Atlassian Answers new design false start?

Mirek Community Champion Apr 18, 2013

Hi all,

First when I saw that Atlassian Answers portal have brand new design I was impressed that finally someone did look at this. I like it! .. However now I am feelling that this was done to fast without required tests..

I was just trying to answer some questions today and just by doing that I found out around 10 bugs (in one hour) ..

When I am having a few minutes of free time I am reporting them in JIRA.. However I think that bugs like for example no ability to edit the comment or add permanent link to it should be fixed before new release..

30 days summary chart of reported issues is telling everything..

(BTW .. I wanted to add a image/attachment from my local computer here but it looks like its no longer possible.. no browse button?)

I know that every change will bring some bugs and problems but in this case starting from 404 page when going to What's new page ending on some minor UI bugs should be already resolved..

If just I was able to report 10 different types of bugs in less than an hour then I susspect that it was possible to find them before moving to the new design..

Finally I think that there should be a list of things that was removed with a explanation.. Without this I do not know if this could be treated as a bug or as an improvement when I want to report that..

I am now just hoping that all of those bugs, problems and improvements will be resolved soon ...

And you? How are you feeling after this change?



11 answers

1 accepted

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Agree... there are a lot of positive points but I won't go through them ;-)

I find it really hard to distinguish between comments and answers now.

On the main page, it's too hard to see which questions are unanswered, which questions have lots of activity, totally agree with the other comment about F-shaped eye movements. Some people are not good at relating little icons to concepts like "unanswered" etc, I'm one of them.

It looks great, the swag integration is excellent (although offer something large like a speedboat for 50k points), but since the re-release I've hardly used it, it's too big a change for me.

The idea about toggling new features on or off like gmail does is great, but I can imagine that is a too much work for one person.

+1 Especially on my laptop, I have a huge problem distinguishing between answers and comments.

Also, the "Like" approach, seems a little too much FB, people will start wondering if they are going to like in on FB or not.

I mailed Atlassian when they asked for feedback but they haven't responded so I'll post this here... I think something could be done with the plugins idea.

It looks great, and the swag thing is brilliant. I would actually considering having other swag awards for 50k points or something, but something big, like a speedboat or car.
It looks great, but I find it harder to use than the old version, although perhaps that's just a case of getting used to it. The number of answers and number of views are much harder to discern, and I think I used them quite heavily.
Also I don't like having to do Browse -> Questions, when that was the main link I used... I'd consider having that as a top-level link. It's far more heavily used than "Ask a question" imho.
Also the what's new link is broken atm.
The tags are also less clear to me than the old version.
Here is an idea. Many answers often recommend a plugin, and many tags are plugin/addon tags. My idea is that when an answer contains a url to a plugin on marketplace, that should be called out on the right of the answer, with the plugin's icon and maybe some brief metadata, like pricing information.
If the question has a plugin tag, then make it explicit that it's a question on an addon with the same callout... and maybe a section like "people that looked at this plugin also looked at... "

Hi Jamie,

I asked this (sort of!) some time ago: Maybe you should add to that ...

+1 Especially on my laptop, I have a huge problem distinguishing between answers and comments.

As mentioned below, I made changes to comments, let me know if it's easier to distinguish answers/comments

Also, the "Like" approach, seems a little too much FB, people will start wondering if they are going to like in on FB or not.

Haha, liked ;)

As for ANSWER-706, I like the idea, I'll see if I can plan this for a future release.

@Jamie I'm writing a response to your email right now

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Thanks for the comments everyone. Here's an update:

I just went in and organized all the bugs and improvements that've been reported, either in JIRA, in Answers or in the blog post. There were a few duplicates, a big handful of small bugs, and a couple big bugs. The biggest, I think, is that we missed moderating comments (delete, permalink, like and edit). That was a big oversight, and certainly not intentional. We missed it during QA, and would have had it as a must-have before release if we had seen it.

