The Frustrations of using Atlassian’s Jira

Using Jira is a bit of an alienating and disempowering experience. What gives?

The UI regularly lies to me

Q: How is it that I don’t have access to something I created?
A: I’ve been logged out of the system by their software, but the software has no idea it logged me out.

My powers are taken away without warning

Q: Was there a connection issue?
A: No. The issue is that the system logged me out and had no idea it logged me out.

Disempowered, yet again

Q: Why aren’t I authorized to do this thing?
A: The system logged me out and had no idea it logged me out.

Sometimes pages lead to dead ends with no explanation

Q: Did pirates take over the website?
A: Not actual internet pirates, but User Experience pirates, bent on plundering my happiness.

I am forced to consume content with no opt-out

I got some marketing email. I don’t want marketing email. But they’re using a loophole to be able to send me marketing email by calling it an important message regarding … products you are using. I thought I got to decide what’s important.

It still won’t admit it logged me out

I got the above error quite abruptly while working on the site. At least this time it’s sort of figured out that I’m not logged in.

What gives?

The main problem is being (rudely) logged out with no warning and no notifications, and then told I can’t access something because the app has turned me into an e-Peasant that is not permitted to take part in The Good Life.

It happens unpredictably during the work day, at any given time. It happens predictably if I’ve left Jira open in my browser the night before, and try resuming work.

There are at least two solutions the company can design into the experience:

  1. Notify me when I’m about to be logged out
  2. Leave a notification that I’ve been logged out, if I leave my browser open and come back to it after a time
  3. Set logout preferences in my account page (turn on auto logout, turn off auto-logout)
  4. Provide in-app recommendations for another task management software that treats me better

Sadly, repetitive, negative experiences, which could be cleaned up, are a symptom of management getting out of touch with users, and forcing their own software developers to create alienating behavior in order to be compliant with business regulations.

Or rather, not getting out of touch with users, but making the highest-paying customers the happiest, which is a viable business strategy.