Why We Removed the 'Add Comment' Button for Many Users in Spira 7.0

July 12th, 2022 by inflectra

Several eagle-eyed users have noticed that for most users in Spira 7.0, we have removed the Add Comment button on all the artifact details pages. There is actually a good reason for this, based on some usability issues that users were having with the previous version.

Back in the Sands of Time

Originally when we released Spira 5.0 with its latest UI, we did not have a specific 'Add Comment' button. Instead, users simply use the main 'Save' button instead. This allowed them to enter in the data in the various fields, compete any workflow transitions, fill in any required fields, add a comment, and commit these changes with a single Save button.

Add a comment then click Save.

However there was a problem - what if a user did not have Edit permissions from the item in question, but simply wanted to add a comment as feedback? This was solved by adding the 'Add Comment' button next to the comment field for those users. Now read-only users could safely add a comment, and all was good with the world?

Details Page with Add Comment

Or was it....

Inflectra, We have a Problem

The problem is that when a user entered a comment and clicked 'Add Comment', if they had Edit permissions, it would trigger a change to the artifact so that when you tried to navigate away, you would be prompted to Save any changes. Worse still, if your workflow requirement a comment to be entered to save the artifact at the current status, you would need to add a second duplicate comment, just to save the changes:

Artifact with duplicate comments

Based on the feedback and observations that having a separate Add Comment and Save buttons was confusing and resulting in duplicate work, we made the following changes in our latest release (7.0):

  • If you have view and edit permissions for an artifact, the Add Comment button is hidden, and you should use the main Save button.
  • If you only have view permissions for an artifact, the Save button is disabled, and you will see the Add Comment button that you should use.

And there you have it!

add comments spira usability

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