Accueil > Bugzilla, Mozilla > New front page for Bugzilla 3.4

New front page for Bugzilla 3.4

This is the first post about new features/UI improvements available in what will become Bugzilla 3.4. I realized that many readers don’t waste their time following links in articles; if a screenshot is not included in the article itself, they ignore links pointing to them. So I decided to insert as many screenshots as possible so that you have them immediately in front of you. And also, you can no longer complain that you didn’t know about such or such (bad) improvements when your Bugzilla installation is upgraded. ;)

Today, I will talk about what will be the most noticeable UI change: the front page.

Front page displayed to logged out users

Front page displayed to logged out users

Above can you see the new front page displayed to logged out users. There are two major changes: the 3 big buttons in the center of the page, and the login form in the header and footer of the page (the login form is now in the header and footer of all pages). The first button (the green one) will let you file a new bug. Of course, it will display the login form first as you cannot file anonymous bug reports. The second button (the orange one) will display the search page (the specific or advanced search based on your cookie; the specific one being the default). And the third button (the blue one) will let you create a new user account. Below buttons can you see a search field, well known as a "quick search" (which is more powerful than the specific search form, which is mostly useless, but less powerful than the advanced search form. My vote to kill the specific search form completely, but that’s another story).

Some users already complained that there are now 6 ways to run searches from this single page: the "Search" link in the header, the "QuickSearch" form in the header (the one with the "Find" button) the big orange button in the middle, the "QuickSeach" form below big buttons, the "Search" link in the footer and the "QuickSearch" form in the footer (again, the one with the "Find" button). I agree this may look confusing to new users. Also, there are now 3 links to create a new user account: the "New Account" link in the header and in the footer as well as the big blue button. And finally, some complained that the "File a Bug" button is useless as you have to log in first anyway. Not ideal? Your feedback is welcome!

When you are logged in, the front page will look like this:

Front page for logged in users

Front page displayed to logged in users

The only major difference compared to the logged out page is that the blue button now points to your user preferences. Also, the login form disappeared and is replaced by your login name, as in previous Bugzilla versions. We all agree that this page is suboptimal for logged in users, as much more useful data could be displayed instead of these big buttons (advanced users already use links in the header/footer of the page anyway). But we plan to improve it for Bugzilla 3.6.

Do you like it? Do you hate it? You have no opinion? Please let us know! :)

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  1. Harald
    16 avril 2009 à 2:05  

    Just a minor question: wouldn’t it be better if the search button would be the leftmost button, so users will see it first? This could avoid that users first go with "file a bug" instead of searching first that the bug isn’t yet known.

    Another minor thing I notice: what do you think about adding a plus sign "+" to the "file a bug" and "open a new account". This would signal that these two buttons result in something created anew… that is: getting added. Of course, after logging in the "user preferences" button wouldn’t have the plus sign, as it has become modifying only.

    Just my cheap two Euro cents.

  2. Ian M
    16 avril 2009 à 3:28  

    Could do with a different right-hand icon for when logged in.

  3. 16 avril 2009 à 3:30  

    It doesn’t feel right to me replacing the meaning of the right blue button between being logged in. If you would like to preserve the space but give it a different meaning, I would suggest a different color.

    To reduce the number of steps for each of these buttons for logged-out users, instead of going directly to the pages for each respective action you could bring up a form below the action button for the immediate need. So for adding a bug, a form would show up below the button to log in (and say, you need to be logged in to submit a bug; click [here] for why); something similar could be done for search and new user.

  4. 16 avril 2009 à 4:14  

    I think this is a great improvement for new users, although I suspect it won’t help experienced users much… I know I hardly ever go to the homepage.

    What I would really love is a dashboard with the following items:

    * a summary of my request queue
    * a summary or a prioritized list of MYBUGS (or I suppose, other named queries which might be important to me)

  5. Steffen
    16 avril 2009 à 4:23  

    The front page features 3 search fields (like before) and 4 login fields (2 more than before). This might be somewhat useful on long bugs, so you don’t have to scroll to the other end, but not for the front page.
    Please remove either the links bar from the header, or the footer.

  6. 16 avril 2009 à 4:40  

    If not logged in, the file-a-new-bug form should prompt for an email address and create a new account on the fly, or if the email address corresponds to an existing account, detect this and materialize a password box.

