Evolution of the JIRA experience
During it’s first seven years of JIRA’s existence the interface and user experience remained largely unchanged. Although comforting for long-time users, it began to pose several technical challenges as we added features and functionality to JIRA.
Over the last year, JIRA users have seen some fairly significant improvements to the JIRA experience with focus on two main goals:
- Making it simple and inuititive to use JIRA
- Making it faster for you to work in JIRA
JIRA 4 introduced new project browsing, dashboards and advanced search capabilities while JIRA 4.1 greatly improved the interactions with the issue details page. JIRA 4.2 continues to improve the experience with awesome search improvements, new dialogs, additional keyboard shortcuts and loads more.
Listening to our customers
All JIRA 4.2 features are derived
directly from interactions with our customers. In addition to tackling
some of the top voted features in jira.atlassian.com, we spent countless hours talking to our customers
through sneak-peek sessions at Summit, follow-up discussions on early
milestone releases, feedback from hosted playground instances, formal
beta programmes and more.
The result is a simple and fast JIRA
experience. Two key areas with significant improvements include the
issue search and issue details pages:
New issue search
We made many improvements to the issue search page, also known as the Issue Navigator:
- Simple search – We started off by simplifying the search pane on the left side of
the issue search page. Previously, the extensive search form was confusing (even intimidating) to some users. Now the simple search shows the basic query fields with expandable sections for more detailed
- Maximise screen real estate – We have also made the entire search pane collapsible for additional real estate when working through a list of issues.
- Row highlighting – As you move mouse over the list of issues, you will notice each issue row is highlighted making it easy to scan the list and read values across every column.
- Keyboard navigation – You will notice a new marker to the left of the top issue in the search results. Move this marker up and down using keyboard shortcuts (J/K) to highlight the row of the marked issue.
- Keyboard operations – You can also use JIRA keyboard shortcuts to perform issue actions and workflow transitions on the marked issue via dialogs. (I’ll dive into dialogs later)
- View search results on dashboard – You can now add any search result directly to your dashboard using the menu option in the ‘View’ menu. You can also choose to show charts and other gadgets base on the search results.
- User Hover – Moving the mouse of any user name in JIRA will
display a hover box with the user’s avatar, contact info and links to
recent activity and profile details.
Improved issue details
We also received lots of good feedback on the issue details page which was redesigned in JIRA 4.1. We were able to incorporate much of this into JIRA 4.2:
- Tighter UI – Stronger section headings, reduced line spacing between elements, and horizontal lines between custom fields.
- Collapsible sections – Each section of the view issue screen, including the description, can be collapse to maximise screen real estate.
- Sortable attachments – Sort attachments by either filename or date added.
- Browsable .zip files – Expand any .zip or .jar file to view the contents and download individual files.
- Watchers and voters – The buttons for watchers and voters have
been streamlined and enhanced to clear show when you are watching or
have voted for an issue.
- Issue labels – New issue labels are quickly identified on the screen using “bubbles”. These replace the old JIRA Labels plugin.
- Auto-complete entry – The new issue labels also feature a new “type-ahead” auto-complete entry field to ensure consistent use of labels. Auto-complete is also available for versions, components and the operations dialog.
Check out the JIRA 4.2 Release Notes for all the new features. Stay tuned to the JIRA Blog, we dive into dialogs, keyboard shortcuts and more in the coming weeks.
Get JIRA 4.2 today
Existing JIRA Hosted customers can now upgrade for free by filing a support request at http://support.atlassian.com under the ‘Enterprise Hosted’ project.