy. Which leads us to our upcoming series of posts. Our Design Decisions.