I’m a very longtime Asana user (and beta tester for Redesign, Android and other projects), and dismayed, like the others, by these changes.
Asana is an amazing achievement, and the designers and designs are world class, so I hope we get to understand the user research and design goals that have resulted in the new design shown.
My primary concern is that the new design doesn’t prioritize more highly my content. Chrome and whitespace are given too high a priority. Examples:
- Inordinately large “Mark Complete” button
- One third of toolbar (between Mark Complete and icons) unused
- Multi-line and full-width visibility yellow notice not at least partially collapsed initially
- Multi-line and full-width Assignee and Date Date fields that used to be take up vastly less space
As a result, I don’t get to see nearly as much of my Task’s Description, Subtasks and Projects, which are the content and the reason I’m here in the first place. Content needs more primacy in this design.
Some choices made would seem to violate basic design principles:
- The new Mark Complete button (rectangle, icon+words, large) looks nothing like the same-purpose control in the main pane (circle, icon-only, small)
- The vertical position of the Project(s)/Section area will vary greatly depending on the length of the Description; typically the solution would be to avoid that by placing those largely fixed-height fields above the more variable Description.
But if the direction is to keep everything (e.g., the Visibility notice), and maintain the new sizes of controls and increased whitespace, did you consider offering a vertical navigation option? I successfully addressed long, scrolled pages with multiple sections (not unlike this detail pane) by a sticky, top row of tabs that act like anchor links, e.g.,:
- Task | Description | Subtasks | Comment
You could more easily and much more directly jump vertically in the pane with this approach. My design goal for this was to replace the imprecise use of the scroll bar where a lot of user time is otherwise spent in a design like this.
Still, I’d prefer a more compact, better layout instead.
Again, it would be great to hear the rationale for the changes; we can only guess now. Asana is so widely used in so many different ways, it’s hard to know which use case is seen as primary. Given that another Asana design goal seems to be to avoid configuration options, it’s a real challenge to satisfy everyone. Our strong reactions are an indication of our respect for how great the product is more than an airing of grievances!