Preview of SpiraTest v5.2 - Revamped User Interface for Incidents

April 10th, 2017 by inflectra

We're very excited about the next version of SpiraTest (also SpiraPlan and SpiraTeam) coming out on April 26th. It features a lot of enhancements which will be the subject of future blog posts. However one big area is the redesign of the Incidents pages (both the one that displays the list of incidents and the one that displays a single incident when you click on it). This article explains some of the reasons behind the change and an explanation of what you can expect in v5.2. For those not heavily using the incidents module, it is still worth reading because in v5.3 we will be similarly changing all of the testing pages.

What is Changing in v5.2?

Firstly, we have changed the page that displays the list of incidents:

We have changed the sidebar to no longer display a list of releases to filter on. We found in testing that it was not used very often, took up a lot of space and was redundant with the three filters (detected in release, resolved release, and verified release) on the main grid. Instead we now display a couple of donut graphs to illustrate the ratio of open / closed incidents and the distribution of incidents by priority. Right now they don't change with filtering, but that is something we're planning for the future!

We also have changed the UI to remove the yellow background of the top legend and changing the styling of the main grid. The main reason for doing this was to reduce the distractions to actually viewing the incidents themselves (this came from user feedback).

These changes are fairly minor, compared to what's changed on the Incident Details page:

Changing How We Display Artifacts

One of the key strengths of SpiraTest is that it provides a consistent user interface across all its modules. Once you know how to use the requirements module, the test case module works the same way. So the changes we've made in v5.2 to the incident details page are planned to be implemented across the entire application, so if you like what you see, let us know! If you don't like what you see, also let us know!

If you remember, in v5.1, the incident details page looks like this:


Whereas in v5.2 we have changed it to look like the following:


Like one of those "spot the differences" competitions, can you see what has changed between the two versions? Well don't worry, we have some clues for you:

  • We are now grouping all of the fields by types - Releases, People, Properties, Dates and Times. The old Schedule section at the bottom has gone, and the fields are now intelligently grouped rather than being displayed at random depending on the screen width. We also fixed the problem of blank spaces appearing when certain fields are hidden by the workflow.
  • Removal of unnecessary borders and chrome - it was hard to read the data on the page because every field had a box round it. Now we only display the toolbars and borders when you are actually editing a field, making it much easier to read the rest of the time.
  • Moved the incident type, workflow, status and progress into a new fixed toolbar that remains in place, even when you scroll down the page. The old workflow operations widget in the top-left has gone. Now you never need to scroll up and down just to change the status, add a comment and save the incident.
  • Added New Followers Functionality - you have had the ability to subscribe to incidents, but now you have a way to add other users as "followers" to the incident (i.e. you can subscribe other people). The page will now display a list of such followers directly on the page, under the People section.

  • The Associations panel has been completely rewritten to match the changes we already made in v5.1 for requirements. It will also let you add Cross-Project Incident associations for the first time:
  • Finally we have completely changed the loading system to introduce new "Live Loading" of incidents, so that when you navigate from one incident to another in the same browser tab, the page no longer reloads, just the data changes. This improves performance by 80% on these incident pages, and will be used on the rest of the system in coming releases.

So we hope that you like the changes, please let us know if you have any feedback.

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