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Why are you guys starting the Kudos program?

Most of my interaction with the Atlassian website is either about trying to figure out some workaround to the mind-bogglingly complex and convoluted hodgepodge of half-implemented ideas that currently make up Jira, or interacting with suggestion tickets for really basic things (e.g. can we view things other than Epics in the Roadmap view?).

The years-old "next gen" version of Jira isn't usable yet for any reasonable-sized team, and the "classic" projects are chock full of problems that result from ideas being slapped in left and right with little regard for usability (want to see all the boards in a project? Easy! Just open a board, expand the left nav, select the dropdown showing the current board, and hope that this is one of the boards that will include a "show all boards" selection in the middle of the dropdown list for no apparent reason. Want to see all Dashboards? Click on Dashboards and choose "Show All Dashboards".  Did you want to change the owner of a Dashboard? Oh. In that case, you have go through the admin navigation system - a different menu system altogether - and show the same list of dashboards on a different screen.  Want to make two owners of a board? Open the board settings.  Want two owners of a dashboard? Not possible. COME ON GUYS!)

It bothers me that Atlassian has the time and budget available to prototype gamifying their community website when we have been waiting years for basic functionality on their flagship product.

4 comments

Hi @John Worrall and thank you for the feedback!

I can't speak for the Jira team but as a community manager I can tell you that investing in our community (whether that's gamification or anything else) means you have a bunch of experts here who are willing and eager to help you solve the issues that frustrate you in the products. So hopefully even if you don't participate in the beta itself, you will see the benefits of it in a vibrant and helpful community.

Have you seen the recent announcement on changes to next-gen and classic projects in Jira? If not, it may be of interest to you. Otherwise, you can always ask a question or share your thoughts, and I'll do my best to make sure the right people on the Jira team get your feedback.

Like # people like this

I don't think you understand how frustrating it is for the end user to see more time spent on new features (templating, "Kudos") when the systems that you are rebranding into TMP/CMP continue to have thousands of requests for basic functional improvements that get ignored for years.

When I look at a card on CMP, I can see how long that card has been sitting stagnant in one Kanban column. This is really important functionality. It does not exist in TMP - I have to open every card individually to see how long it has been since its status has moved. 

I have very limited flexibility in TMP to determine what shows on my cards at all. Not so with CMP... I can show almost anything I want (not rank, though, because even though my cards may be divided between swim lanes, thus not visually displaying their stack ranking, Atlassian doesn't believe I will ever *need* to see the rank number, and thus doesn't make it available).

TMP was at one point clearly appropriately named "Next-Gen". It was clearly meant to one day replace Classic. It is an entirely separate approach to the front-end, and some limitations that prevent the two systems from intermingling tells me that it was a whole new back-end as well.

My guess is that at some point it became clear that Next-Gen's architecture prevented it from doing some of the things that Classic could do, even though it performed better, and that instead of owning up to the fact that Next-Gen had limitations, Atlassian decided to rebrand them as TMP/CMP as a way to pretend that they were meant to co-exist from the beginning.

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this

There's an essay question on the largest paragraph in there on the vagaries of Jira UX design, and much as I'm well known as a fan-boy, you'd find my essay would have a lot of opinions not that different to yours.  Possibly enough that you'd ask me to be one of the product owners.

But I think the point of your question is questioning the use of resources for building a new gamification system for Community.

I don't see Atlassian doing anything wrong here.   They're big enough that they can multi-task. 

The Community team is a fraction the size of the product development teams, and are not detracting from that development.  Throwing them (or the money that pays for them) at the products is not really going to make a huge difference to product.  In fact, it's probably better that they work on community, encouraging people to engage and help guide the product owners.

Like # people like this

I agree that Atlassian is big enough to multi-task... but that does not absolve them from neglecting to address outstanding problems.

There are tons of examples of tickets that have been "gathering interest" literally for years pleading with the company to address half-implemented ideas.

The most frustrating are the ones where the suggestions/requests were implemented, but only in Cloud or only in Server or only on Next Gen or only on Classic, or some combination of the four.

The Community systems are used by people to try to figure out why the things they think by rights ought to work. Too often there is a solution - but it only applies to people using a different hosting/project-type combination.

There is a massive marketplace of sometimes-great, sometimes-terrible plug-ins designed to fill in the gaps for basic functionality that Atlassian for whatever reason will not provide.

I've been using Jira for years, and really like it at a core level. But my studio is now researching alternatives, because we cannot get all of our teams to adopt it, because we have too many people that get frustrated at how much time and effort it takes to figure out how to do things, especially given that as often as not, all the time spent researching a problem ultimately results in being pointed to a suggestion ticket that has been left ignored for years.

This is why it pains me to see web development resources put toward trying to build the community.

I don't *need* Atlassian to have a robust community that helps me solve problems to be able to stay with the product, I need the product to have fewer problems.

My theory is that the online Atlassian communities are under utilized and the kudos program might help to bring more users to the forums. Personally, I have not frequented the communities much as I have found it difficult to find answers. Too much cross over between server and cloud, not enough ways to narrow the focus of topics by product, platform, etc.

Like John Worrall likes this

Agreed. I visit the communities when I cannot figure out how to achieve my goals just through the tool interface itself.

Too often, it takes a long time to find the answer to my question, and too many of those times, the ultimate answer is "that's not available on cloud/server, go vote for this suggestion ticket that was filed in 2014."

Like David Wuth likes this

my favorite (sarcasm) is when you have to buy another app to get Jira to do what it should do out of the box

Like John Worrall likes this

Even better is when Atlassian has already built the functionality, but you find out after hours of research and experimentation that you can't use it because the hundreds you are spending per month isn't the thousands you need to spend in order to access the post-function functionality.

Monique vdB Community Manager Apr 21, 2021

I wrote up another answer here as to the purpose of the program.  Sharing the link in case it's relevant to those who might be following this conversation. 

Like # people like this

This is a cynical answer, but I think that the reason the Kudos program is being introduced is because Atlassian is trying to incentivize people to volunteer their time to provide support for free and evangelize their growing product catalogue.

I don't see it as friendly competition, I don't see it as a program to help people - I see it as a way to reduce support costs for a confusing and convoluted project without needing to hire CS *or* take the time to address the myriad complaints about basic UX and missing functionality.

Atlassian has long leaned on 3rd party developers to provide solutions to problems they will not spend the time fixing, and is now leaning on volunteers to provide support they will not spend the money hiring.

I'm not impressed. There is a reason why AOL's Community Leader program ended up suing AOL.

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