May 26, 2007

Pop-up windows: hooray to modeless user interfaces

Pop-up windows are a very popular element of the TeamCity web user interface. Consider having a fully-featured continuous integration web-application that collects all possible data regarding VCS changes, tests, build output, build configuration settings, etc, etc, etc. When a problem occurs, we must guide the user through this mish-mash of various data directly (well, ideally) to the problem diagnostics.

Which tests failed?
Who was committing to this build?
Which files?
What code got changed?
Which build output reports are available for this build?

In TeamCity you don’t have to leave the overview page to find the answers. Iteratively, we found the way of showing build details in a modeless way:

Before that we tried showing pop-ups on link hovering, but that required considerable time for our users to get used to.

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October 3, 2006

Half a year UI endevour released!

Yesterday TeamCity 1.0 was released - on time, packed with useful features and "web 2.0" user interface nicities.

It's really interesting now to look back at was called buildServer (the first two are visio drafts, not html screens):



and then TeamServer (the first real "working horse" for our team):



and then it's got its name - TeamCity - more UI enhancements and usability features, and a real web 2.0 look:


... well, we've done a lot, but it's only the first version, and we'll have to work more, including the ui. Not the graphic part of it, probably, because fruttacotta has done her best- but the ease of use and intuitiveness of the ui model. Which requires user feedback and user testing. (so if you are TeamCity user and do have anything to say regarding the tool - please, let me know :)