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Jira boards are sooooooooo boring

Lachlan Macnish October 21, 2020

I may have to migrate from Trello to Jira, but I am immediately struck by how incredibly bland and boring Jira boards are. They put me to sleep, and I really don't want to put them in front of my team. Trello has so much colour! The stickers are a really fun and flexible way to personalise the board and convey information (rocket-ship for expedite, golden dog for something that involves getting paid, scary exclamation-warning for tasks that are avoiding risk, etc).

Trello and Jira should just be merged really. Trello is a much more capable board-tool. Jira has much more available reporting and metrics. Either that or find a way to sync both without having to pay for both. Maybe it makes sense to have a fun front-end for the team but a clinical back-end for reporting, management and customer-views? I could probably get funding for one or the other, but definitely not both.


Lachlan Macnish October 21, 2020

I'm using Next-Gen btw

Deborah Genevro October 22, 2020

So... @Lachlan Macnish - I am really interested in why you started the "soo.... boring" discussion.  AND REALLY, I do want to know.  I have never used Trello, but I might guess that you have used Trello prior to the Atlassian buy in 2017.  

Atlassian has it's pro's and con's, but what I do know is that there is ultimate flexibility in how you/your company use it.  

What I do know for sure is everything depends on what you are trying to use JIRA or Trello for.

I just looked up Trello on the "web" and the top 3 competitors came up as...

Best Alternatives to Trello:

I've never hear of (no offense).  I have used Smartsheet only because my company already had it in place to manage customer projects collaboratively.  In my opinion, Smartsheet does not provide enough value for the cost.  I also evaluated Wrike because I was asked my opinion - given my experience with JIRA.  In the end, all these are tools.  The value all depends on your needs and the price.

In my experience, JIRA provides a cost effective solution for so many needs.  However, its flexibility is also a challenge.  

Hope this helps some users.

Lachlan Macnish February 2, 2021

Sorry I overlooked this question.

I migrated from Trello to Jira, and Trello is certainly a very bright and fun interface. It actually helped a lot of with employee-engagement and adoption with the tool, in that the interface was a bit fun, with colour-choices, stickers, etc. And stickers provided an extremely light-weight tool to flag or highlight certain tasks in different ways (warning signs for expedite tickets, automating a thumbs-up for completed tickets). Trello is a really fun tool, and the contrast moving to Jira was quite stark.

That said, I wouldn't go back. As you say, Jira is extremely flexible and focussed, and provides some great out-of-the-box to aid in informed decision-making - tools such as CFDs and metrics, that have really helped me to manage in an informed-fashion by providing clear justification for head-count review and the like. 

As I've adapted Jira I've also found it less boring. A tiny splash of colour having different icons for different task-types has helped.

I guess I was in-part surprised that, with the acquisition of Trello, it hadn't had a strong influence on the design of NextGen. Though it's minimalist-design with a hint of colour has grown on me, and does keep things quite clean. Still plenty of room for improvement, but it's a great tool.

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Lachlan Macnish February 2, 2021

I see this was even before I made the leap to Jira, and was still assessing our transition away from Trello.

I've had a chance to use Trello, Jira, and Asana, and briefly explored

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Lachlan Macnish February 2, 2021

One thing I'll say is that the Trello UX is considerably better than Jira NextGen. Especially since I added rules to columns (e.g. the Customer field mustn't be empty before moving to the Done column). This has made the interface very clunky (not enough to negate the value of the rule though). Trello was very smooth and well thought out, in that it was always very easy to move a card, each column had its own scroll-bar (instead of having to scroll the whole page), etc. Jira NextGen doesn't feel like its own developers use it for their workload-management. Some very odd and confusing design-choices that would frustrate them into action if-so. Maybe also a bit of a siloed world-view, where they haven't explored other tools enough (including their own Trello product). I hope these things will progress, but I feel has only degraded over-time.

Good that it's very easy to raise such concerns with Atlassian though, and they're quite responsive.

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Daniel Ebers
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October 27, 2020

Hi Lachlan,

although I cannot advise on the question if you should migrate to Jira or even to whole different solution (like Deborah outlined) I just wanted to pass around a great article which explains the history of both tools - and talks about the flexibility. It mentioned the "design is not everything part" but I do not want to take someones part here.
At the end everybody must decide for the tool that matches best and empowers the business.


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Deborah Genevro February 2, 2021

@Lachlan Macnish - I want to first say that I am not disregarding your question and think it is valid.


That being said...


@Daniel Ebers - I believe we are like-minded here.  Boring.... ?  Functional... ?  Useful.. ?

I would like to think that every tool, system, app was designed, created and brought to market for a reason.  Else, someone has a lot of time on their hands.

JIRA, Wrike, Trello, AXOsoft, Samanage , among many others - all are out there as a product on the market and people/companies bought/subscribed because they believed that the tool fit with what the buyer needed.

There are a lot of features, functionality and other things that are obvious to me as a no-brainer that are not a part of JIRA.  This irritates me often.  

Bottom line, Atlassian created a product on their own design based upon whatever was important or high priority to Atlassian.  Then, they just offered it out to people, businesses, at a ridiculously low price.  And people/business bought in.  That is no accident.

I have found one tool that regardless of the reason it was created, is actually so flexible and useful in so many different ways that it boggles my mind.  Of course I am speaking of JIRA.  So... you may think a board is boring, so I may be annoyed that a certain feature is not even being considered.

BUT...  In the end we as the customer have a choice.  (aka... Our employer has a choice) As an employee we may not like the tool being used, we also may have no control to make a change.

@Lachlan Macnish  - I totally get the message you are trying to convey here.  But, I still really want to know why you started the discussion in the first place.  What other tool was not boring and why do you think boards in JIRA are so boring?

That to me is what I want to learn and what is valuable to the community.


The good thing is, you can actually create a ticket in JIRA support and ask for what would make it less boring for you.

Although, I am disappointed when Atlassian/JIRA product management replies as Not being considered... at least I am able and have the ability to directly communicate my needs. 

After all of this, I've been a bit long winded - so sorry to the 10 or so community members who chose to be a part of this discussion.


I do not like everything about JIRA, I do not like everything that my higher ups decide, I however appreciate and champion JIRA as an app/tool that is so robust and so affordable, blah blah blah


Individual opinion all depends......

Deleted user January 10, 2021

Hi @Lachlan Macnish !

I feel you. Recently I've shared my story about how I fight with some boring parts of my job by enriching our Jira and Confluence with Whiteboards apps: My story of how I made my working routine better with the Whiteboards app

As far as I understand your concerns, you might try to overcome them with Whiteboards for Jira app as well.

- Import your issues from Jira;

- Use colorful cards that you can convert to Jira issues lately;

- Create Update zones where your cards will be updated automatically (status, assignee, etc);

- Add fun and creativity by adding drawings, GIFs, images, embedded 3rd party elements.

Check it out and make Jira works for you!

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