Iteration 45: Tagging and searching
The main focus this iteration was on tagging and grouping of cards. We've also done some more work on search, and improved the way that discussions are displayed on the card page.
A search results page
Back in iteration 43, Planner gained early support for searching for cards. When you type some words into the search form Planner suggests up to ten cards that match your query. You can select a card with your cursor keys, press enter, and jump to the card.
That's not new, but what if there are more than ten cards that match your query? And what if you want to share the results with somebody else?
If you type a query and press Enter (rather than using the cursor keys to navigate to one of the suggestions) Planner will now show you all the cards that match (sorted by how well each card matches your query).
Tagging your stories
Hashtag support was the main new feature this iteration. I blogged about tags when they went live earlier this week, so I'll just cover them briefly here.
When you click on a hashtag you're taken to the search results page for the tag. When I click the "#API" link on Planner's own board, this is what I get:
There are 38 cards on the board that contain the word "api", but only three of them have been tagged. Had I searched for "API" instead of "#API", all 38 would have matched the search.
Hashtags are a good way to keep control over a group of related cards, an epic, or a list of requirements for a specific customer.
Improvements to the card page
Teams that make heavy use of Planner's discussions have been reporting that there are too many clicks involved in navigating between the card page, and the conversations that they've been having about the card. They've been finding it difficult to keep track.
It's clear that Planner needs notifications to keep people abreast of what's going on, but in the short term there were some obvious improvements to the card page that could help.
Rather than just listing discussions, we now show you the most recent message in each discussion. I've also redesigned the summary of each discussion so that it shows all the files that have been uploaded to a discussion, directly on the card page.
The next step is to allow replies to be sent directly from the card page.
Feedback pointing out the need for improvements like this is just what I need to make Planner better, so please keep it coming.
At the start of the iteration I met up with Neil (who's responsible for the attractive parts of Planner's design) and we chatted through some of the usability issues that people have been reporting recently. Neil has suggested some nice improvements, and has sent through some exciting changes to the design language.
I had hoped to get more development work completed this iteration than I have, but if I take the time I've spent working with Neil into account, it's no surprise that I've seen a drop in velocity this fortnight.
I love feedback and questions; please get in touch on Twitter or ask a question in the comments.