The Dragonfly Makeover πŸͺ„ – Quest of 2024/Q3

After a recent off-site we have defined our product quests for Q3: expect "the Dragonfly Makeover" - a massive UI overhaul, and significant stability fixes.

The Dragonfly Makeover πŸͺ„ – Quest of 2024/Q3

The Dragonfly Makeover

At a recent team off-site, App-Lead Kumarpalsinh and yours truly have been spending a lot of time going through a many of our screens and the way the product works right now. We took a special interest in incorporating the feedback that we have received from the piloting and onboarding of several activist groups over the last couple of months.

Out of that came a long list of overhauls and minor features we intend to add, which we have dubbed the "The Dragonfly Makeover"–after the Dragonfly cottage we were staying at during the offsite... and also dragonflies are pretty, and the new version will be pretty. Our notes are written down in this tracking issue, which Kumar will put into separate issues assigned to the appropriate quests over time when he works on that. As we have agreed on most of the screens on paper, there won't be many Balsamiqs or other screens, instead he will focus on getting them right into the app as quickly as possible.

But long and behold, expect some significant changes and improvements, like this color scheme refactoring and home screen makeover that has already been merged as well as taking the Tasks feature out of the labs and turning it on by default, which has already been part of the release today:

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A quick screencast from the upcoming release showcasing the new dashboard with the new color set

Ready State Fixes

This main quest from the last quarter continues into the new one. This time with a larger aspect of fixing things that aren't working as we want. While the Dragonfly Makeover quest has a predefined target and specific feature set of as a goal, this quest is about tackling some of the things we didn't have the time to debug thoroughly enough in the past. By splitting the work and a separate quest just about those bigger issues to be fixed, we intend to give each the focus they deserve. That's also why they are lead by separate people, who's main focus is either of them separately (despite them might help out on the other quest of course).

Raising the (QA) bar

We have several groups and people using Acter now as an important tool in their toolbox– some using it daily. Thus we can't really effort to have the app stop working because of bugs we didn't anticipate. While that hasn't happened in the past, we only had it as a side-quest so far to improve the reliability and overall quality of the code base. This quarter we want to raise that quality bar significantly:

For once by documenting several things we have learned over the usage of e.g. Riverpod providers to ensure we don't run into common but hard to test for pitfalls, but also by strengthening our quality assurance procedures with Flutter UI tests run after each merge. Additionally we have identified certain brittle parts of the App (e.g. device verification) that are very hard to test automatically, and which will be documenting in depth and make sure we tests as many of the complicated states those can be in to the extend possible.

Side quests

  • UniFFI on the Horizon: unfortunately yours truly was a bit overeager with the plan of switching to UniFFI-Dart in the last quarterly planning. Starting out it became apparent rather quickly that there are several features missing before an attempt of porting is even feasible. Thus these missing parts are scheduled to be a side quests this quarter.
  • Bugs & Stability, Clean UI & Tech debt: has become a constant side quest for us, where we continue to track and work on several issues that aren't critical enough for the Ready State Fixes but are still useful to tackle.
  • Design System & Components Library: we are intending to grow the components library again, in particular through many of the overhauls that are part of the Dragonfly Makeover. But some things aren't directly related or needed for that and those we track under this side quest.