Six weeks later: new feature wrap-up

It’s been about a month and a half since we launched. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback and we’re happy to announce that over 100,000 users have signed up to Trello. Now that the dust has settled, we’ve started working on some new features.

We’ve added card filtering. When you’ve got a huge board with lots of people and cards, it can be difficult to pinpoint who’s working on what. Filtering makes unmatched cards translucent letting you quickly place relevant cards on the board. Here’s the blog post introducing it.

The problem with ‘translucent’ mode is that when you’ve got an even huger board, cards get hidden beneath the fold, especially if window space is limited. So we’ve added a ‘hidden’ mode that hides unmatched cards instead of fading them. It also shows how many cards are being hidden in a list, giving you context.

We’ve improved performance considerably, especially board loads. Loading the Trello Development board has gone down from multiple seconds to a third of a second. We got there by optimizing our database calls and doing some server tuning. Speed is important to us and we’ve got a few things coming that should speed things up even more.

We now have a more sophisticated due date system. You can add a due date via the sidebar and you get a nice datepicker. You can also select a time and remove a due date altogether. The badge on the front of the card turns yellow when it’s within eight hours of the due date. It’ll turn red when you’re late. There’s more we want to do with due dates — notifications, formatting, and timezone sensitivity — but it’s a welcome improvement.

We’ve added card and comment delete. To delete cards, first archive them, then click delete from either the archive (the ‘View archive’ button on the board sidebar) or from the sidebar on the back of the card. We’ve also added comment delete. Anybody can delete their own comment and board members can delete public comments. Now you can get rid of those pesky comments with typos that have been bothering you. Careful, though; deleting is forever.

We’ve addressed some privacy concerns. Actions on private boards have always been only visible to you and the members of the board, but the presentation was confusing. It looked like anybody could see private actions in your profile. Now beneath every action is the board and visibility (public, private, or private to an organization) so you know just how visible it is. We’ve also added private organizations. Those in stealth start-ups might appreciate it. Just go to your organization profile, click “account”, and set to private. Private organizations are free for everybody. And now there’s an info page for privacy, security, and data (https://trello.com/privacy).

We’ve also been working on a better activity feed. In the Trello stone ages (May?), we listed everything in the activity feed. Every card description edit, every checklist item creation, every move within a list… All in their own individual actions in the feed. It didn’t take long to realize that that was going to be noisy. Then we thought, “All we really want is the comments, right? Why not just strip everything else?” Well, sometimes moving a card from the doing list to the done list tells as much of a story as a comment. And what if you’re working alone? A comment-only activity feed wouldn’t make sense.

But we couldn’t keep things the way they were. First, we hide the more trivial actions. Then we combined relevant actions. So if a user adds him or herself to a card, changes the description, and moves it to another list, Trello combines them all into a single, tidy action. If somebody adds, then immediately removes a label, it doesn’t create an action. If a user changes the description multiple times in succession, there’s only a single action. It’s something that goes almost unnoticed, but is vastly preferable to the alternative.

Back to now times. After launch, our Trello Development board was getting flooded with votes and it was impossible to see what the team was doing. Displaying votes in the feed was not the way to go, but we still wanted to see them somehow. Now you can see a list of voters by clicking the number beneath the vote button in sidebar on the back of a card. If there are just a few voters, it shows the name and avatar, but if there a lot, it saves space by showing just the avatar of each person.

So what’s next? As always, you can check out our public Trello Development board. Vote and comment on your things you would like to see. Follow along on Twitter at @Trello or on Facebook for the most for the most up-to-date info.

Our Small Tribute to Steve Jobs

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary." - Steve JobsSteve Jobs understood people as much as he understood technology. He understood how people use technology to work, to listen to music, and to interact. His relentless focus on user experience was an inspiration. You don’t need instructions for an iPhone or iPod. You can start using it instantly. And enjoy it. We strive for something similar.

Thank you, Steve. Your ideas shaped a generation of technology. You will be missed.