Reimagining code review in Bitbucket Cloud
Working with code is a critical part of your day-to-day job. Whether you have created code and are waiting for your team's review or you're reviewing and approving code to help implement and deliver new features, pull requests are a part of your daily lives.
We've spent the year researching, user testing, and reimagining the Bitbucket Cloud code review experience. Check out the updates and changes we are launching, and our current and long term plans for adding new functionality and features to the pull request interface.
A new code-first design
To help reviewers assess changes quickly, we've historically taken a ‘code-first’ design approach for the pull request view (reviewing and working in a pull request). Bitbucket displays the diff front and center so reviewers don't need to click around to see what's changed or to provide feedback.
Today, we're taking this concept a step further: we've redesigned the pull request view to display everything the reviewer needs on a single page, without tabs.
Through several rounds of user testing, we optimized the new design around improving navigability for the reviewer. In the new pull request experience, we’ve calculated that reviewers reduce their time-to-approve by 21% compared to the existing UI.
Below are some of the key features that help reviewers evaluate code quickly:
Sidebar with file tree and activity feed
Just like the sidebar in the new source browser, the pull request sidebar groups information into collapsible cards for quick reference at any time. One of these cards is the brand new file tree for navigating between files in the diff. Now, you can jump between files without having to scroll back to the top of the page.
Files are organized into collapsible folders in a familiar layout, and files are marked with comment counts and conflict markers so they can be addressed. If a filename is truncated, hover over the filename to reveal a tooltip with the full filename or click-and-drag the edge of the sidebar to reveal more of the tree. You can also collapse and expand the sidebar by clicking on its edge or using the ']' keyboard shortcut.
A powerful new activity feed
No more switching back and forth between the activity tab and the code. Now you can see all of the prior history of the activity feed as you're reviewing the diffs from your pull request, with an easy one-click navigation to jump you to key events that spark your interest.
Sticky action header as you scroll
The redesigned header remains sticky to the top of the page as you scroll, which also allows you to more easily approve or merge the PR once you've finished reviewing.
Sticky file headers and file tree highlighting as you scroll
Similarly, diff file headers are also sticky to the top of the page as you scroll so you don't lose your place viewing long diffs. And to further reinforce this, the current file is highlighted in the file tree as you scroll, so it's always clear which file you're viewing.
Each file's diff is collapsible, so you can mark your progress and reduce scrolling as you move through your review.
And each diff's side-by-side view is now available inline, instead of in a modal window.
Recent Releases and Upcoming Feature Investments
In addition to the new features mentioned above, we will be releasing more features in the coming months. We’re also evaluating your most highly requested improvements. Stay tuned for our updates.
Below is a table listing the approximate order in which we will be addressing these requests. These are ordered by what we think will have the highest impact (or reduce our technical burden by deprecating the old PR experience).
New PR UI
Tasks on Sidebar
Activity Feed filters
Side-by-side diff comments
|Global PR settings|
Improved Big Diff performance
Collapsible File Headers
Tasks on Comments
|View Whole File at Once|
|Single-file-mode for Big PRs|
|'Needs Work' status|
|Tabbed Sidebar with improved file tree|
|Mark Files as Reviewed|
'Work in progress' status
Labels for PRs
What about the legacy PR experience?
The legacy PR experience will be unavailable on Feb 15th 2021.
Many customers have been enjoying the new experience over the past year and we're confident that the changes will help your team too. While change takes some getting used to in the short-term, the new PR experience paves the way for many usability, integration, and collaboration improvements in the future.
How to leave feedback
The new experience includes a Feedback card at the bottom of the right sidebar. Let us know what you think. Customer feedback strongly informs our roadmap, so if you're missing a key feature – let us know!
The Feedback card also includes a link to temporarily see a pull request you're viewing in the old experience.