  7. Kurt
    16 avril 2009 à 6:06  

    Looks good, espeically for new users because it looks friendlier and not as intimidating. I think it should be centered instead of hugging the left side.

    • lpsolit
      16 avril 2009 à 6:15  

      Personally, I’m not a big fan of these big buttons. I suggested on IRC to replace them by forms they point to, eventually, to avoid another click. For instance, display the "New Account" form instead of the "Create a New Account" icon, the specific search form instead of the "Search" icon, etc… But the risk is that the page becomes too complex for newbies.

  8. 16 avril 2009 à 11:21  

    @Harald I believe that users will actually notice the orange button in the center before they notice the green button on the left.

    @Doug Sure, I suggested the same when the bug was originally fixed. The rightmost one could turn red, perhaps.

    @bsmedberg For sure. that’s another bug, though:

    @Kurt Yeah, it might look better centered, I agree.

  9. 16 avril 2009 à 11:46  

    My problem with the design is how redundant everything is. As the logged-out view, not only are there far too many search buttons, but "file a bug" takes the user to "open a new account". Why not try something ultra-simple for the logged out view, then add things in after the user logs in?

    The entire header and footer are almost entirely useless for a new user, logged-out user.

    I’m thinking along the lines of this (maybe a _little_ more info) if it were Mozilla’s Bugzilla, for example:

    (But feel free to change graphics/words for whatever company this might be, I just used the graphics I had.)

  10. 16 avril 2009 à 11:56  

    Just to be more clear about what I’m proposing…

    The addition of the three… buttons… was (I think) to simplify things for new users. Ultimately though, the simplification shouldn’t be adding more buttons/images/links, but rather *removing* unnecessary things. In the case above, I removed everything that wouldn’t be useful to a new user. We can debate what should happen once they login (and we should!), but before they login, why should they see 100 links and 100 actions when there’s really only three actions they can make: login, create an account, search.

  11. 17 avril 2009 à 12:53  

    I’m very much with Samuel on this, I like the simplicity of the design he suggested for the logged-out user.

    For the logged-in users I’d like to have the same easy to access quick search bar, and a vertical (for easier scanning) list of my saved searches next to it (as a temporary solution, before there’s a regular dashboard there).


  12. Francois Cottet
    17 avril 2009 à 2:52  

    Some might say that I’m reluctant to change but I must admit I’m not a bug fan of these buttons too.

    They are redundant to existing features but moreover they are absolutely not matching the rest of the UI.
    I think the most appreciated feature in Bugzilla is the simplicity: the deisgn is quite simple, and always focused on productivity. I don’t have this feeling with these 3 buttons. They look too "candy bar" for me.

    Each Bugzilla installation can be customized and the buttons changed but it would be great to have a default style which keeps the design consistent.
    Either we use icons, or we don’t. And if the icons are used on the main page why not use them on header/footer?

  13. mawrya
    17 avril 2009 à 4:27  

    Great to see some work being done here! It would look even cleaner if there weren’t identical toolbars on the top and bottom. I can understand this might be nice to have on some other bugzilla pages, but not the front page, its a lot for a first-time visitor to have to look at.

    The find/search options are overwhelming: search link (top toolbar), find button (top toolbar), large orange search button, Quick Search button, search link (bottom toolbar), find button (bottom toolbar). Wow! What’s the difference between find and quick search?

    I shy away from using special buttons that only appear on the front page. A user clicks the "File a Bug" button to file a bug. When they are later deep in the bowels of bugzilla and they want to file another bug they think of the green button and return to the front page because this is how the software trained them to use it. It would be more efficient to use the "New" link on the toolbar but the user hasn’t associated it with the action of filing a bug. It would be great to somehow associate the toolbar actions with the big buttons if the big buttons are here to stay. Colours or matching icons in the toolbar could help with this.

  14. 10 mai 2009 à 11:42  

    New icons stink. Seriously.

    I have done similar change in bugzilla.a.o several month ago: – and it looks IMHO much better.

    Another issue is that front page becomes overloaded, and really don’t need most of the footer/header buttons.

  15. Frédéric Buclin
    19 mai 2009 à 4:07  

    Here is another suggestion for the front page. Personally, I like it much more than the current page:

  1. 16 avril 2009 à 4:01  
  2. 25 avril 2009 à 2:45  

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