There’s been some more talk recently about a WYSIWYG editor. I believe, however, that many of the issues faced by users of the editor could be mitigated with just a few small wins.
Automatic list management
When I’ve started a list, and press enter, automatically insert the next list marker for me. So if I type
* foo bar baz▂ enter
…then my editor should show:
* foo bar baz
Similar functionality should be included for numbered lists.
This is available in JIRA’s plain-text editor, and I feel that it makes a huge difference when you’re putting together lists.
Make formatting options more discoverable
There’s a whole slew of formatting that’s available within the editor – and the excellent markdown tutorial which new users are linked to helps to explain all of this. Unfortunately, though, many users don’t try this out – and for those who do, they won’t remember everything.
To that end, I would suggest that either a “Format” drop-down be included in the editor toolbar, which can include headings, preformatted text, and quotes, or that a “help” option be provided alongside the editor – perhaps optionally replacing the preview. JIRA simply includes a small “help” button alongside the preview toggle, which opens a separate page with documentation.