It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally pleased to announce the beta of the Next Flowdock. You can try it yourself by selecting Enable beta from the user menu.
The beta is still a work in progress, so expect flux in the UI along with some bugs. If you decide to try it out, we’d love to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to send feedback to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The redesign was born from the need to have a more scalable solution to display open flows. We’d received a lot of feedback about it and were feeling the pain ourselves: you can only fit so many tabs side-by-side.
After iterating through quite a few user interface sketches, we settled upon a sidebar:
Since this change required us to modify many parts of the UI, we took the redesign as an opportunity to improve other aspects of Flowdock’s UI as well. Here’s a quick list of the major changes.
Chat and team inbox, relocated
Even though the team inbox is a great window into what your team is doing, we know that it’s not useful in all flows. We wanted to give users the ability to hide the team inbox when it’s not needed. The best solution for this required us to switch the locations of the team inbox and chat: users can focus on what’s in the center (the chat) with a hideable team inbox on the right and a collapsible sidebar on the left.
A single text entry box
A common feedback that the team received was that conversation threads – while extremely beneficial – were too hard to use, especially for newcomers. One reason for this was that Flowdock had two text entry boxes: one for starting a new thread and another for replying to an existing conversation.
In the beta, we simplified the UI by only providing one chat entry box. When you open a thread, it opens on top of the chat, and you can reply in the same text box. Pro tip: with the text entry box focused, you can reply to the newest chat message by pressing Shift-Up, and can return to the chat view by pressing Esc twice.
Notifications in one place
One feature that was sorely missing from the old user interface was a unified place for notifications. We’ve now added a notifications list to the top of the sidebar. Whenever someone sends you a 1-to-1 messages, mentions your username – even in a flow that’s not currently open – or uses an @everyone tag in a flow that you’re a part of, a notification will be added to the list. You can then directly jump to the message by clicking on it.
The best way to improve Flowdock? Send us feedback!
We’ve been using the Next Flowdock internally for some months now, and are pleased with how it has turned out. But as mentioned, it’s still a work in progress. There are still plenty of bugs to be fixed and many UI elements need some work. If you run into any problems with the beta – anything at all – let the Flowdock team know about it. You can reach us from within Flowdock by selecting Feedback under the user menu, or by sending a message to email@example.com.