We come with very little new features this time. Instead, we have added some very valuable improvements in terms of performance and usability, that I hope you find interesting. This iteration has been a little different from the normal ones not just because of the focus on improvements, but also because we haven’t deployed all the new changes at the end as usual, but have been doing so one by one as they were implemented and tested. The main improvements we have added are a noticeable performance boost in the loading times of the board (which will be improved more shortly) and the synchronization of the board in real-time, where tasks are moved, updated or removed by other users connected to your project in front of your very eyes. Forget about refreshing the page all the time, forget about sharing the screen using video call software, forget about updates that overwrite other updates.
Let’s have a look!
Features and improvements
- Board loading: Even though we haven’t achieved the performance we have set as our desired quality standard yet, we have improved noticeably the loading times of the boards, that were degraded with some of the recent features we added, like the embedded task editor. You can still see the first load is a bit slow if you have a good number of tasks on a board, due to a cache system we built which makes the subsequent operations a lot faster. However, performance and usability are very important for us, so we will replace this cache system by something even better that doesn’t suffer that much during the first load. You’ll know more about this very soon.
- Real-time boards and notifications: We didn’t have this planned for now, honestly, but trying to fix a bug that would make some people overwrite other user’s work in certain scenarios, we realized going directly for this solution would fix this and other issues and improve the user experience of remote teams significantly. We have rebuilt how the board works making use of web socket technology, which allows us to broadcast the changes made by any user to the rest of the users that are connected at that very moment. You can now see how your teammates update or move tasks in real-time, which gives you a more natural and interactive experience when working remotely. We also added a list of connected users you can see below the left menu, this way you won’t get so surprised if you see some value change. This is a completely new thing, both functionally and technically, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to give us feedback about it.
- New date picker: We have added a new date picker to the milestone creation and edition screens, since the old HTML5 “standard” date field was not supported by some browsers, like Firefox. This caused some people couldn’t set the due date of their milestones, so we hope this problem is history.
- Create and continue: We have added a small checkbox to the footer of the task creation dialog, which makes the application launch a new task dialog after creating the current task. This is especially useful when you are creating several tasks in a row, so you don’t have to go and click again on the new task button.
- When moving tasks using drag and drop, it was very frequent to select text accidentally instead of performing the drag as you intended.
- The invited user was not being set as an admin after setting so in the invitation dialog for those who were not users.
- Tasks were being sent to Planned status after changing their category.
- The deletion of tasks was failing when they were blocking others.
- Milestone due dates were losing one day after being set (we really fixed it this time :-P).
We won’t release anything during the next two weeks, except if any blocking bug appears, as we will be focused on planning the official release of HacknPlan that is coming after the summer, working on some legal stuff and other things not related to development. We’ll also plan out the new Game Jam project type we’ll release during the summer, which will be really fun to make! We will update our roadmap with a lot of new stuff and will give you more details of our first premium tier. After that, July will be full of new features and improvements, like new notifications, game model improvements and more.