The major update we have been announcing since the beginning of the year will finally be released next week, on September 24th. We know you’ve been waiting for it for so long, so we want to apologize for the delays and the lack of information about the progress lately. The truth is many things, external and internal, affected our performance and what seemed reasonable when we first planned it ended up being too much to handle within the initial deadline. However, we truly believe not rushing it was the right decision; this update is critical in many aspects (we’ve rebuilt many parts of the core of the application) and we wanted to make sure it does not affect the stability and reliability of the service, which would end up affecting your productivity.
As we announced some months ago, we have split the initial scope of the update and we will release the most breaking changes now and will come back to our usual frequent updates to release the rest of the promised features. Many of those features are already in development, but couldn’t make to this update. We also invested a lot of time in technical improvements that cannot yet be seen but are the foundation for many of the updates that will come out in the near future. The features and improvements included in the update coming next week are:
- UI / UX improvements:
- Renewed visual style
- Collapsible left menu with direct access to all sections on projects or organizations.
- Improved task edition panel with a single scrollable page, including a left icon menu that helps with scrolling to the right section. Empty fields or lists are hidden until they are added using the top menus, which improves readability.
- New task creation panel, with customizable fields. Also, you can configure which fields are mandatory on a per-project basis. You can also add multiple users, attachments, dependencies, subtasks… even with free accounts.
- Rebuilt design element editor panel following the same style of task edition: scrollable and without tabs, with progressive field addition. Includes some new metrics too.
- Improved selection of values using typeaheads with autocomplete. Also, you can create new elements (categories, design elements, boards…) during selection by just entering a new name on the field, which saves a ton of time.
- Free text filter functionality on lists of elements like the kanban boards and others, which helps to find what you’re looking for when your data starts to get big.
- The backlog has its own direct access from the left menu.
- Renewed metrics page with scope selection and a new metrics overview including circular progress bars.
- You can choose which features are available for each project, including tasks, categories, costs, dependencies, attachments, design model, activity… This will simplify your project by hiding the sections and features you don’t need, making everything more intuitive and clear.
- There are some presets you can use, or create your custom configuration.
- Milestone and board system:
- Milestones and kanban boards are two separate things now. Boards can be created independently or assigned to a bigger milestone, which allows grouping your work in two levels, short and long-term. This way you can create boards resembling sprints or iterations with their own dates and group them by bigger goals in the roadmap of your project.
- Milestones and boards will be displayed in a tree format (directly accessible from the left menu) and will be sortable and editable from the Administration section of the project.
- Tag system:
- You can now create tags and assign them to your tasks. This is a great way of categorizing your work by random criteria and find tasks faster.
- You can optionally add a color and an icon to your tags to improve readability.
- The tags of your project are editable from the administration panel.
- Filters will also support tags.
- The tags will replace two existing task fields: subcategories and platforms. Those values will be automatically converted to tags on your existing projects, and then you can decide if you keep them or delete them from the tag admin section.
- New project dashboard sections:
- Created a new section called My Dashboard, containing an overview of the project in the context of the logged user. It supports multiple scopes, so you can see the information for the whole project, a board or a milestone. It displays some metrics, the ongoing and pending tasks, the upcoming events and the recent activity. This is available for all tiers and is a great starting point when you are going to begin your working day.
- There is also a Project Dashboard section that shows the same data for the whole project and the entire team. It is a great overview for producers and admins. Also included in free tiers. This replaces the classic Summary section.
- The two classic sections of HacknPlan Studio, Team and Milestones, have been rebuilt as two new dashboards. There you can get a great overview of the progress and workload of your individual team members or for your boards or milestones. These sections are key for a good management of bigger teams and projects.
- New organization dashboard sections:
- Exactly like the projects, the HacknPlan Studio organizations (now called workspaces), will enjoy four different dashboards.
- My Dashboard will display your own overview across all the project of the workspace.
- Then you will have Workspace, Project and User dashboards to get that same overview of the progress in different contexts. Companies using HacknPlan Studio to manage multiple projects and teams at the same time will really enjoy this new section.
- Management of the organization, like projects, users or general information will be moved to Administration section.
- More new sections are coming to HacknPlan Studio in future updates, like a global calendar or Gantt chart.
- Other improvements:
- Account email change now supported.
- Pending notifications counter on page title.
- Improved setup of notification configuration.
- Performance improvements.
- Plenty of bugs fixed.
Besides all these features, there are also many others that are in development already but not ready for release yet; those will come out soon too, we will start releasing small frequent updates like we used to do before. This includes the public API, which we expect to release before the year ends.
We really hope you like the update and the wait was worth it. See you next week!
Note: Due to the critical nature of this update, we will be working on it on the 23rd, Sunday, and some downtime is expected. This way we expect everything to be ready and stable when you start working on Monday. We will be updating the progress of the release via Twitter.