So I think the way labels traditionally work is kind of dumb. I do like that they’re a super open-format tagging feature that people can use for whatever they want, but it seems in a lot of cases, people use them for things that should actually just be features. For example teams sometimes use labels to denote priority, as in Priority: High or Priority: Low. That should just be a feature where users can choose the priority of an issue. Similarly, teams sometimes use labels to identify Type, as in Type: Bug or Type: Question. I also think this should just be a feature where users can assign a type to an issue.
Maybe we can build a solution that looks like normal labels, but it’s like … Super Labels. Similar to traditional labels, but they are just holders of Sub Labels and they can be less “dumb.”
So what do we build? Here’s my proposal for a lil Labels Roadmap:
V1.1 Instead of launching labels, we start with the most common Super Label: Type. So when a user goes to add a label, they’re prompted with a type selector. I guess the first types would be bug, enhancement, and question.
V1.1 Then we launch the second most common use case, maybe that Super Label is Resolution. And you can select duplicate, invalid, and wontfix.
V1.2 I can also see help wanted and good first issue being in another related category that is about reaching out to users outside the core team.
V2. Build a “dumb label” feature that allows teams to use labels as complex as they want, but with no color customization. I would be a bit concerned that launching this would teach users to use labels in the same “dumb” way they’ve always used them? Although I think that if we design the “dumb labels” in the right way (maybe they’re grey or they just look like hashtags) then people will understand they aren’t supposed to be used in such complex ways.
V3. Allow users to add custom labels within the existing structure of Super Labels.
What does everyone think? Do teams typically rely heavily on custom labels? Are they a necessity in V1? Maybe this plan sparks some other ideas?