Dev Diary 11 (2016-05-08)

by | May 8, 2016 | Dev Diary | 7 comments

Hi hacknplanners!

As we announced in the last post, this new update comes with very important changes in the way the application is organized and how you navigate through the different sections and tools. For those who are very used to the old navigation scheme these changes might be a little confusing at first, but we really believe the new organization will make your common operations simpler and quicker, and less time in the planning tool means more time working on the actual game. We also think this new layout is better for new users to get started, as the icon based side menu is really intuitive when it comes to find out where you are and where to go to find what you are looking for. All these changes have been designed based on all the feedback I’ve been receiving since HacknPlan was launched back in September, so thank you for all the suggestions, I hope this update satisfies most of your needs.

There are more UX changes to come, but this is the big one that establishes the organization of the application as it will be in the upcoming official release.

Let’s take a deeper look!

Features and improvements

  • Menus and navigation: The first thing you have probably noticed when you opened a project is the dark menu at the left and the absence of the milestone menu at the top. One of the most relevant aspects of the new scheme is the milestone is no longer a navigation element. Before, the structure was something like Project -> Milestone -> Task, where each element had associated tools as tabs (project had summary, game model and config, milestone had summary and boards…). Now the organization has been simplified, and the scheme is something like Project -> Tool. The side menu is the selector of the tool or section, while the project selector remains the same at the top menu. The tools that are milestone based (like the boards or the stats) will have a milestone selector inside. An important thing to mention is the new default project tool is the board, so it will be displayed automatically when a project is opened instead of the summary.


  • Summary: The project summary page hasn’t changed a lot, but has a few important updates:
    • The milestone summary page has been removed, so all functionality that was there is now in the milestones panel of the project summary. There you have edition, open/close and delete buttons, along with the due date and progress bar (with a little makeup). There is another new element, a tick icon located at the top right corner of the card. This icon allows you to mark a milestone as “active”. The “active milestone” is the one you are working on at the moment, which will be selected by default when opening the board, unless another one is specified. This way you don’t have to navigate to the board you are working on as before, it’s always opened automatically for you.
    • The project stats have been moved to a dedicated page, and only an overview is displayed in the summary page. Not every user is interested in looking at these stats all the time, so we keep some big numbers plus a progress bar and a link to the advanced stats per category. Below this panel we will display a calendar with the upcoming events, like milestone due dates and others, but that will come in next iterations.
  • Board: The board remains mostly the same, except for the milestone selector at the top right corner. It will allow you to quickly switch among milestones when you are working on the tasks.
  • Stats: As I mentioned before, there is a dedicated page that displays the category stats and distribution you are familiar with. This page, as the board, has a selector to switch among milestones and also to select the project in order to see global stats. You can also see the categories in the left panel are clickable now, taking you to the specific board of the selected milestone. This page will host more stats panels we will develop in the future.


  • Game Model: The game model page remains the same, except for some small visual improvements.
  • Administration: The project administration page remains the same too, except for the left menu that has been rebuilt to match the general design.
  • Other organizational changes:
    • The last project you visited is now saved, so when opening the frontpage it will automatically redirect you to the board of the active milestone of the last project you visited. There’s no time to waste!
    • The footer has been removed to maximize the vertical space. The feedback link is now displayed as a smiley icon at the top menu, and the links to the site, blogs… have been moved to the user menu clicking on the avatar at the top right corner.
    • The old help dialogs have been removed, and we have added some question mark icons that display a tooltip with some insights.
  • Deletion confirmations: Some of you have complained about how annoying is to type delete each time you want to delete something. For that reason we have made this confirmation step configurable, so you can now go to your user settings and select if you want the confirmation to be displayed when deleting projects, milestones, tasks, game model elements or categories. We strongly recommend to keep the confirmation, as the changes are destructive and irreversible, but you can disable it if you really want to.


Bug fixes

  • The context menu for tasks was not working properly in the game model page.
  • After deleting a task in the game model page, it wasn’t removed from the list.
  • The attached pictures were loading so slowly.
  • The total cost was not being updated in the task card after editing it in the popup when it was moved to Complete column.
  • The referral was not working properly with Google login, so the original page you wanted to visit was not being displayed after login, going to the front page instead.
  • There was a small error that prevented you to put some special characters when changing your password.

What’s next?

In the next milestone we will implement one commonly requested feature: the backlog. We will also add configurable email notifications, dependencies between tasks and some other improvements. We’ll also give you more details about the official release very soon. And remember, follow us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn and help us spread the word about HacknPlan, it means a lot to us.

Happy planning!


    • sZXZ


  1. Elliot Gray


  2. Nick Rafalski

    How can I open the embedded task editor mentioned in the previous blog? When I click the +Task button from the board view, I still get the popup task creation window.

    • Chris Estevez

      Hi Nick,

      The task editor opens up by clicking on the task in the board, after it’s created.

      • Nick Rafalski

        Got it, thanks for the quick reply!

        I really like the new embedded task editor. I like it so much, that I wish I could use it to create tasks initially too! Seems like it can do more (add attachments, create sub-tasks) than the current task-creation window.

        • Chris Estevez

          Yes, I’ve been considering that possibility for incoming updates. The task creation button would directly create a task with default values and open it for edition automatically, so you have all options there and we unify the functionality. If you change your mind, you delete it and that’s all.

          We also plan to replace most modal windows with inline edition, what would make operations quicker and reduce the clicks.


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