Dan Hellem

In our fall update, we acknowledged the necessity to pause the rollout of New Boards Hub. Our focus was on enhancing its quality, performance, accessibility, and addressing an long list of bugs and issues. We’re pleased with the progress achieved in the past few months and want to highlight a few key points as we prepare to make New Boards Hub the default experience for our next group of customers.

The impetus behind the development of New Boards Hub was the commitment to accessibility compliance. Unfortunately, we didn’t do a good job of building accessibility compliance from the start. Consequently, we had to go back and make some significant changes to a few pages.

Over the next few days and weeks, you will notice some layout changes to both queries and the work item form. Nothing has changed from a functionality perspective, but we have made a lot of accessibility and page reflow improvements.

Here is an example of page reflow improvements when zooming into the query results and the work item form.

Image re flow example in azure boards

New Boards Hub faced significant performance challenges, especially with large projects. Many customers experienced long wait times when loading a backlog or sprint board, which was clearly not acceptable. We took immediate action and made several performance improvements.

The exciting update is that we’ve successfully resolved all the issues, and now, the performance is on par or very close to that of Old Boards. For instance, loading a sizable backlog, which used to take over twenty seconds, now happens in a quick 2.5 seconds.

Even better, we currently have no identified performance issues that could delay the upcoming release of New Boards Hub to the next group of users.

As we’ve discussed in earlier posts, Azure Boards is extensive and has a rich history, making the process of re-platforming quite challenging to ensure every detail is correct. Consequently, we received hundreds of feedback tickets from users. Since October, we’ve tackled and implemented over a hundred bug fixes, marking significant progress. While there’s more work ahead, it’s reassuring to note that we currently don’t have any active blocking bugs.

We will continue to work down the bug list over the next several sprints.

There are a couple of new features in New Boards Hub that you should be aware of.

Team Automation Rules

In the January 18th release notes, we announced that Team automation rules are now generally available. The feature is rolling out to all organizations over the next two weeks.

Markdown for comments

As announced in the December release notes, we made some improvements to the experience to allow users to choose between HTML and Markdown comments. The feature will continue to stay in private preview for another couple of months. We will turn it on broadly once New Boards Hub is available as the default in all organizations. If you are interested in turning it on sooner, please read the release notes and request to enroll accordingly.

The recent improvements we have made are promising. Our hope is to turn on New Boards Hub as the default to a new set of users in the next couple of sprints. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to turn on the New Boards hub and start using it as much as possible. If you have any issues or feedback to share, please email us directly.