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A new Trello board menu and paying down design debt

In our excitement to get Trello out to you, our productive and good-looking users, we sometimes put things together quickly. We think done is better than perfect. But over time, and after enough slightly painful interactions, we have to stop making excuses and pay down the design debt we've accumulated. That's why we tackled the troublesome board profile pages.

The what pages? Exactly. The board profile pages were those ill-conceived administrative pages that were used to do things like change the board description, change label titles, add members to the board, and view archived cards and lists. We shoehorned the interface from the back of the cards, which was an awkward fit for such simple interactions.

So we've gotten rid of those pages in favor of simple menus. Here's what's new.

Adding Members

Add members in Trello board menuWhen you clicked the add members button it showed a big page with a list of current members and organization members, with a search box haphazardly tacked on underneath. As much you may like seeing the faces of your pleasant and attractive coworkers, you were probably just trying to add somebody.

We've boiled it down to a simple popover. Search or add an email address, click, and they are invited. You can use the up and down arrow to navigate the list and press enter to select. It's a bit easier than before where you had to search, add them to a list, and click the "Invite" button. If you've added your board to an organization, it will also list organization members. No need to look them up. There's also an option to add all organization members at once.

We've also ditched the organization members page. To add members to an org, click the "Add Members" button beneath the list of current members on the org profile. That's one fewer page you have to visit.

Visual Archive

The archive used to be just a list of text with cards names with the options to delete or re-open. It was kind of hard to make sense of it because the cards didn't look anything like you remembered them. Now cards in the archive look like real cards, with the badges, members, and labels you remember. We call this the visual archive.

Trello archived cards board view

Board Settings

Nobody really likes fussing with settings, and far fewer like having to hunt for them. The board "profile" housed a hodgepodge of administrative stuff like the board description, a way to change permissions, and a way to change the organization of a board. Again, with that word "profile"... It's now known as "Settings" and we've split it into five sections and actions: "Rename Board", "Change Organization", "Permissions", "Board Description", and "Layout". We hope that's more self-explanatory.

Board Description

You may or may not have been aware of the board description. It's a place to describe your board in detail. Very useful for describing bigger goals or just what that one list means. Unfortunately, it was buried in the board profile, making it difficult to discover. Now there's a button in the header that takes you directly to it. We hope the added visibility fosters better communication and collaboration and also synergy.

How to update Trello board menu description

And more...

We've cleaned up a few other things like the menu for editing label titles and the "Recent Activity" dialog. We recognize there is more design debt around the app, but don't worry, reader, we've got plans. Soon things will be done before you even touch a keyboard. After that, we're just going to read your mind directly. You'll be moving cards in your sleep. Stay tuned!