For my bachelor thesis here at Scandio entitled “Exploring pressure sensitive touch gestures and their impact in project management apps“ I developed JIRA Control , a prototypic JIRA Client using pressure sensitive touch input such as Apple’s 3D Touch.
Pressure sensitive input has been researched for a long time and finally found its way into a consumer product with Apple’s addition of 3D touch to their newest iPhone 6s. This innovation provides numerous new possibilities for both users and developers as it extends the input vocabulary of smartphones and adds one more degree of freedom. Having this new option, developers can rethink old interaction techniques, improve them with pressure sensitive touch, or develop completely new ones.
In my thesis, I conducted two studies to obtain a solid knowledge of pressure sensitive touch input and to compare this technology to common ones.
Prioritising issues in JIRA Control can be done in a novel way by using Pressure Issue.
Issues are received via the JIRA REST API and presented with their key, a short description and their current priority. By applying pressure on a cell in the issue table, the priority of the corresponding issue changes. High applied pressure results in high priority (critical or major) and accordingly low-pressure results in low priority (minor or trivial) as well as medium pressure changes the priority to normal. Additionally, visual feedback is given with the background colour mapped to the amount of applied pressure. Using this new technique, prioritising can be done very quickly and with ease.
Furthermore, a pressure threshold was implemented to prevent an unwanted priority change when scrolling. Having this threshold, a user has to apply maximal pressure and is then able to release pressure until the wanted priority is reached.
The second feature of JIRA Control is Stress Issue.
This is a completely new designed feature which is not yet implemented in JIRA at all. In this view, the issue key, a description of the issue and the assignee can be seen. I’m very busy like you can see in the picture above. ;) We wanted to give more meaning to pressure input and found the metaphor of putting someone under pressure. In Stress Issue one can stress tickets with a forceful touch. As soon as a defined pressure value is exceeded, the issue is marked as stressed. Currently the stressing results in an API-Call to the connected JIRA and in an added label to the issue. Further development could include a JIRA plugin or notifications on the assignees phone.
Performing a custom JQL search is possible in both Pressure Issue and Stress Issue.
The third feature of JIRA Control is Diagram View.
The combination of both JIRA API’s provides all information which is needed to compute a burndown chart for a selected sprint. It’s possible to select between all active sprints. Furthermore, a Force Zoom technique is implemented. Zooming in can be done by applying slightly higher pressure on the graph, while zooming out can be done by applying just a low amount of pressure. Using Force Zoom enables users to perform zooming without the need of two hands as with common pinch-gestures. With Force Zoom zooming can be done easily with just one hand.
The studies and their statistical evaluation revealed a significant advantage in speed for the pressure-based priority change compared to a common interaction technique. In addition, the minimum time for selection is twice as low for pressure based input. Surveys with the participants of my experiments showed a great preference for the pressure based version of Stress Issue and a strong conviction that more practice would lead to an even better performance.
A presentation with more detailed insights into the features and the evaluation can be found here.
In addition, I visualised JIRA Control also in a short screencast below.