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How to Jira for designers

James Rotanson
Jan 8, 2019 · 7 min read
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Listen carefully for the animated sound of burnt hair
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Enter the new Jira

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Now with 50% more sparkles

1. Create your own workspace

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2. Define the relevant types of work

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  • Research: We use this category to track research, user testing, and usability studies. Research work issues typically have special fields for recording insights and linking to customer interviews and videos.
  • Spec: Specs are where we primarily live. It’s also our main way to get things done and get an overview of what to focus on weekly. Developers love going through these to inspect measurements of the InVision spec we’ve linked.
  • Story: We use this for the larger flow of an experience. This typically involves work that comes out of a workshop, design sprint, or spike on an end-to-end experience.
  • Other: This is reserved for things that are not super mission critical to the team. We use this to track requests for things like creating swag and reviewing work.

3. Invite your team and stakeholders

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4. Create a workflow that works for your design team

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  • Exploring 🐕: Work at this stage has been picked up, however it’s still in initial exploration, which means lots of sketches and whiteboard photos.
  • Active research 📗: Only our Research issue type ever gets put in this workflow phase. Typically, this is for when a usability study is still ongoing.
  • Analysing 💡: Similarly, only our Research issue type needs this. It’s the stage where we listen to customer interviews and user testing clips to compile our findings.
  • Sparring 🥊: After design work has been explored, it typically goes to this stage for design critique. This is where we review work with other designers, product managers and developers to see if we’re moving in the right direction.
  • Speccing 📐: A piece of work only moves to speccing if it has been proven to move in the best possible direction. This status also indicates that the work has been sparred before and is currently being fleshed out.
  • Copy review ✍🏽. This is when we sense check with the Content Design team to make sure we’re communicating in the right tone and voice with our users.
  • Design done 🎉🍺🍷. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Some might ask: Is anything ever done in software development? Yes and no. Nothing will ever be perfect, but at one point things need to be documented and Sketch files need to be wrapped up in a nice little package. That is until we discover new insights, and start the process all over again!

5. Cut repetitive actions with Rules.

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6. Get the status of work on the go with Jira mobile.

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Give it a whirl

This is only the beginning of the journey to reimagine Jira Software. We hope you find our next-gen template a big improvement for your design team. Hopefully these tips will help you better track your design work and provide visibility where you need it. But there’s only one way to find out: give the new project type a try and let us know what you think. And if you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions, we hope you’ll share back with other designers on the Atlassian community.


Designing Atlassian

Tales from the Atlassian design team

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