SpecMap 0.3 and the UI Redesign

It’s been a while since the last update to SpecMap – and there’s a reason for that. Over the past months, our focus has been on reworking the internals of SpecMap and transitioning to a new UI framework. We focussed on improving SpecMap’s UX by unifying the look and feel of SpecMap with that of Azure DevOps for a more seamless integration. Instead of using custom UI components, SpecMap now uses Azure DevOps UI elements where possible (e.g. for filters), ensuring a consistent UI between both SpecMap and Azure DevOps. Because this meant a wholesale reworking of the UI, we needed to wait until all the changes had been made before releasing a new version. Releasing an update midway through the process would have meant a UI that is inconsistent.

In addition to reworking the UI, a number of performance improvements have been made that should bring benefits to users with a large number of work items.

Having mostly completed this major undertaking, we will now once again be able to shift development focus back to delivering new features as before. As well as looking to implement some of your feature requests, there are a few features that have been removed in 0.3.3. Most of these features should make a return in the near future:

  • There is no option to automatically add the children of linked iterations/work items to the map if they are missing
  • No onboarding hints are displayed when your map is empty. However, an “empty” map now already includes an initial column and row, making several of the steps obsolete and streamlining the process
  • The following card context menu options were removed: Delete from backlog, Remove from all maps, Remove all selected from current map
  • Unlink actions for user activities and slices are unavailable
  • In order to link user activities with work items, you need to manually enter the work item. Drag&drop is currently unavailable
  • Deep links for sharing the URL of a slice or user activity so that clicking it opens the element automatically are unavailable
  • TFS 2015 is not supported