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Petition: Make FogBugz more usable

Once upon a time there was FogBugz, a KISS bug database created by a company whose founder was known to focus on simplicity and usability.
Now there is FogBugz 6 which has added a bbs that's subpar to all other bbs gui's I've seen, a wiki and some kind of advanced project management tools. And a large font for the case number. Sadly very similar to what many other large software vendors tend to do once they're past version 2 or 3 - a fright to touch the core functionality so they add feature sideshows instead.

If I'm not alone in thinking that Fog Creek should focus on the core functionality and usability of the software, I'd like for you to make your voice heard.
Here's what I'd like to see:

A committment to usability.

Usability studies, public reports showing what has been achieved etc. You're welcome to bring a camcorder and come to my company to catch how we work with FB today in case you need input on what should be improved.
Start over: Maybe a purely linear flow isn't the best paradigm? Take a blank sheet of paper and see what you would have done today to solve the problems that FB wants to solve. I'd be happy to share some ideas if you show that you're open for them.
Per Bergland Send private email
Friday, December 21, 2007
Agreed.  The discussion groups and wiki are so weak they are unusable.  What was the point?
Friday, December 21, 2007
FB6 took a real usability hit compared to FB4 (I never ran FB5 in production, so cannot comment).

I would heartily support the Fog Creek guys getting some users to do basic tasks in FB4 and FB6 and compare the results.

It ain't pretty!
Sam Jones
Friday, December 21, 2007
I don't think it's a step backward (the large case # is growing on me).

However, I do find the EBS (Evidence Based Scheduling) very difficult to use. So far, for me, *that* feature is a toy.

We do use the Wiki and it is helpful to document things there (vs. in Google Docs) merely b/c then it's all in one location and searchable from FB.  We have found the tables in the Wiki to be very clumsy to use (for example, IIRC, the tables have a size in pixels, not % of the page, so if I move the browser to a wider screen, the tables are still narrow.  Converting the table.width to a % of browser width might produce odd formatting results, though, so I'm not sure if there's a good solution.

BTW, I'm curious: on balance, was the upgrade to 6.0 worth it? And if not, does it make sense to just downgrade back to the old version and ask for a refund?
MrAnalogy Send private email
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I would have liked more emphasis on bug tracking functions rather than new stuff like EBS and the wiki.

For example:
- dependencies between bugs
- improvements to the security model

Both features people have been requesting for a long time.

The wiki isn't really usable for me - I would have preferred simple links to other wikis, similar to what they did for source control integration. The killer is the lack of a simple link from a case to the wiki, without the full URL - if I have to enter the full URL, I might as well use an external wiki.

As documented elsewhere, I don't like the new layout (mainly the narrow columns and large text) at all.
Andrew Rowley Send private email
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Agreed as well. I have no interest in a Wiki. The forum is pretty useless. I DO like the ajaxy features and most of the new layout, though not the huge case#.

I would have preferred all that time being spent in bug management improvements and public <-> tech communication improvements.
Alex Kac Send private email
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Agreed to most of the comments above.

Why move the form fields for a case around? Why are some on top of the case details and some, like priority, on the left side?

Why is there still no ability to re-prioritize cases in the list view?

Overall, I feel that the most basic functions were not improved (and often made worse) with this upgrade. Fog Creek needs to focus on making the basics better before nearly doubling the product price and adding features that either aren't that usable or aren't needed.

My sense is at the core most of us want a great bug tracking system, not a bloated project management tool.
Noah Parsons Send private email
Thursday, January 10, 2008
We've used FogBugz for several years now and along with the subversion integration it works great.
It truly does.
So it's sad that I feel that it's becoming my new Microsoft Word - loads of new features for every release but nothing that helps me write text more efficiently.
I hope that Fog Creek is successful, I really do, but at this pace of innovation I'm sure there'll soon be a new "FogBugz" coming up from some other company and I'll find no other option than to switch to it since my existing supplier seems to have lost its focus.

(Now would be a great time for Mr Spolsky to enter the stage and tell us that he's heard us and will do something about the current situation, but maybe I'm just not a representative volume customer. Then again - maybe I'm settings my hopes too high...)
Per Bergland Send private email
Monday, January 14, 2008

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