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A more transparent Bubble [Roadmap] and [Release Notes]

This has been on my mind for some time having noticed that:

  1. Often queries about useful features get the answer “coming in a few weeks/months”; and
  2. Ongoing updates to Bubble don’t reveal what new features have been added, and in some instances the documentation isn’t up-to-date

I’ve been thinking it would be useful to have a) a more accurate public roadmap and b) release notes to better plan app build cycles. This doesn’t have to be too demanding nor restrictive, but something more accurate and granular than the current “features lab” would help. A weekly wrap-up might be a good start, ideally online as a section of the Bubble app and/or separately as a newsletter. Or even better ideas out there?

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Great suggestion! I’ve been wanting the same thing.

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Yeah agreed @wahome!

So the reason why I think this is so important is because it will build transparency, a feeling of progress and a kicking-and-alive team. That makes more people dare to jump into using bubble professionally (these are the paying ones). TBH! Right now I feel slightly outside of the bubble in regards to knowing whats exactly going on inside the bubble.

What about writing a clear disclaimer on top that the roadmap are subject to change at any time and that users should be careful of planning projects or progress based on feature-launch estimates. That the primary purpose of the roadmap is to show the current status of priorities and progress of the bubble team.

An idea. (Feel free to disagree.) What about keeping the Roadmap updated on the website but with a link to/rss feed from a new STICKY “Updates / releases” post in the forum. In this way you will draw more new users into the forum and thus strenghtening the community.

Keep a thread of micro-posts where you guys commit (yeah I know scary) to weekly micro-updates (written in max 60 seconds maybe?). Would you sacrifice 60 seconds per week to let your users look forward to regular updates on the team, progress, challenges and changes in priorities.

Example:
Hey guys, this week we are really proud of almost completing feature X, 80% along the way, hopefully we will release it next week after testing completely. We had some challenges with the scaling of Y this week and thus had to push the Z feature a couple weeks forward. Emmanuel is currently on vacation so there is less noise from his heavy metal music but more work for us left here in the freezing NY weather.

I think small updates would even pull the users closer to bubble feeling that they also are a part of what is happening.

I understand that companies are afraid to take on commitments to updates, releases etc. But I strongly believe in continuity, I believe it will take more pressure OFF and instead create more evangelism…If I`m coooompletely way off with this idea, please let me know, I can take some disagreements :wink:

Have a great weekend folks!

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So we can’t really commit beforehand to a list of features + a schedule, as emergencies happen, and we need to be reactive. For instance, we’ve been adding a lot of features on requests for users that really needed them for a launch, or an important investor meeting, etc. That’s why we have the option of sponsoring a feature. Since we do this, we have to remain flexible.

What we can do is communicate more about what we’re working on, and what we recently added. That was the idea behind the features lab, which we launched one year before this forum. It might make sense to replace the features lab by a thread on the forum (maybe pinned at the top of the page), with the recent product developments. How does that sound?

For instance, for these past few weeks, we’ve been working (and released/are about to release):

  • major infrastructure change in how we save apps for higher speed and reliability - live as of yesterday
  • Workflow API (should be released today)
  • Logs tab to enable users to see what happened for server workflows (the ones that change data, send emails, etc.). Kind of a debugger but afterwards, if you need to understand what happened (should be live this week)
  • Action to animate elements (release 10 days ago).

That’s how I would start such a thread.

What do you guys think?

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I like the idea of a thread in the forum - how the release notes are managed, I am not sure.

Thanks for the update on the work of the past few weeks - Action to animate elements is news to me and kinda interesting. I would check that out… so yes, this does help!

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The Bubble team has been very reactive to feature requests, especially since I’ve sent a few of them myself and had them assessed in a very timely manner. From the reasons @emmanuel has mentioned, I can see why they triage features the way they do; these are situations that I may have one day hit and the responsiveness will be very crucial at that time.

As for transparency, it would be nice to easily find out about what has been added, followed by fixes. If a lot of these features were by request, maybe the comment about a new feature could simply be a modified version of what was submitted in “Enter your feature idea.” Short one-liners would be sufficient for me and hopefully easy to compile. At the same time, if we don’t know what is being released, it’s like getting a present every few days.

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@emmanuel yes - a thread on the forum is a perfect starting point, until there’s need for a better way. really whatever works sustainably for you as long as you can keep people regularly informed on what’s going on, especially on new releases (features and bug-fixes) and things in-progress. for the roadmap, people will understand/forgive shifting timelines as long as they are engaged and on board with the empowering build culture at bubble e.g. ‘sponsored features could push times out, but if you really need something, we can re-prioritise’. sorry to repeat what i’ve stated elsewhere, but from my limited perspective of the platform’s evolution, given the already impressive technical power, the key at this stage is to build trust alongside features with the understanding that people are taking a risk in investing their life dreams on bubble as a foundation. that may require a slight shift in mindset and resources, dedicating more to community development to go with technology development - within your means of course. i have more expansive thoughts on all this but i understand time is a premium for everyone and i’ll share at the right opportunity while pointing out specific issues as they come up.

oh, much of what @gurun said resonates…

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Sounds good @emmanuel I agree the features lab should be in the forum pinned to the top. Still I feel confused with the existing features lab when I visit the main homepage. And I agree with @Scott every small improvement feels like a small present to us so please focus on being transparent this way.

Your previous example update 16 days ago in this thread is perfect, looking forward to the next one…soon? :slightly_smiling:

Btw. you mentioned the Workflow API, and that you released this 16 days ago. How can we use or find more information about this?

Well it’s been Christmas and New Year in between, so things are a bit slower than usual :christmas_tree::gift:. The Workflow API isn’t live yet, because of this, but will very soon.

Also, we’re not going to publish things on a thread on a strict regular basis, but just when we’ll deploy new major features. Different features take a different time to implement.

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+1 for a road map - even without timelines it’s a useful thing and helps us understand what’s a new idea and what you already have on the list - might stop me submitting so many new ideas on the forum even :grin:

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How much are you trying to raise?

Idea: you guys could use a public Trello Board for a ‘completely public roadmap’. You could have Bubble users upvote feature requests, see what is coming and what has recently launched. What do you think?

Already done [UNOFFICIAL] Bubble roadmap is up!

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