April 2020

14th April

Linked Cards 🀝

We're happy to announce our brand new linked cards feature! Create custom links between any card within a story map and also define the relationship between them. This is useful to express dependencies across multiple stories, releases, etc.

10th April

Release meta data and stats πŸ€“

Today we shipped a much richer experience for defining your releases. You can now track start and end dates, a shipped status and a description for each release. Release data syncs up with Jira Cloud and GitHub, if you are integrated.

What’s more, once you have some data in the release, you will see some stats to help you report and reflect on your releases. Take a look below:

And, because we all need a bit more joy in our lives, when you set a release as shipped, you get a beautiful confetti cannon. Aim, fire! πŸŽ‰

Improvements

  • Persona descriptions now support markdown

  • Cards that are deleted in Avion will also be deleted in Trello when integrated. Thanks to jrodriguez

  • We now warn you when you delete a story, step or journey, adding an extra layer of protection until we have undo in place

  • Search results from the search and filter panel are now clickable

Bugfixes

  • Importing from Jira when using fix versions will now pull back the relevant fix version and place the story inside. Thanks to John Knowles

  • Fixed a Jira bug where step custom fields were not consistently updating after moving between steps in Avion. Thanks to Jens RΓΆben

6th April

Duplicate your story maps πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

In this latest release, you can now create multiple copies of your story maps. This is helpful when you want to explore alternate release plans and different user journeys without messing up your beautiful story maps. Or use it to create and store backups of your story maps at particular stages, so you can build and archive of the evolution of your product over time.

We've added context menus to your story maps, which is where you'll be able to find not only this, but also also the ability to quickly delete your story maps. We'll be extending the team dashboard over time, with the option to categorise story maps, create collections, etc.

1st April

Enter the Dragon 🐲 (AKA Drag and Drop 2.0)

We've been working tirelessly over the last few months, completely rewriting one of the most fundamental aspects of our story mapping interface. Today, we are proud to announce the launch of our totally brand new drag and drop engine! πŸŽ‰ (we call it the "dragon"...)

This is a full ground-up rewrite with performance baked in right from the outset. Previously we relied on third-party libraries to help us in this area. However, as Avion has matured over time, we've outgrown the feature set and limited flexibility that was offered by these libraries. Additionally, because of the complex data structure of story maps, one of the biggest pitfalls of these third-party libraries was extremely poor performance in larger maps. Although there are some very impressive drag and drop libraries available for the web β€” such as react-beautiful-dnd β€” they just simply aren't designed with our specific needs in mind.

If you have a smaller story map, it's possible that you won't really see a massive difference. But, those with a keen eye for detail, you should notice much more realistic (physics-based) spring animations when picking up, dragging and dropping cards. With regards to overall performance improvement, we have a few stats to demonstrate just how much of a game changer this really is.

Before and after comparison of drag interactions

Average maps (~150 cards)

Interaction

Before

After

Improvement

Pickup time

380ms

21ms

18x faster πŸš€

Total drag / drop time

1413ms

1010ms

1.4x faster‍

Large maps (300+ cards)

Interaction

Before

After

Improvement

Pickup time

1322ms

27ms

49x faster 🀩

Total drag / drop time

2796ms

1076ms

2.6x faster

Additionally, with the old system, you were blocked from picking up another card until the entire operation from your previous drag was finished. Now, with our new drag and drop engine, each drag interaction is totally independent. This means you can pickup, drag and drop as many cards as you want, and they are all instantly responsive. We even developed a nifty slow-mo mode just to show how this works. Give it a go yourself by holding down the ⌘ key whilst picking up and dropping cards!

Every drag operation is now totally independent

As of now, this update only applies to story cards. However, over the coming months, we also plan to roll this out to journeys and steps, too. This will not only mean a shared and more consistent experience across all drag and drop interactions, but will pave the way for additional features such as promoting stories to steps (and vice versa).

Lastly, we have something special for those in lockdown who might need a little pick-me-up in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic. Stay home, stay safe, and most of all... LET'S PARTY! πŸ₯³

Party Mode ✌️

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