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❤️‍🔥 What's new and what's coming to whiteboards!

Hey everyone 👋

We hope you’re enjoying Confluence whiteboards beta. We have loved seeing your questions and feedback come through our community group and in-product.

The team and myself wanted to take some time to share what we’ve recently shipped, what we’re currently working on as well as list some of the things we’re considering building in the near term. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

What have we shipped recently?

 

✅ Smart sections

 

These are powered-up sections where you’re able to add basic automations so that when a Jira Smart Link is dropped into the section, the automated action takes place. Read more about this feature here.

smart sections gif.gif

 

✅ Line labels

We want to make diagramming and workflow mapping easy - so we shipped the ability to seamlessly add text to connector lines.

labels gif.gif

 

✅ More templates

We’ve heard your feedback and we’ve introduced a bunch of new templates… PI planning, timeline and user story mapping to name a few!

CleanShot 2023-11-17 at 10.47.15.gif

 

✅ Support for international characters

We’ve added rendering support for international characters so more Confluence customers can use whiteboards.

i18n sitll.png

We're still working on translating content within our product's UI. 

 

 

✅ Hide cursors

We shipped our hide cursor functionality which allows users to turn off other collaborators’ cursors on their own screen to minimise visual distraction.

hide cursor gif.gif

 

💪What is in the works right now?

We’re gearing up to go to General Availability (GA) early next year so we’re focused on making sure our product is rock solid in order to deliver an awesome experience to our user base.

This includes things like;

  • Compliance - We are in the process of documenting a set of controls ahead of an external audit for SOC and ISO27k compliance.

  • Data Residency - We’re working to ensure our customers can choose where their Confluence whiteboards data is hosted.

 

✨ What do we want to build in the near term?

Below is a list of things we’ve heard our customers ask for and we plan to build in the future. We’re looking to hear from you about which of these items you feel strongly about and why. This will help us inform the priority of our roadmap.

Note: This list is not exhaustive or in priority order.

  • Comments - Ability to leave comments on the whiteboard (and @ mention in comments).

  • Voting - More structured voting mechanism for users to vote on elements/auto-count votes.

  • Board exports - Ability to export a whiteboard as a PDF, JPEG, PNG, CSV etc.

  • Importer - Provide admins a way to import whiteboards from other whiteboarding tools into Confluence whiteboards.

  • Grouping - Ability to group elements on the whiteboard together.

  • Searching whiteboard content - Today search only considers a whiteboard’s title and creator. This would allow users to search for content within the whiteboard.

  • Version history - Allowing users to see a history of whiteboard changes and restore them.

  • Custom templates - Ability to create and publish their own custom templates for other site users to use. Similar to custom templates for pages.

  • Line styling - Ability to change the styling of lines and shape borders to include dotted and dashed lines.

  • Follow me - Ability to summon collaborators to a particular place on the whiteboard so they can follow along.

 

 

Thank you so much for all your feedback thus far on Confluence whiteboards! We hope this gives you more insight into our current and upcoming plans.

 

Cheers,

Christina Ristevski, Confluence whiteboards Product Manager

 

 

36 comments

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Matt Richards November 16, 2023

Hi @Christina Ristevski !

Thanks so much for the insight. It's great to see this type of transparency. We've really enjoyed the product. 

One question... I'm wondering if stylus support/freehand drawing lives somewhere in this view of the product's future. It would be a big value add for us, as I am sure it would be for others.

Thanks again!

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Daniel Simmonds
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
November 16, 2023

Thanks again @Matt Richards for your invaluable feedback as we tested these features!

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Christina Ristevski
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
November 16, 2023

@Matt Richards great shout! Freehand drawing is something we've heard come up as well as better mobile support. It's something we're thinking about 😊

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Brecht Seys November 17, 2023

Some of these features will be very welcome! Nice progress guys!

Like Christina Ristevski likes this
Steven Rhodes November 17, 2023

Import from Miro please.

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Eddy Lambert May November 20, 2023

Great update. Thanks for the ongoing communication.

In regards to coming functionality updates, I'd personally value in-app functions before features like import/export or versioning. Being able to work smooth and effective within the whiteboard application is paramount. I am very intrigued by the expanding synergy with Jira. It is no secret that visual planning of any kind is not Jira's strong point. If Confluence Whiteboards can support this and (seamlessly) update Jira, that would be a huge advantage.

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Dan Tombs
Community Leader
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November 20, 2023

Hey @Christina Ristevski

There are some great things on the roadmap for the product including the importer from other tools. I think this will really help adoption if we can not have to continue having a million different whiteboard apps.

I also like the more simple but great features like line styling, exporting and custom templates to optimise team flexibility.

QQ - When it comes to the exporting of whiteboards, will you also enable the exports of whiteboards when embedded on Confluence pages using smart links. It would be great if we could keep the documentation seamless?

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Christina Ristevski
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
November 23, 2023

@Dan Tombs awesome question! We'll have to do some exploring on our side to see if this is possible, but I can understand the user need you have here. 

Like Dan Tombs likes this
Dan Tombs
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 24, 2023

@Christina Ristevski

Thanks for the reply. I think it would be incredible to be able to include it within the exports if you guys can. Happy to chat around the use case more should you want to 😊

YY哥
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 27, 2023

The 2 lines collapses together, making us confusing. We need 2 separate lines in the visualizaiton. Please take a look.

image.png

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Pål Kristensen November 29, 2023

What happened to support for inking? Whiteboards without inking is almost worthless as an online meeting collaboration tool.

Diana Lu
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November 29, 2023

I see exporting is on the pipeline...how about importing from 3rd party tools to make it easier for us to get reuse our old workflows and not to just recreate them. 

