Hello and welcome to another edition of Jira Gore. My name is Lianna Kong and on today’s post, we’re going to talk about field names. Usually unassuming pieces of Jira, they’re easy to build and easy to name. They’re just so flexible! You can name them whatever you want! And then I get requests like this:

Customer: “Hi, I’d like the following fields added to my project.

1. What’s the budget of your project?

2. How many people are there on your team?

3. If you have more than 4 people on your team, do you need extra accessories?

4. What type of accessories will you need?

5. When do you need this by?

6. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

Me: *Uhhhhhhhh, is this for real. These are terrible.* “Let’s work on this together.”

We all want our field names to be descriptive and leave no room for a person to input the wrong data, but there are limitations. The first limitation is that Jira actually has a very limited column size for their field display. If you have a long field name, when you view the ticket, you end up with 5 line wraps for one field. It’ll end up looking like this:

What’s the
budget of
your project?

Thanks formatting, you’ve ruined my beautiful field name question. Maybe it’s not so bad, but if all of your fields look like that, it makes it really hard to read the data.

What’s the budget of your project?$40
How many people are there on your team?5
If you have more than 4 people on your team, do you need extra accessories?yes
What type of accessories will you need?Cables, monitors, printers, mice, keyboards
When do you need this by?5/5/19
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?You’re not serious.

In actuality, we don’t need all of these extra words. This isn’t a college essay. We’re not trying to meet a minimum word count here. Let’s say what we really mean and condense these field names down.

Budget$40
Team headcount5
Accessoriesyes
Type of accessoriesCables, monitors, printers, mice, keyboards
Due date5/5/19
WoodchuckYou’re not serious.

Boom! Look at how clean that is. Now we can use the field description to provide any and all helper text so that you can inform people of the type of data that you’re expecting.

Customer: “But I don’t like those field names.”

Me: “What’s wrong with these field names?”

Customer: “I want full questions.”

Me: “The full question will be in the field description”

Customer: “That text is too small. No one will read it or see it.”

Me: “Let’s discuss Service Desk.”