Usability of new workspaces overview UI

Hi,

Thanks for you hard work on GitPod. I really like the tool. Unfortunately I’m not too happy with the new workspace overview. It lacks of the clearness of the old overview.

  1. Please bring back a dark mode. I’m working with dark mode wherever I can. I think it’s much more friendly for my eyes, especially when I’m working at night. The light UI is just blinding my eyes.
    Thankfully I’m able to get back to a dark mode with the awesome Dark Reader chrome extension

  2. I just thought I had lost a workspace with open work due to bad information in the new UI. The overview stated it was started 12 days ago. I was searching for the “pinned” state that is not directly displayed any more. I klicked on the pin state and BAAAM the workspace was gone. - It took some time to find out, that the workspace was filtered as inactive. - Maybe such a filter may be helpful, but it is not clearly communicated what workspaces are filtered out and how many are hidden right now. I did not even know that there are workspaces filtered out and was thinking I lost data.

  3. Please get me the pinned state back to the overview. It’s a pain to not have this directly in sight any more.

  4. Bring the action buttons back to the overview. For example, I sometimes have to delete multiple workspaces in a row due to testing with the gitpod dockerfile. This just got a lot more clickwork. :frowning:

  5. Get back to the card view and drop the table view. The card view was much better to get the important information quickly. The spacial information distribution in the card was much more helpful. The different text sizes gave focus on important info and the colorful buttons made clear call to action.

Sorry, but the new overview is just a mess in term of usability. I really don’t get why you changed the old UI. Even with some improvements (filter active, etc.) the old UX concept was way better for me in everyday use. Please consider to get back to your old style UI with all it’s great features and omit the new table style UI. And please fix the missing dark mode.

2 Likes

Thanks for the detailed write-up and the kind words @davemecha! Let me add some thoughts for the points raised above:

  1. We’re also aligned here and we did not forget about this! Good news is that the dark theme is already planned for the next release (Apr 2021), see relevant issue and an early draft design. :crescent_moon:
  2. I agree with you that changing the pinned status using the current interaction can be surprising in some cases for the user. Good news is that we’re already planning to introduce a better interaction for both pinning and sharing workspaces which will probably help alleviate the interaction issues you brought up. :pushpin:
  3. This is something we’re already considering along with better ways that can surface this information. It’s worth sharing here that the pinning functionality goes slightly against the notion of the ephemeral workspaces but I understand how users are still getting used to new workflows that come with dev environments. Eventually it will become more clear for everyone! :new_moon:
  4. Initially we decided to remove the multiple action buttons to provide a consistent and simple to use interface but also avoid having multiple primary action buttons in the same focus area. Given that we decided to introduce this show-on-hover functionality during the implementation phase this is definitely something we could re-introduce. Thanks for bringing this up! :radio_button:
  5. We decided to use a table approach here to make it easier to visualize useful information but also educate and help users get familiar with all the new terms and concepts (Context, Changes, etc) that surface and will continue to surface along with the evolving concept of ephemeral cloud-based development environments. :ping_pong:

Last but not least, we’re approaching the development of the dashboard using an MVC (Minimum Viable Change) approach and we plan to iteratively improve existing or add new functionalities in the upcoming milestones. This means we had to cut a lot of corners to make everything viable in one step (milstone).

Thanks again for all the feedback! We know that change is hard but ultimately every change that shipped in this milestone, including the new dashboard, moves everything into the right direction following our roadmap ahead. :world_map:

See also Gitpod’s Direction and Product Roadmap.

2 Likes

Thanks @gtsiolis for the helpful reply and sharing this additional information about direction and roadmap.

I want to add your GitHub issue for collecting feedback about the new UI in case someone stumbles upon this topic. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Just want to add that, since moving to Gitpod from Eclipse Che (which can also run ephemeral but we never seemed to use it that way), there is something about the way Gitpod is built, especially with the prebuilds that has totally changed our teams way of thinking about what ephemeral means. Even up to when we were testing Gitpod we all agreed we probably would continue re-using workspaces, how wrong we were!

+1 on everything listed here!
Every time I start a workspace I find myself searching through the list only to remember that I need to select the all filter, since my workspaces generally aren’t considered active.

+10000 for 2
+1000 for 3
+100 for 4
+10 for 5
+1 for 1, but +1 for Dark Mode on this community site until these 5 points are resolved.