Bugzilla, YUI, and other things.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lots of Design Feedback and Bugzilla Usability Data

There has been a lot of interest in the Bugzilla UI recently, which I'm super excited about. Attending usability conferences like CHI, I'd often hear about how hard it is to get any interest in usability or design in the open source community for various reasons (1, 2, 3, 4).

However, thanks to the post that LpSolit posted, many designers at Mozilla have stepped up with improvements to the Bugzilla UI, there is Boriss's suggestions for a new UI as well as Fligtar's new skin. Even a graphic designer from Spread Mozilla, graphicguru, stepped up to help improve my pathetic attempt at graphics(1,2,3). We've gotten some developers, like SS, to give some very useful feedback about how he'd prefer a more minimalist skin in general. And to top it off there has been feedback about new ways to think about the workflow from Jesse. Not to mention the meeting we had with the some of the Mozilla designers about future directions for Bugzilla, as documented by Aza. And today we had a small meeting with even more Mozilla folks about how they thought the tool could be improved. We're hoping to have more meetings in the future with Mozilla developers and get even more thanks to Jono.

It's been extremely exciting it is to see so many people interested in the Bugzilla UI. I'm hoping that with all these ideas you all can expect to see many design and usability improvements in future versions of Bugzilla.

But as my professor Bonnie John would say, one shouldn't design or develop without data. Turns out Mkanat, and many of the Mozilla folks feel the same way! And thanks to a very dedicated and smart group of HCII Carnegie Mellon students we've got usability data. This data was collected this past fall on Bugzilla 3.0, and I've attempted to post their research more or less unedited from their project to the Bugzilla wiki.

I haven't had a chance to look through and write an executive summery/conclusion to all their great data, but I thought to post it without one and perhaps let you all peruse the data and supply me with your important take aways from the data. This research was not based on how people use Mozilla's Bugzilla, but how people use bug trackers in general at software companies and other domains.

Let me know what you think of the data, what takeaways you find and what conclusions you draw from the data and maybe I can crowd source this task conclusion writing task.

Unfortunately Bugzilla 3.4 is going to be out the door pretty soon, and we won't be able to get many of these improvements into this version, but maybe we will see some of the improvements suggested this past week as well as ideas from the usability research appear in 3.6 or later versions of Bugzilla.

Again thanks to everyone who has become interested in redesigning Bugzilla, keep the designs and ideas coming! Feel free to email me when you've got ideas or designs and maybe we can work together to get the ideas into the source.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A new Login Form for Bugzilla

So we've gotten lots of great feedback on the homepage, it's been really helpful and we're talking to folks about redoing the icons, making sure that the big icons are the right choice and much more. Wait for a post to find out more about the future of the homepage!

But we're also working on the log in process, attempting to make that easier as well!

Here is a view of the current log in form as it exists on the head.

One of the problems with this UI is that you can't reset your password very easily from this page, or any other page really. The nice part is, you can log in from any page, and not have to go through some intermediate page.

So here is the solution we've though of to make it easier to reset your password or log in from any page in Bugzilla.

How it appears if you've never come to the page

What happens when you click on log in, cursor focused on the log in. This is also what happens if the browser auto fills in your username and password.

This is what you'll see if you click on the forgot password link.

I omitted a close icon for now because it didn't seem necessary, but maybe you guys think it is. Let me know!

We're also adding a link to the reset password on the bad username/password error page.

One more thing to note about how this form will work. If the browser auto-fills your username and password, we'll make sure the javascript on the page detects your username and password and displays them to you, so you don't have to click the login hyperlink to login. We're hoping this will maintain the 1 click to login capability that so many people like.

This isn't something that will magically make Bugzilla super easier to use, but hopefully this will take us one step closer to a more usable Bugzilla.

As always feedback is really appreciated and unlike my previous post, I'll get emailed when you guys comments, so hopefully i can respond to your feedback in a more timely manner. Can't wait to hear your opinions.