So, what does it look like – part 2
In the first post, we looked out some of the first differences you’ll notice after upgrading to 3.2. This post we’ll look at some of the more functional-related changes we’ve made in 3.2, more specifically how we’ve made managing projects easier, faster and better.
As soon as you start navigating away from the frontpage, you’ll start seeing changes all over the place. One of the more visible changes is the new project dashboard – now configurable just like the user dashboard, and sporting a visual overhaul with more emphasis on the information you choose, instead of the “one-size-fits-all” dashboard solution in 3.1.
As you can see, the dashboard now contains widgets just like the user dashboard, and you can customize the project dashboard from the “Customize” link to the left. There are about 20 default widgets to start with, and all public project searches can also be added to the dashboard. All widgets can be collapsed, and you can move them around from the customization popup.
One of the key parts when working with the project is managing the issues themselves. After all, what would an issue tracker be without good issue management? In 3.1, we’ve focussed a lot on making this easier and more powerful, as well as getting more “basic” functionality in there. Let’s have a look at the list of issues in all search results.
One of the main problems in 3.1 is the lack of functionality in the issue results view. It does the job of giving you a glance of the issues resulting from your search, but outside the scope of simply displaying issues with the predefined columns, it doesn’t really do a good job. Also, the default view is quite the space waster, where you’re more likely to actually focus on the issues themselves, managing them and getting more information. So, what have we done in 3.2?
One of the things you’ll instantly notice is the primary focus is now the issues themselves, instead of the search result interface. Here are some highlights:
- Fully interactive search results list – you can edit many issue details from the quick edit menu to the far right. It’s faded out by default, but whenever you hover any of the rows, the icon “lights up”, and clicking on it brings up a “Quick edit” menu with easy access to many common operations.
- Bulk operations straight from the results list – bulk operations were never available in 3.1, but in 3.2 the arrive with a bang! Select any issues in the result list, and the bulk operations menu will appear. From this menu you can update details for one or more issues, even perform (available) workflow operations on several issues at once! As the result list is fully interactive, the issues will be updated in the results view as you change details.
- Sortable issue list – you can now click any of the visible headers, and the visible issues in that group will be sorted by the selected header. The search result will not be updated, so you will only be able to search the visible issues, but this can easily be overcomed by showing more issues at once.
- Less visual clutter – the saved searches are now “hidden” by default whenever search results are shown (unless the results are empty). Click the arrow to the top left to show the quicksearch sidebar. The same goes for the search editor, it is now also hidden if the search results are shown. Click the “More actions” button to the top right to show the search editor, save the search or perform other actions. Several UI elements (like the headers, group headers, etc) have also been made less visually prominent to further focus on the actual search results.
- Customizable columns – all columns can be shown or hidden, and there’s a long list of columns to show hide. Click the “More actions” button to select which columns to show or hide. This setting is saved across all your searches, but unique to your user, so you can have a different result list than your colleagues.
We’ve done so much for the issues results list in 3.2, but there’s still more to come – and we’ve probably forgot a few bits as well. Keep suggesting more way to improve the search results view!
Yet another awesome project management feature is the new / restyled project planning mode. The project planning section in 3.1 was mainly focussed around scrum-style sprint planning, and quite limited in it’s range of features and target users. In 3.2, we’ve removed the overall focus on “scrum”-style sprint planning, and converted it into a much more powerful all-purpose issues / milestone planning tool.
The project planning in 3.2 is completely rebranded from 3.1, and is now much more milestone+issues focussed instead of being a mediocre sprint planning tool. You can show and hide all issues from all different milestones, drag and drop issues around, and edit milestones on the fly. Fully interactive, the project planning interface also lets you perform the same issue tasks as the bulk issue management interface from before. You can’t see it from the screenshot, but when the project planning issue list is shown, you can even update estimations, time spent, priorities and more directly from the interface. Issues can be added, milestones created and edited on the fly, and more.
We also haven’t removed any of the features from the scrum sprint planning, so you can still color-code your issues for much improved visual overview and add tasks (sub-issues) from the same interface.
Check it out!
Please download the release candidate and check all these cool new features out, report bugs or issues and let us know how they work.
The Bug Genie is planned released in April, 2012. Currently, 3.2 Release Candidate 9 is the latest available version.