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Benson Ayabe
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December 10, 2023

So, when will we be moving away from "Unlock all" in Whiteboard?

When dealing with more sophisticated whiteboards, an whiteboard author/maintainer has a need over time to update/re-edit various background objects.

Especially while we don't have the ability to group objects, this becomes a very big pain.  So, I have all the background objects locked, and discover that I have a need to update one of those objects. I have no recourse but to unlock all, and then painfully go back and re-lock all the background objects.

Honestly, because of this big pain, I've been creating and maintaining whiteboard backgrounds in Miro, then screenshot-ing or exporting to JPG and then importing the background into a Confluence Whiteboard ... yes, so that I have fewer things to re-lock, should I find a need to update the background of the whiteboard -- which is in itself a big pain ... but not as big as having to re-lock all background objects.

Even if I didn't have Miro, I'd probably design the board in something like Powerpoint, export and import into Confluence Whiteboard.

Please don't assume that "unlock all" will suffice for all your Whiteboard users.

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Jamie Brennan December 13, 2023

Exports and Version history are key our our project! We want multiple users to be able to work independently and whenever they have availability. Its critical to see their revisions after they are done.

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Mezősi József December 18, 2023

Hi Whiteboard Team!

Thanks for creating this excellent experience for Us. Glad that we can leave behind the miro, draw.io and all sorts of limitedly integrated drawing apps.

We use the issue linking feature in jira very heavily, and also our clients do as well. Glad to see that when we connect two imported jira issues on the whiteboard we can define the issue link type, and it is created prefectly and even can be seen in Jira as well.

however please consider to put in the development pipeline the following:

If for example 2 jira issues are imported onto the whiteboard that are issues linked in jira please bring the issue linking line with them (and maybe ask whether we want it presented or not) but would be important to bring the issue links.

At the moment it leads to confusion, we are able to create another (same type) issue link in whiteboard, which than goes into inconsistent state at the Jira side. 

Thanks in advance, and really thank you for your outstanding work, we really love whiteboards, yet still in beta.

Jozsef Mezosi

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Mezősi József December 18, 2023

Hi Whiteboard Team!

I know you have plenty of stuff to do.

But please consider this put on the development pipeline:

Collapsable element groups (like draw.io does it excelently). We would desperatly need this because we work with large bpmn and uml diagrams at our clients, we really want to leave draw.io behind.

But collapsable element groups are vital to be able to do that.

Thanks for considering.

Sincerely:

Jozsef Mezosi

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Mezősi József December 18, 2023

Hi Whiteboard Team!

I know you have plenty of stuff to do.

But please consider this put on the development pipeline:

Enterprise Architect gould give us a list of elements in the diagramm. Because we work with large bpmn and uml diagrams it would be vital for us to be able to list all elements in the diagrams (expecially imported jira issues onto the diagram).

thanks for considering.

sincerely:

Jozsef Mezosi
L-IT Group Plc., Hungary

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Helen C December 18, 2023

Hi @Christina Ristevski 

For us the thing we want most is an way to import our boards from Miro any idea on an ETA for this ? 

Also we do architecture drawings in Miro now for AWS and Azure and need the icons to be present - I see you have AWS will Azure icons be added ?

I will be holding a Miro superusers session internally in the new year to show them the beta of whiteboards and to find out what things they cant live without as we really want to move to Confluence whiteboards. 

The other things are when will it be decided what features go with the different levels of confluence and what is the GA approx. release date?

Cheers

Helen

Jacob Bullock
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December 19, 2023

Hello, 

I have really been enjoying using whiteboard feature for a little while. I wanted to know if there is plans to add nested actions to whiteboard? 

Currently if I create an area with an action such as assign user to Jira, this works but if I want to change the fixed version or component on that Jira, I need to drag my Jira into a different area box with that action. It would be nice if I put an area with an action to assign user on top of a area box that has an action to change the component, and then move my Jira into it, it changes both. 

It is ok that I need to drag to 2 different area but having them nested would be amazing. 

Thank you!

Chris Combe
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January 5, 2024

This is great to see and makes a lot of sense in the Atlassian ecosystem!

Stefan Draber January 18, 2024

Hi @Christina Ristevski 

first of all, I really like this way of transparently implementing a new feature/product, it really makes users feel heard and their feedback being appreciated. Thank you for that! :)

From the near term features you mentioned, we would prioritize:

Thanks again!

Like Yatish Madhav likes this
Steven Rhodes January 22, 2024

Thanks Atlassian for once again delivering a low blow to the Standard users and rendering a promising product almost useless. Unwatching this post and we are now in the process of removing whiteboards from most of our spaces. I really thought we could replace Miro with this one day.

Helen C January 23, 2024

Hi  @Christina Ristevski 

Is there any update to what else has been implemented since November and an eta on the coming soon features above? Also is there an eta for a miro migration tool? We are looking to upgrade to premium and to get off miro but its a bit early feature wise for us yet as there's a few deal break items not in yet but we would want to migrate our projects that we want to keep. 

Helen

Christina Ristevski
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 29, 2024

@Steven Rhodes Hey Steven - we're sorry you feel this way. We appreciate having some of the whiteboard features only available to Premium may be jarring to Standard customers. That said, we have tried to ensure that we’re as liberal as possible, giving away as much of the core experience as we can for free e.g. our core Jira integration for importing issues & converting stickies to issues works across all editions. This is something other products like Miro require payment for.

Christina Ristevski
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 29, 2024

@Pål Kristensen Appreciate the feedback! We are looking at bringing some form of free-form drawing functionality to the product in the future 

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