Usability issues with Drone 2 UI

I am not sure, if this is the correct category, but at least one of my findings feels like a bug to me, that is why I was using this category.

Since moving to Drone 2.x, the UI has gained a lot of additional features like the graph view, which helps the casual developer and non-drone-expert quite a lot. Thanks for your ongoing work in this regard.

On the other end, some things got worse (comparing to version 1.x), that I’d like to mention here. These are of course subjective, that is why I would appreciate any feedback (consent as well as dissent) about these finding.

  1. Browser freezes
    Following a console log of an ongoing, longer running build step causes the browser (Chrome) to freeze. Chrome has some watchdog for this and asks the user to close the tab, that is rendering the browser tab unresponsive.

  2. Wasted screen space
    The dashboard is first listing the recent activity as cards and then lists all repositories giving some filtering and sorting options. Default sorting and most useful is… recent activity causing a lot of duplicate information being displayed, wasting a lot of screen space. Especially on smaller screens this is quite annoying.
    The only thing additional shown in the cards are the branch name of the build and the user of the commit, but these information could be easily display in the repository list as it was for drone v1.x.

  3. Missing global build queues panel
    The recent activity cards also display recent activity per repo and not the global build queue, so a second concurrent build for the same repo will “shadow” the first one. Drone v1.x had an optionally displayable side panel, listing the whole build queue. This was convenient to have to figure out for longer queues, e.g. which long running build pipeline might be cancelled due to new commits on the same branch.

  4. Missing fullscreen of console log
    The option for displaying the console log “fullscreen” in the browser window (without pipeline stages on the left and the header on top) is gone. Some users work with smaller laptop screens (13" in my case), where having this option was quite convenient, if one needs to have just a short glimpse on the log, why a pipeline might have failed.
    Current workaround: downloading the log and opening it in an external viewer, but this is quite a hassle for most cases.

  5. Missing spinning favicon on build activity
    Drone v1.x had a spinning favicon, when any pipeline was building. Especially when operating multiple smaller drone installations this was a handy feature to figure out, when some longer running build pipeline has finished without checking each browser tabs for each drone instance all the time.


Forgot one…

  1. Recent build time histogram not in view
    The histogram of builds times is a nice addition. Unfortunately the latest builds are ordered right to left, leaving the most recent builds times out of view on smaller screens. Scrolling horizontally in the histogram solves this issue.