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Why is Jira so bad?

Jira is the worst workflow management tool I've ever used. Why do Atlassian continue to layer anti-intuitive design upon poor performance and reliability? 


Hi Joe Little,

if you experience problems with the workflow, please state the issue and the people here can hopefully help you.

If you want to propose some changes to the workflow, please help the Atlassian Development Teams by creating an issue:


I actually like the workflow management tool (the diagram) and am (or was, depending on whether or not I am in a next-gen board or not) able to create workflows, from basic to some based on Epics and roles in one workflow.

What are the issues you are facing?

Why instead of the user picture now you are showing the name and surname first letters? Why I cannot create subtask anymore? Why all this popups? It was good the previous version, but the new one is anti intuitive, slow and unreliable. 

Hi Daniele,

  • Why instead of the user picture now you are showing the name and surname first letters? 
    • Not sure what you mean. I can see the user picture on quite a lot of places. Where do you see the name and surname first letters instead of the profile picture?
  • Why I cannot create subtask anymore? 
    • Whether you are in the old project or the next-gen project, you should be able to set the settings so that you can create sub-tasks. As far as I am concerned, this is no update on Atlassian's side. Please check this with your Jira Administrator.
      • Old board: Check if the Issyetupe Sub-Task is still in your Issue Type Scheme.
      • Next-gen Board: Go to the project settings, issues and add the Issuetype Sub-Task there.
  • Why all this popups?
    • Instead of having to navigate to a new page to change data, you are now able to change it while staying in the same screen. You don't have to go back to your previous screen, thus working more efficiently. You can also still open issues in new screens if you want.
  • It was good the previous version, but the new one is anti intuitive, slow and unreliable. 
    • I experience the opposite. Updates and fixes are being put in place and the quality improves. Of course it can happen that a bug or defect pops up on the Production side of any Atlassian product, but hey, it's software development. There is no product without bugs.
    • If you do find a bug or defect, please inform the Atlassian team, so they are aware and can pick it up to be fixed.

I'm sure Joe is just expressing frustration rather then deciding to take the next year off to give a course in interface design to Jira employees, that probably won't read it anyway. I am also going to take this opportunity to express some frustration. I got here just by typing the question into google "why is jira so bad". I'm not an interface expert by any stretch, and maybe jira employees will be disappointed that there is no actionable criticism contained.

Still, what they should consider is that there are people who think their product sucks, and that a forum isn't the best way to probe for the actionable items to improve their product.

Here's one for you. I'm trying to look at the workload pie chart report. It does not seem to show accurate information. Why? I don't know. How could I search to find a solution to this? I don't know. What is the source of the data? I don't know. Is there even a help me understand this chart link? No.

Like # people like this

Why can't I assign story points when I edit a task? Why can I only perform certain actions in certain views? What is the thought process behind the distinction? Honestly, even if there is one, I don't really care about it. I have a task in front of me, if I click on edit, I expect to be able to edit ever parameter of it. Like whoever made that decision should actually die on that hill. They are obviously taking a principled stand, and they should be punished for it.

Like # people like this

Why does this website take more than 1 second to post a comment?

Like me likes this

Hi Carlos,

What is the exact issue with the work pie chart? Based on your comment, it could be anything, actually. I understand that this is part of the problem, the fact that it could be anything ;-).

I assume you're working with the classical board, based on the question about the pie chart. Depending on your configuration, you should be able to add an estimation on Tasks. Contact your Jira-admin and they could get this done for you. It's somewhat more complicated than the next-gen board, here you can easily add the estimation field to any issuetype you want.

There have been decisions made that don't really seem to make sense, but the fact that you want something in a certain way, doesn't mean everybody wants it in the same way. This is the everlasting struggle with software development and design. How are people using the software? What is the most common way?
I believe this is why the next-gen boards provide so much freedom. It's the Atlassian type of Trello.

Estimations are added. Yet only 4 people on the team show up on the chart. And even those counts are not really accurate. Most frustrating is I have a zero. What is the difference between me and them? I don't know.

I'm used to flexibility. If its not a certain way, I should be able to make it a certain way. Rigid structures make for bad software products. So maybe that is part of the answer.

But your message is received. Jira is in fact bad. Even Atlassian, the company that makes Jira, offers better products.

Like # people like this

Such a horrible product. Can't even upload images.  They all break.  Can't upload a file.  Super slow.  Is anyone working on this?

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I feel all your pain since we have been forced to move to jira even though not one of the developers wanted this.

If they really want to see what is wrong with their product they could just google it.

Right now I am trying to figure out what a way to query what tickets I changed on a specific day, I am having no luck.  Right now I am going one by one through what I can find.  Why is the history telling me X days ago and not the date.  Instead being able to quickly see what date it was I have to mouse over every one to see what date it was done on.  

This is just one example of the extra time it takes to do anything on jira.

Management loves jira because it is visually pleasing.

Developers do not like jira because it is extra work.


Like # people like this

I agree; at every turn there seems to be the strangest design choices. I have come to think of Jira and Confluence not as software products, but as sadistic performance art to see just how much abuse people will take before breaking.

My latest example (I come up with one every hour of using their products): I'm going through the byzantine process of allowing myself as an Admin to delete tickets, and I have four choices for granting delete to. None of them seem appropriate. Then I notice a little blue text - "show more." Now I have a dozen choices!

Why was it necessary to hide half of the choices from view using a random piece of text that isn't even graphically related to the choices? Why is every interaction with an Atlassian screen like an Easter egg hunt - with secret buttons and links scattered all over the screen?

I mean, the full dozen choices fit on the screen. Even if they didn't, the list could have been shown with a scroll bar. Instead, it's like Groucho Marx - "I've got choices, and if you don't like them, I've got others."

Like # people like this

+1 To the general sentiment here -- the application is incredibly slow and extremely difficult to find anything with.

Your designers must be using Jira as their workflow tool -- that would explain quite a bit. I feel like I'm trapped in a maze!

Like # people like this

We've been using Confluence for a few months now and I have to say my engineers... love it. Once you accept its limitations and navigate its landmines and build a simplified work-flow that never expects more than "barely adequate," it's really handy.

If you just stop caring how your text looks, and accept that you have to post a screenshot of an Excel file to make it readable, and that every Jira story issue should be created from a specific screen by clicking on an obscure button (instead of using the big blue obvious button at the top of every screen), and a hundred other things, people really appreciate how anyone can just edit a page to make their contribution.

Like aaroncatano likes this


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