RFC-45 - Upcoming changes to Jira navigation

Summary of Project:

  • Publish : Apr 23, 2024
  • Discuss : May 30, 2024
  • Resolve : June 15, 2024

The Jira Navigation team has been relentless in its efforts to make finding and resuming your work effortless. We’re revamping Jira with a modern and easy-to-use navigation system that’s designed for consistency, flexibility, and efficiency.

With the new navigation, we aim to achieve the following:

  • Create a consistent appearance and user experience across all our products, making it smoother to switch between tools like Jira Software and Jira Work Management.
  • Improve the scalability and expansion of our product features.
  • Include customization options in the navigation, ensuring our system aligns with industry standards and integrates seamlessly with popular tools.

Proposed Solution

The key changes in the new navigation are:

  • Simplified top navigation: We’ve reimagined the top navigation, decluttering it to keep the focus on essential tasks like search and create. All other product and navigation items have been relocated to the sidebar for easier access.
    • Product and global navigation: Product-specific navigation and global items, like Apps, are now listed in the left sidebar.
    • Project navigation: Project-specific navigation, like boards, backlogs, and timelines, are restructured as tabs for efficient navigation in a project.
  • Customizable and collapsible sidebar: Customize and collapse sections within the left sidebar to focus on what matters most to you. Personalize your navigation further by showing or hiding the menu items on the sidebar.
  • Unified look and feel: The new navigation is designed for a cohesive experience across all Jira products, enabling co-usage between them.
  • Effortless project switching: Get to your work faster with fewer clicks, even when working across multiple projects.

What do these changes mean for Ecosystem developers and partners?

Apps on the left sidebar

1. Placement of apps

Current Navigation:

The Apps tab and menu items are placed in the top navigation bar.

New Navigation:

Apps and its menu items are now in the left sidebar.

2. Show/hide apps

Current Navigation:

You can’t hide/show Apps as a menu.

New Navigation:

You can hide/show Apps in the sidebar

  • When you customize the sidebar to hide Apps, you can still access it under Show more but not as a menu item in the sidebar

    *available to users (and potentially admins)

3. Explore more apps

Current Navigation:

Explore more Apps is available in the top navigation under Apps.

New Navigation:

Explore more Apps is now under Apps in the left sidebar.

4. Manage apps for admins

Current Navigation:

New Navigation:

  • From the left sidebar, go to Apps > 3 dots > Manage apps to access this feature.

  • Alternatively, go to Settings > Jira admin settings > Apps to access this feature in the new navigation.

5. App recommendations

Current Navigation:

From the top navigation, go to Apps and find app suggestions for your team under Recommended for your team.

New Navigation:

From the left sidebar, go to Apps and find app suggestions under Recommended for your team.

6. Single page apps

Current Navigation:

If the app has only one page without any other options, the current navigation show only the app page.

New Navigation:

The persistent left sidebar shows you options for the app’s page as well as other Jira menu items.

The sidebar can be expanded and collapsed as per preference.

7. Multi-page app navigation

Current Navigation:

The left sidebar shows you options only for the app.

New Navigation:

The left sidebar shows you options for the app as a dropdown, along with other Jira menu items.

Apps for Jira Software and Jira Work Management projects

1. App placement : Apps will now appear as tabs in a project.

Current Navigation:

New Navigation:

2. Show/hide an app in a project : In the new navigation, you can choose to show/hide the tabs you want to see in a project.

Current Navigation:

You can’t hide apps for a project.

New Navigation:

You can show/hide any tab, including apps, in a project.

3. Add an app to a project : Hidden app will appear in the ‘+’ menu (only visible to project admins). Users can add any apps that are available to their project.

Current Navigation:


New Navigation:

From the tabs, you can select + to add apps that are available for a project.

Note: This is visible only to admins in a project.

4. Navigate within an app

Current Navigation:

New Navigation:

If an app has options to select from, you can use the dropdown (:small_red_triangle_down: ) to move through multiple pages.


