Improve code quality: from people to organizations
We have exciting news to share with you to improve code quality.
Part of being customer driven is pursuing a deeper understanding of the problems people solve with our product. Historically, our roadmap has been 80% to 90% customer driven and as a result our product fulfills it’s ultimate objective which is to help you have more productive and predictable software engineering. Over time we’ve seen our product get fantastic adoption. But more importantly, we believe we could do so much better for you.
So our team has been driving research into getting to know you. We focused on knowing: who you are, what do you do and care about. We talked and surveyed hundreds of people to learn from our customers including focus groups in some cities in Europe.
We found out that there are fundamentally 3 ways people think about Code Quality in their professional environment:
- Individually: what is my contribution to the overall quality of my organization?
- Project or Repo: what is the quality of a project a group of individuals are working on together?
- Organization: what is the quality of a collection of repos/projects (i.e. of my organization).
Knowing this, we owned the responsibility of redesigning our product to make sure it fits your reality. Our objective is that our product continues to answer important questions about the quality of your products. And this is what we’re sharing with you today.
A new flow
Taking our findings into account, we’ve rethought the user experience from the ground up. It all starts with a brand new product workflow that’s laser-focused on being more actionable. Broken up into three views, it’s bound to make you more productive when dealing with code quality.
First off there’s the Organization view, a top-down look at everything that’s happening in a part of the company. It has everything the team needs to define what it should focus on in order to meet code quality standards, including all recent updates, pull requests and overall project quality. Quickly identify issues that are impeding progress, and know what to discuss to get back on track.
The Project view focuses on giving all the information that’s expected from Codacy, while making it more actionable so you can get started immediately. Designed to show everything needed to ensure standards on project, there’s quick access to its quality evolution, a breakdown of all issues and the project status.
Finally, there’s the Personal view — a tailored overview highlighting the most important projects. Everything in this screen is made to get straight to work — for example, all pull requests have a status showing what needs to get done. It’s the focal point of the new Codacy experience, and we’ve made it so the product works better for everyone.
Why and how we did it
Throughout the life of the product, we’ve focused on fixing small annoyances and making small improvements. For this release, we decided we needed to better understand how and why our users want to use Codacy — that way, we could reshape the product to perfectly fit their wants and needs.
First, we decided it was instrumental to better understand what the main focus of our product should be — what’s the problem our users us to solve? Then, we needed to narrow down this value proposition, and lastly, we needed to take a look at the results from our research and think about how we could use them to improve our product.
Figuring out our core value proposition
We think we now understand the core value of the Codacy experience better than ever before. When we asked our community about the main reason why they use the product, they overwhelmingly said the same thing — to effortlessly standardise code quality across their teams and organizations.
With this in mind, we took a close look at the current state of the product, and started asking ourselves some hard questions. Were we doing everything we could to serve our users? How could we improve the service to be more aligned with what they actually want from it?
In order to better understand usage patterns and define the key areas in which we needed to do better, we decided on doing extensive user research.
Building a more actionable and focused product
In the various focus groups and interviews we’ve done, we noticed that people were using the product in lots of different ways. We were offering a lot of different views and filters, both on the static side of code quality (issues and files), as well as for all changes (commits and pull requests). There was a lot of information but too little guidance — while some would focus on the Pull Request view, others liked using the Issues page. Most of them seemed lost and confused, instead of focused and productive.
It quickly became clear we needed a new workflow — one that’s more clear in communicating what’s currently valuable, and immediately offers the right tools to get to work. By consolidating everything into three panels, all with a clear purpose, we’ve made our data much more accessible.
The Organization panel is perfect for the high-level executive that only needs to check in on progress every once in a while. All projects from across the company are displayed, and it gives a quick status update without showing too many details. On the other hand, developers would find the Personal view much more useful on a day-to-day basis, as it allows them to dive right into outstanding issues, pull requests and everything else that matters right now.
Thanks to the amazing input from our test users, we think the new Codacy does a much better job at bringing all of our data to the surface, helping you and your team write better code and meet the highest quality standards.
We hope that you’ll love our new version as much as we loved working on it.
The new version is almost ready for public release — right now we’re still capturing feedback and implementing it into the product. If you’re interested in being part of this process, or just want to let us know what you think, feel free to leave a comment on this story, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up here. We’re all ears.
Our mission is to make your software engineering predictable and productive and we believe this is a step in the right direction. This is also the first step of many we’re taking this year to help you drive better products to Market. We can’t wait to see what you will build with Codacy.
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