So we've got a bug-fix release right on the heels of the redesign which should be out early next week that will fix the majority of what's been reported over the last week. We're calling it 3.01 - you can see the issues scheduled for fix in JIRA. 3.01 also has a feature that we pulled when we found a bug right before release last week - our Leaderboards - so those will be coming out next week with 3.01.

After that we've got another release on its heels (3.02), probably for the following week, which includes the rest of the list of what's been reported, so we hope to have fix for almost everything before a couple weeks (and yes - Re-implement votes / answers / views buttons on right hand side of home page is in there). Please have a look, let us know your thoughts. We'll probably do a bit of rearranging through the week.

One thing that's not scheduled yet that I'd like to hear more specific thoughts about trouble distinguishing between answers and comments. Maybe it's my laptop display but it looks ok to me, so I'd be keen to hear how we should tweak it. Would love to hear a css tip (not sure - is that request agile or not?!)

PS - as for the 30-day summary over at - I cheated a bit. We never actually resolved the redesign tickets on our release day, so with all those and closing off duplicates, that graph just got a bit better. With 3.01 and 3.02 we'll catch up most of the way!

Ok, my case (not a css guru, sorry): resolution 1366x768, for such a long response, this comment is not obvious when scrolling.

Plus, the fact that it uses the same font, same identation, and that the gray is not a very hard one - it cannot be - makes you wonder in the middle of the page if you're reading a buch of comments or just the response, or even the question (IMHO).

There's no clear separation between the comments from the questions and the first anwer. Some space is required there, again IMHO.

In short, I really think that identing the comment a bit and having it smaller is better. But it's just me (and probably Jamie, although I cannot speak for him).

As for the jokes / mocking, believe me, they were made in a friendly way :) (we all had problems like those - even some don't want to recognize this simple fact). It is true that being the subject is difficult, but just take it easy ... Now I just hope that my mockery was not felt as being too acid by you ... :)

Ah Jeremy, I forgot to tell you that I also have bad eyes - slowness to adapt to brightness, miophy(hope that is the English world - in other words I'm short sighted :)) ).

As Radu says, just make the font a bit smaller and outdent a little. I'm no CSS guru either unfortunately.

Oh, and *please* make the labels text a bit darker on the main question list - light blue on white is a real eye strain. Unlike Radu my eyes are in tip-top condition but I'm finding it really difficult to scan for questions that I might get involved in. Since the redesign I've pretty much stopped using answers, I just respond to questions that I get emailed about. Looks great, but too hard to use now.

Also add to the .comment:

min-height: 0px;

As a starting point I would consider something like the below - I couldn't get the outdenting to work properly so not included. I'll try it for a few days with Stylebot and see if it improves things for me.

See, I'm not just moaning, I'm trying to help too!

a[rel="tag"] {
    font-weight: bold;
    color: rgb(26, 136, 202);

.comment {
    font-size: 10pt;
    color: rgb(100, 100, 100);

Awesome, thanks for that Jamie. I used some of your suggestions to try and improve the distinction between comments, let me know if it's clearer or if it needs more work :)

Oh, before I forget, I think also the site is also too small, I'll be working on a better sizing for larger desktops in the next release:

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I got to say that I love the new UI and I'm glad with this change, but yes since day one I've been creating new issues on the AA project, mostly of them are minor issues but there are some that are pretty bad, like the can't edit comments problem.

I think all of us are the Atlassian testers for AA.

Hahaha I got to say end-user it's always the best "bug finder"

Nope, this is a perfect description for any Agile project. End-user is a tester in the Agile world. Call me old-school :)

This is true actually. We really tried our best to cover as much as possible by blitz testing, regular QA and destructive testing, but still some stuff slipped through the cracks, one big glaring issue was the fact that the entire comment panel disappeared. I'm sorry for that, as this in an obvious and big mistake which I personally take the blame for, as I should had this properly tested. I'll make sure to do better in the future.

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I've noticed a few of these myselfs. The inability to upload imahges is quite frustrating.