While we would appreciate any reactions you have to this RFC, we’re especially interested in learning more about:

  1. What impact do you see with your APIs/apps due to the navigation menu items changing with respect to their placements?
  2. How can we help you adopt the new navigation changes with minimal impact?

Edit : The images had to be replaced in the earlier post to ensure clarity.

You can watch a video walkthrough of the changes here - https://youtu.be/tHtuzI2OyZI


Reverting back to a left hand side menu is just incredible. Has everyone forgotten about the backlash from the last time this was done?

Oh, and how can we see this in real life now, so that we can truly understand how much work it involves for app vendors??


@arajah Can you add separate screenshots, rather than screenshots of screenshots, so that we actually see the details of the screens?

These blurry pictures don’t really show that much.


@arajah thank you for the RFC! Given that this will be a massive change, it would be nice if we can get a bit more detailed information. The quality of the screenshots are not particularly great.

Would you be able to provide us with:

  • A timeline on when these UI changes will be rolled out to users?
  • Some indication on EAP / Developer preview access and what type of timeline Atlassian expects from vendors with regard to adoption?
  • An overview of the impact that this has on Jira extension points?

This is going to be quite painful for us since we need us much horizontal space as necessary (charts and tables). How big is the sidebar? Is it responsive (ie if the user doesn’t have much screen real estate - does it just shrink down to the icons?)

Is there anyway for an app to opt-out of the sidebar? A lot of apps already have a left hand sidebar so it’s going to be a real funky experience - sidebar sidebar.


Or at least allow us to indicate that the side bar should be collapsed by default when the app is openend?


Am I the only one struggling to see details in the images?
Can we please see the original document with a table and inline images, not a screenshots?
It’s a MASSIVE change for us. Take it seriously please.


Is Atlassian planning to do the same for Confluence and Bitbucket again, too?


To provide feedback on the two questions:

  1. The additional left-side navigation is a problem/challenge for us and our users, as we already have an in-app left side navigation, as well as a in-app menu-bar navigation.

Keeping our in-app left side navigation next to the global Jira navigation would take away too much screen space.

Putting the left side navigation as a tabbed navigation would be confusing I think, as we also have menu-bars in the top of the app space.

A second problem is the discrepancy between cloud and server. So far, we are able to keep 99% of the UI the same on cloud and server. This introduces a lot of additional work.

The “Multi page app navigation” proposal will probably not work because we are technically a single page app. The navigation is now done very fast, without reloading the page and keeping browser in-memory caches intact when switching between pages in the app.

The second problem with the “Multi page app navigation” is that we also have drop-down menus and conditional logic (e.g. to show page options only when some complex conditions are valid) in the navigation.

Best would be to not have a global left-navigation. Other large products like AWS also have a global top navigation and a local left-navigation. A global left-navigation is more suitable for smaller products I think. Isn’t there a clear reason why you’ve moved back from side navigation in 2020?

If not possible to stop the RFC, please allow the option to disable the side navigation on “Single page apps”. This will save the space for the app (the user is normally not interacting with the main app navigation wile using the app). They can click on the top Jira logo to go out of the app, and/or the App can add navigation options themselves if needed.


@ibuchanan you listed this RFC, making it publicly available. Does this mean the new navigation is no longer confidential?


The RFC was converted to “unlisted” after an editing concern about image quality, not because it was confidential. Although I did not see the prior version, it looks like the images were corrected (I could be wrong). Since the community has already started to respond, it seemed pointless to keep it unlisted.

1 Like

@ibuchanan Ok, but that makes it a bit confusing. The blog post on the partner portal lists these changes to be confidential until May 1st, but the new Jira navigation is now public through this RFC. Or is the confidentiality only limited to the product offering changes?

Can we share the new Jira navigation changes outside of this RFC (for instance on socials) or not?


