Like all software development teams we wanted an easy bug tracker. Something that doesn’t get in the way and doesn’t steal a lot of our time. So we started researching and trying. Bug trackers, issue tracking systems, project management software, task management and all kinds of to-do lists. But nothing satisfied us. We always seemed to revert to the same old emails and hand-written notes. Nothing made issue tracking easier. It only made it worse.
Between all the chaos created by the current solutions, we noticed a very annoying pattern: the generic issues list. All easy bug trackers use it. And we hate it so much. Sure, it looks nice and fancy to have issues in a table with various columns. But it’s an usability nightmare. Tables are good for presentations, but extremely bad for managing bugs and issues.
Our brains love order and organization. They always try to arrange stuff and always try to find patterns. Make sense out of things in order to use them efficiently. This is why an easy bug tracker should do all the work the brain would do.
So when we decided to create a truly easy bug tracker, we started from scratch. We ignored what everybody else was doing and refined our own design until it was perfect. We wanted order and efficiency. A clean and simple look that hides an immense amount of power. Do more with less so the issue tracking system doesn’t get in the way of actual work.
While we couldn’t be happier with the result, achieving perfection with a bug tracker is extremely hard work. Anybody can create a complex user interface. It takes skill, work and a lot of patience to create something clean and sleek. Minimalism does not come naturally. Refinement and constant improvement are always required. And patience. A lot of patience.
First we started with an idea, the perfect way to display an issue and its information. And we listed all that needs to be shown in order to grasp everything with just a glance. The project, its versions, the sub-tasks and the issue details. It all had to be visible at once and it also had to be easy to notice.
After trying endless amounts of designs, we found the perfect one: a tree control with a properties pane. It was elusive, but stupidly obvious. As software developers we are constantly surrounded by trees and properties panes. But we didn’t understand the reason until now. It’s all about organization and efficiency. Exactly what we were chasing for our easy bug tracker.
The tree control is always visible and displays the issue tracking context. Where you are in the grand scheme of things. It offers the easiest navigation because it contains endless reference points. It shows everything at once so you don’t have to search for things. And it even offers management operations, including drag and drop. A multi-level hierarchy is always the perfect way of managing tasks, bugs and issues.
To the right we use an extremely dynamic information pane. Something that shows you details in a highly organized and easy to read format. Although it’s by far the most powerful and complex element in our easy bug tracker, we spent a lot of time refining it into the beautiful interface you see now. Every little bit of information shown in this pane is exactly what you need to see. Nothing more, nothing less. Just the perfect amount of details.
When it all comes together, you get the single most powerful issue tracking design. Everything is visible and ready at your fingertips. Just one click and you’re there. You always go directly to what interests you. No intermediary forms, no special queries, no lists that need to be sorted or scanned. Only instant satisfaction.
While it doesn’t use a fancy user interface or elaborate graphic elements, asitrack does offer true usability. Ease of use does not come from a beautiful UI. It comes from the ability to easily handle a lot of power. It’s all about control and getting things done.
This is the essence of asitrack. This is what makes it an easy bug tracker. Not a simple interface and definitely not convenience. Only pure and easy power.