Papercuts (Revised 15 Oct 2020)

What is a Papercut?

A Papercut is a tiny issue - usually UI or UX - that is never a high priority but causes lots of pain to users. It might be a small bug or a missing bit of UI. It might be issues we tend to always hear about from users but do not have direct implications on the actual functionality and thus never make it into the bug priority list. It might be things that we look at and think “Ergh is this still not fixed?” or “%^&* that is SO ANNOYING”. We might have been looking at it for years.

We want to fix some of these so that we start bringing real joy to our users. Fixing Papercuts is designed to bring sparkles in a world that often has few.

A successful Papercut (that can be considered for development) is an issue where:

  • The dev work required will take less than 1/2 day to complete
  • The solution is obvious and widely supported - if there is uncertainty, outstanding differing opinions, or takes more than 5 mins discussion to agree on what is being done, it will be rejected as a papercut
  • The issue must be clearly specified using the appropriate Github templates

So you want to get a Papercut into the pipe? here’s how . . [Edited 15.10.20 v1.3]

1) Get agreement on your suggested change

To maximise likely success in getting to the pipe, you should reduce as much uncertainty as possible before creating the papercut. This means making sure that others are on board with your proposed change and that there is clear agreement on implementation.
You may wish to create a Wishlist item in Discourse first and lead a discussion to refine the Papercut sized piece of work (incl. requesting a dev to t-shirt size it).

When the proposed change is clear and a dev has indicated that it is likely papercut sized . .

2) Create an issue on the Papercuts list

by adding an issue to the ‘Potential Papercuts’ column of the Papercuts project.

The issue must be clearly specified using the appropriate Github templates

3) Assess validity as Papercut

When we have room for more papercuts in the pipe, a ‘Papercut Curation’ meeting will be held with one person from Dev, one from Product and one from Design to do a quick run through of all the Proposed Papercuts to select those that make the cut for ‘Next Up Papercuts’ (participation in these meetings will be rotated)

There are three possible outcomes for each Potential Papercut

a) It meets the criteria above and can be selected for voting - move it to ‘Next Up Papercuts’

b) Needs design input and this design input could be done in 2hrs or less - move to ‘Papercut Design’. To be a valid papercut with required design input we would need to be confident that after the design input the dev task will still be a papercut. If we can’t be confident of that then it is likely not a papercut and will be rejected.

c) If a Potential Papercut is rejected we will move to ‘Rejected Papercuts’. Rejected papercuts will generally have a comment that explains why. If you make the necessary changes (or ask someone to help you) then afterwards feel free to move back to Potential Papercuts column.

4) Instance Selection of Papercuts

Every active* instance will be given the option to choose one Papercut from the list of Next Up Papercuts OR Papercuts Design.

Choose a papercut by adding your instance label to the papercut issue (as we did for s3 bugs).

Once selected these will be moved onto the Papercuts Backlog in Zenhub OR the Design / Inception pipe for those that require design.

NB. Design will not happen until a Papercut has been selected by an instance to progress. When design is completed on a papercut it will be moved into the zenhub Papercuts backlog.

Currently we have defined active* instances as: Australia, UK, France, Belgium, Katuma, Canada, US.

We have based this on who is contributing and who is trading.
If anyone thinks that their instance should also be on this list please say so. We can expand this list on the next iteration of this process.

5) Papercuts are delivered

Each release one Papercut will be completed. The order in which this happens is semi-random - with some discussion at Delivery Train meetings. If you believe there is a strong case for yours to be prioritised above others, please post your rationale in Slack #delivery-train

This is an ongoing experiment. Please add your thoughts on what you like and don’t like below so that we can keep improving the process


I have a papercut! And 2 requests!

Can you add the US as an active instance? Our papercut can obvs wait.

Could you link to the bug and story templates? I think I know what you’re referring to but for future reference?

I guess I also need to be educated about Zenhub.

Hi @lauriewayne1

It’s pretty hard to miss the templates :slight_smile: If you create an issue you’ll have to choose one of them.

Before creating an issue it’s important to check if the issue already exists by searching Github. Perhaps the #bugs channel in Slack might be a good place to chat this through if it’s all new.

US is now part of the list :slight_smile:

I created labels in Github for each active instance to put on their selected papercut (will be using these for sev 3 bugs too).

Let’s kill those annoying things :metal: ! I’m sooo looking forward to this

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Hoping I have put this in the right place.

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Hi @lbwright22. Thanks!
No need to post the issue here. You can add to the Papercuts ‘Pipline’ when you create the issue:

I don’t think anyone other than gardener’s can move things along the pipeline @lin_d_hop, so someone with full access will need to do this. Ran into this same problem with the S3 bugs :frowning_face:

Hi everyone,
Just so you know the process has been updated and the next round of papercuts is ready for selection.
See the edited process above for more info…
Or just go here.

An important note… we only have 7 papercuts this round to choose from. If you aren’t fussed about the papercut that is selected for your instance feel free to not choose one and we’ll get to the next round of proposals faster :slight_smile:

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If I have a wishlist item for which I want to understand how to make a papercut out of it or if it could be a papercut, where shall I post it? Here?

IMO … If it is a new wishlist item maybe create it as such, in Wishlist. Then we can discuss there if it can be a papercut. Or if you are confident that it can be just make an issue and put it in Potential Papercuts.