Dev Diary 6 (2016-01-20)

by | Jan 20, 2016 | Dev Diary | 0 comments

Hi hacknplanners!

This is the first devlog of the year. We already deployed some of these features a few weeks ago, mainly small improvements implemented during Christmas time, that I will also mention here. We start the year full of energy to work on the challenging and exciting roadmap we have in front of us and continue with the steady progress we’ve had so far.

The main goals of this iteration were the addition of a multi-category board containing all the tasks and usability improvements for the mobile version of the site. Let’s take a look at the details!

Features and improvements

  • Multi-category board: Many users requested this feature as a way to have a global view of the status of the milestone. Only admins will be able to edit the position of the tasks in that board, as it is generic and may contain categories a regular user has rights to modify but also others that are read only for them. Note: if a user has no read permissions over a category, the global board won’t show them the tasks from that category either.
  • Kanban board layout improvements: We took the chance to make some improvements to the page layout along with the new board:
    • We moved the category board selection to a side menu. The tabs had limited space, specially for small resolutions or devices, and since you can add your own ones, this was not scaling very well. When the screen is to small to show the board and the left menu properly, we move the category selection to a dropdown near to the top buttons of the board.
    • We made each status column of the board scroll independently. This allows to move tasks among columns much better, specially when one of the columns is very long and you have to drag a task from the bottom to the top of another column.
    • We moved the task menu icon from the right to the left part of the card, and replaced the icon from the previous arrow to a gear. This way we think is easier to click and the menu displayed is more contained into the column being at the left.


  • Mobile usability improvements: The previous version of the mobile website was difficult to use and had several issues. We have reviewed the design of the most important pages (project, milestone and kanban board, the rest will come shortly) to make sure they are comfortable to work with. These are the main changes:
    • We removed the drag and drop feature from the mobile site for milestones and tasks. It was difficult to use, was not consistent among devices and collided with scrolling. We replaced that with a section that allows the sorting of the elements via arrow buttons. This way sorting the lists becomes as easy as tapping the arrows.
    • We have rebuilt the kanban board to be more usable from mobile. Now only one column is displayed at a time, perfect for working on portrait orientation, and you can navigate through them by tapping on the arrows located at the column header. In order to move the tasks from one column to another, we have replaced the normal task menu with one that lists the status columns you can move the task to. We know we lose access to some actions there, but we preferred to keep it simple and probably moving tasks is a more common action to be performed on mobile. The rest of the functionality like switching milestone or assigning users is still available at the task detail page.
    • We also made some other minor changes, like locating the info popup at the bottom of the screen, removing the footer to maximize the available space or improving project and milestone header display.


  • Modal improvements: We have reorganized the task creation modal a bit to reduce the required scroll. We also made the large modals to automatically fit the page, so the buttons are always available.
  • New password reset system: In order to maximize the security of the system, we implemented our password reset system by sending a temporary link to the user email, where they will be able to set a new password. The link will expire in 30 minutes. This way we avoid sending any private and important information that could be used by an hypothetical hacker that may break into your email account to gain access to HacknPlan, and if they find the link, it would be either used or expired.


Bug fixes

The following bugs were fixed:

  • The notification sent when a user add a comment to a task was being sent to all the users of the project, instead of the ones involved only (admin, creator of the task and assigned ones).
  • The notification icon (the bell) was being displayed in mobile even when the user was not logged in.
  • A user was able to send a task to a category he had no writing rights for.
  • When the case of a letter of a task title was modified, the changes were not being saved.
  • Some elements of the text editor (big images and pre-formatted text) were causing the page layout to break.


What’s next?

The next iteration will be a short one and will be focused on R&D regarding the add-on architecture we will provide with the official release before the summer. After that, we will continue following the roadmap and work on the attachments, the backlog, more notifications, and some cool stuff you are waiting for. We are also preparing a migration of our service to much better servers, that we hope will improve the performance, availability and stability of the system. We’ll keep you posted about this.

Happy planning!


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