Adding cards while your Tags filter is turned on

The Tags filter button, which appears on the top-right corner of your Task Boards and Scrum Boards, lets you filter your view of a crowded board by showing just those cards that match a particular tag that you are using (or a particular color coding):

Tags button
Tags button

It used to be that when you were filtering your view of the board, you couldn’t add any new cards.

The reason made sense from a technical, geeky perspective, but it proved confusing and frustrating for our users, so we have added more flexibility by letting you add new cards even while you are using filtering.

The new cards will appear as you add them to the board, and stay there until you refresh your view of the board. At that point, whether the new cards continue to appear or not will depend upon whether they meet your tags filtering criteria or not.

That sounds complicated, we know, so let’s take a look at the original logic behind not letting users add cards while using tags filtering…

In the example screen shown above, the board has a bunch of tags defined, like admin, box, bug, canvas, and cleanup.

Suppose we were using filtering, to only show those cards that are tagged bug and box. With this filtering in effect, you are going to see only a small subset of all the cards that exist on the board — only those cards that have either bug or box as a tag. (Or both.)

So, what should happen if you add a new card to the board, which isn’t tagged bug or box?

From a strictly logical perspective, this new card shouldn’t be displayed, because it doesn’t match the filter criteria you are currently using — it should be displayed only if the new card had bug or box as one of its tags.

We originally dealt with this problem by saying that you couldn’t add new cards while using tags filtering, because the new cards would disappear immediately after you had added them, which we felt would make for a very confusing user experience.

(People would likely think they failed in their attempt to add a new card, and keep trying. Eventually they might turn off tags filtering, and then find they had added many copies of the same new card.)

So, that was one solution to the problem, but it still presented a user experience challenge because many folks would forget that they had turned on tags filtering, especially if they were bouncing around between multiple boards. (Yes, Barb, we are looking at you!)

If a user returned to a board and didn’t realize that they had tags filtering turned on, they would get confused as to why they were unable to add new cards.

We thought of a couple of different solutions to this problem, including the use of callouts (those balloon-like bubbles that appear to give you hints about how a page works) but we aren’t generally a fan of callouts — too many apps misuse them to excess these days.

So we have come up with what we think is a better solution: if you are using tags filtering, go ahead and add new cards. They will show up, but if you refresh your page, your tags filtering will be re-applied, and the new cards will be displayed only if they match the tags you want to show.