What users say about the current navigation:
“I find the UI to be too cumbersome, hard to navigate, […]”
“Too many features available at all times, it’s confusing to find what you want. […]”
“It’s hard to navigate especially when you have multiple products […]”

How is the new navigation:

  • Less cumbersome?
  • Easier to navigate?
  • Less features available at any one time? (ie. more focused.)

Given the impact this has, I would expect it to provide a solution to the users’ pain points, but I fail to see how this approach would give more clarity and better UX.

With the new navigation, basically everything would be in the left sidebar, of which 90% is irrelevant at any one time to the content I’m viewing in the center, but none the less taking up precious space. The top navigation will also double in size on most views (search + container nav.)

A complete navigational overhaul like this one is completely unexpected and incredibly risky. It impacts every user and most app vendors as well.
In my opinion it’s also debatable whether it actually solves the problems it aims to solve.
Building on the current navigation and solving pain points incrementally would be a better approach. Most of the time, a complete overhaul is a bad idea. I would argue this is one of those times.



Sorry, I was wrong. I just edited the original post with new screenshots at larger size. I have confirmation this RFC is not considered confidential.


So the navigation story so far:

  • Jira server/dc - top navigation
  • Jira cloud - side navigation
    – users are not happy with side navigation, atlassian changes it back to top nav –
  • Jira cloud - top navigation
    – some users are not happy with an increasingly overbloated menu, so Atlassian change it back to side nav –
  • Jira cloud - side navigation…?

My concern is that I don’t see the reason behind the change. The 3 quotes from the users you put here are not talking about the position of the navigation, but the not optimal current menu, and we already gave feedback avbout it in the past (“Dashboard” on the 5. position, “Teams” menu that I think nobody uses, “Plans” is an upselling option, same for “Assets”, etc.) I would really like to know what was the real problem of the users with the navigation and if this change would really solve their problem.

Also, this will impact (again!) how vendors implement the navigation in their apps and have to redesign some whole journeys if this change has launched.

I don’t mind changes that are important and progressive, but to be honest in this case, I am really not convinced that this is the real solution. I REALLY like the idea to be able to customize the navigation and remove some unused items. But it can be done with the current topbar as well and you can put some effort improving the reachabelity of frequently used/ favorite things (projects, boards, etc.).


I have several doubts:

  • Will there be an option to alternate new UX with current UX?
  • If there is not going to be an option, can it be tested first in some type of EAP instances?
  • Will the Company-managed Scrum/Kanban boards remain? Can I still put it in full screen?
  • I saw a “Create+” button and I got scared, does it mean that I will have to make 2 clicks to create an Issue instead of 1?

Not expecting anything in return, but still:

  1. Boards are still not available in a single click. And they aren’t even present in the sidebar customization.

But “Plans” and “Goals” are one click away. Always. Guys, have you checked the usage stats?..

  1. Dashboards are somewhere closer to the end of the list, though they are on top of the list in the customization. When you are in the project, Dashboards will be somewhere out of the screen.

Yet “Your work”, which is absolutely useless for most of users, is on the very top with no option to (re)move it.

  1. No menu item for Issues. Yes, just in case you didn’t know, Issues and Filters aren’t the same.

  2. Search bar is half screen long. Was there a single report ever about users not being able to find the search input?

Btw, we as users don’t “search Atlassian”. We search in our data like issues or articles we created. I hope users will be able to put their logo and company name to where they belong.

  1. How about adding the customization of the top bar first without any other changes? Ideally with all of menu items presented (Your work, Recent, Starred, etc.). Add Boards there too, and let’s see how users will deal with cluttered Nav.

As far as the hiding of apps…

Why?!?! Will there be an audit log or somewhere that we can send users to when they can’t find the apps in a particular spot? This will increase our support costs since I can only imagine the number of accidental hidding that will happen because admins don’t talk to the users.

Also, how would this work with generalPage items?