Dev Diary 37

by | Dec 27, 2018 | Blog, Dev Diary | 3 comments

Dear hacknplanners,

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are enjoying this time of the year around family and friends. This is the best moment to do a retrospective about your year, what went well, what went wrong, what needs to improve and what will be done to accomplish it. We hope this year was a good one for you and got to celebrate many achievements and milestones, but also that you analyzed and learned from what didn’t go that well. We certainly believe this is key and despite many good achievements were made this year, we also had our fair share of problems and mistakes that we learned from, and we’ll use that knowledge to be better in 2019.

This is the last update of the year and includes some interesting new features, improvements, and bug fixes, let’s dive into them!

Improved filtering

Many of you have been requesting more features for the board filters, so you can get a better overview of the work based on different criteria, and we heard you. This update includes plenty of new functionality for the filters, both for free and premium accounts:

  • Unified UI between tiers: We have unified the user interface of all tiers, so the Personal users can now create filters and enable/disable them directly from the board using the drop-down. The limitation is you can only store 1 filter in the free tier, while you can create and store as many filters as you want in premium ones. Also, the UI has been improved to be more intuitive, with a new popup dialog for filter rule creation and edition.
  • OR support: Before this update, the filters used an AND operator, meaning only if all of the rules were met the filter would pass. Now, you can choose the OR operator too, so the filter will pass when at least one of the rules is met.
  • More rule fields: We added more fields for the filters, the full list now is:
    • User
    • Importance
    • Design element
    • Design element including children
    • Tag
    • Estimated cost
    • Logged cost
    • Due date
    • Closing date
  • More rule operators: Before the update, you could only choose a value that the field equals to as a rule. However, now you have more operators to choose from, allowing you to create more complex and interesting rules:
    • Equal / Not equal
    • Lower than / Higher than (for costs)
    • Older than / Newer than (for dates)
  • Filter multiselection (Personal Plus & Studio only): Sometimes you just have several simple filters you use regularly (like assigned to me, or importance: Urgent, etc), and for some reason, you need a filter that is a combination of two or more of those filters for a specific use case. Before, you had to create another filter that was a combination of the others, which could lead to a really long filter list which is difficult to use and maintain. This is no longer a problem; now, you can enable all the filters you want at the same time by selecting/deselecting them from the drop-down.
  • Shared filters (Studio only): And now, a common request amount the bigger teams using HacknPlan Studio: admins of the project can now create a filter and share it with the rest of the team with a single click. Forget about having to recreate again and again the same filters for different team members; now you can share your filters and keep them synchronized, so any change is reflected on them. You can also make the filter private again anytime.

Board info panel

Many of you have complained about how unintuitive and inefficient was to access some important information about the board, having to go to another section to take a look at the description, metrics, etc. In order to improve the experience, we have added information panel that can be opened directly from the kanban board without leaving it, making it so quick and easy to access. This panel contains:

  • Board start and due date, and current status (days left or overdue).
  • Board description and info.
  • Global metrics.
  • Burndown chart (Studio only).
  • Activity log for the board.
  • A button to edit the board (for admins).

The board info panel can be opened by clicking on the info button on the header of the kanban board, or by pressing the “I” key on your keyboard, which can also be used to close the panel (along with ESC).

More keyboard shortcuts

We have added many new keyboard shortcuts to several sections, very useful to those who want to be really fast and efficient when working with our tool without leaving the keyboard. There are many more to come, but take a look at the ones added this time:

  • Task detail panel:
    • ALT + E: Modify the estimated cost of the task
    • L: Log work on the task
    • ALT + I: Modify the importance level of the task
    • CTRL + D: Add or modify the description of the task
    • ALT + D: Add or modify the due date of the task
    • ALT + T: Add a tag to the task
    • U: Assign a user to the task
  • Kanban board:
    • I: Open board info panel
  • Task creation dialog:
    • ALT + S: Select all fields
    • ALT + D: Deselect all fields
  • Design element detail panel:
    • C: Add a comment to the design element
    • A: Add an attachment to the design element
    • ALT + D: Add or modify the due date of the design element
    • ALT + S: Add or modify the start date of the design element
    • CTRL + D: Modify the description of the design element
    • ALT + T: Modify the element type of the design element

Other improvements

  • The selected sorting method for the board is now permanently stored, so it will be as you left it when a new session is started.
  • Added a search field for the selection of workspace users when adding them to the project (Studio).
  • When you open a picture attachment (clicking on the thumbnail), the viewer allows iterating the attached images of the task or design element by using the buttons or using the arrow keys.
  • Other small visual improvements.

Bug fixes

We also fixed plenty of bugs since the last update, some of them are released in this update, but others were directly patched into production:

  • In some scenarios, removing work logs wasn’t properly reflected on metrics.
  • The color and icon of tags couldn’t be modified by non-admins.
  • The dependency search input wasn’t returning closed tasks.
  • Roles (Studio feature) were not removed from the projects when the trial was over or the subscription canceled, which in some cases led to users with non-editable permissions.
  • Some dropdowns (like the task card context menu) were not opening properly on mobile and other touch-based devices.
  • The closed board folder couldn’t be expanded/collapsed by clicking on the name.
  • Code snippets added to comments broke the layout and didn’t allow to reach the comment menu.
  • In some scenarios, modification of the due date of tasks was not properly saved.
  • The update of tags created a wrong activity log type.
  • Milestones couldn’t be closed using the context menu, only drag and drop.
  • New information, such as tags, was not being exported to CSV in the project data export.
  • The board text filter doesn’t search by id.
  • A caching issue in the game design model caused that, sometimes, the first element of the project “disappeared” after creation if moved to another section and then came back (it wasn’t deleted, just not properly added to the cache in the client).
  • Category dropdown nor left menu is shown for the kanban board when the width of the browser window was exactly 1200px.
  • Pressing ESC on some modal dialogs (like attachments) closed the underlying task detail panel.
  • The downloads were often caught by the popup blocker of Chrome.
  • New categories couldn’t be assigned to tasks until the page was refreshed (caching issue).
  • The edition of fields on the task detail panel was interrupted if the task or the kanban board was updated by another user.

That’s it for today. We are also working on the highly expected User Story feature, but there are some edge cases and design decisions to make so it will take a little longer to be released. We wanted to make sure this new item type works flawless and intuitively within our existing kanban board and backlog, metrics system, etc. Also, the API is coming along nicely and we will focus on it to release the first version during the first months of the new year.

Happy planning… and see you in 2019!


  1. Sadegh Mirzaee

    Good work, HacknPlan. Merry Christmas 😀

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