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Well, I just proved yesterday that I deserve my critic badge, so I will abstain to comment right now.

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Mirek Community Champion Apr 18, 2013

In my opinion when changing any UI on any application there is a specific general procedure:

  1. Developing a new UI
  2. Adding new design but keeping old and giving the user a choice to switch to new design
  3. Fix issues found by users that are already using new design
  4. After some time (1-2 months) do the final switch

In my opinion second point is missing here.. If we could have ability to switch between old design and the new one then this probably should be a better decision. Then in the meantime we could be able to report issues and if something will not work go back to old one.. Atlassian team could then have time to fix most of the issues and prepare users for the final switch.. Then just do it and remove ability to use old design..

After that finally consider removing options like voting questions, marking issues as favorites, ...

I really wish we had the ability to include feature switches, to allow users to switch the new design off or on, this is something I'm looking for future versions/features of Answers. However, the redesign incorporated so many changes and features that this would've been very difficult to accomplish.

We're also planning on bringing question voting and favorites back, please chech the following open tickets:

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David Simpson Community Champion Apr 19, 2013

Thanks for reporting all these bugs. I've just been confused on how to get stuff done that seemed obvious before.

Hopefully, missing functionality will be reapplied, but maybe the reduced featureset is intended.

The inability to edit stuff after making errors in your posts is an annoyance.

Oooh and the link modal in the editor is not good either.

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Hey guys, sorry for the late response, I've been very busy trying to fix a bunch of things on Atlassian Answers. I just left a bunch of replies to your comments, let me know if you have questions or email me at The release that was pushed out today fixed a bunch of bugs, check them here. The most obvious one was the comment controls, I'm very sorry that this one slipped through our QA process.

In other news, who is coming to AtlasCamp? Be sure to grab me there to share your thoughts/ideas/complaints/etc on Atlassian Answers, first round is on me :)

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@Radu it was just like that! No matter how hard we worked on properly testing everything, some obvious things we're missed. I'm very sorry that you guys had to raise so many bugs; I hope to do a better job in the future. Anyway, we've released a bunch of bugfixes which hopefully solves most of it, apart from some larger improvements such as bringing back question voting/favoriting comments. Let me know what you think!

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Mirek Community Champion May 19, 2013

Hi @Dennis, @Jeremy,

Waiting on 3.02 and 3.03 version..

When do you plan to officialy release it? Unfortunately I am not able to see any specific date.. on JIRA Roadmap there is: "No release date" ...



Hi Mirek,

We're currently working hard on 3.02 which has a bunch of fixes - we don't have a specific release date but I'm aiming for early-mid June. We're planning on bringing back favoriting questions and question voting; is there anything else you'd like to get on Answers?


Mirek Community Champion May 30, 2013

Actually there is one thing that came to my mind... sorting..

Currently sorting is based only on Votes and in the same time cutting view to pages when more than 10 answers...

Everything is ok when you are having less than 10 answers and people are updating/voting only on them.. then if you are revisiting the question you can see what have changed very quickly, but..

If you are visiting a question were is a lot of answers and a lot of activity then it is really hard to catch up with the recent updates on the question.

The problem is also with all new answers.. IMHO when someone is adding a new answer on a popular question (like then this question is having less chance to be viewed by people and then hard to catch updates on it.. After posting it.. It is landing on the last page… If someone will vote on it then you will do not know on which page it will be after that… This is annoying when you already saw an answer that was on page 3, commented on it and then someone else few days later voted, and added his on comment you are not able to find it in the same place where it was ..

I understand that this model should show at the beginning the most useful answers and I like it, but when looking from a participant perspective it should be more “easy to read” design. Ideally I would like to have a view that will be a timeline model with all changes to the question (basically something like Activity Streams on JIRA). At least there should be an option to sort answers by creation date… With that kind of option I could very quickly see all changes to the question since my last visit on a specific question.

What do you kind about that kind of solution?

Best Regards


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