February's Annoyingness Straw Poll


We did this in January and it was super helpful so we’re doing it again! Vote for as many as you like – whatever you think we should prioritize. And the one that ends up with the most votes we plan to drop everything and make so! (Ok, @bee says I can’t quite promise that – some of these are easier said than done – but it will strongly influence us!)

  • The idiotic/misleading rounding (including lack of integery-ness)
  • Randomly missing graph thumbnails on dashboard (also affects iPhone app)
  • Graphs taking too long to generate sometimes
  • Whole site being slow
  • Everything going wrong when you try to restart a goal
  • Not showing HH:MM:SS format everywhere
  • Fine print not prominent
  • Having to refresh to see tab contents (datapoints, settings, etc)
  • Difficulty of changing settings for multiple goals at once, eg, when scheduling breaks
  • Lack of means to organize goals (tags, hierarchies, manual sort)
  • No undo button for the making changes to the road
  • No snooze or uncle button for zeno notifications
  • Aesthetic problems
  • Colors don’t always correspond to number of safe days
  • Lack of documentation
  • The do-less loophole that if you don’t know what we mean don’t ask
  • Bugs and inconsistencies with notifications on Android
  • Overzealous reminders via email or SMS or iPhone
  • Notification banner blocking the navigation header
  • Unhelpful statistics, like ones that include whole history of graph
  • Lack of interactive graphs
  • No streamlined use-case for binary yes/no goals

0 voters


hurry everyone vote for restarting goals!


Uh oh, the one currently in third place – making it easy to change settings for multiple goals at once – I kinda don’t want to win. (Good thing @bee stopped me from committing to fix whatever the winner was!) For one thing, it’s not very newbee-impactful, which still needs to be our priority right now. And also I kind of philosophically disagree with the use case. When you go on vacation, for example, that means some goals should be flattened but maybe your steps goal should be steepened. Other goals have plenty of safety buffer and it’s a shame to mess up a nice steady slope if you don’t need to. So I just feel like there’s no substitute for considering each goal individually.

Also it sounds like a hard UI problem that could add to the general confusingness or clutter if not done right, not to mention back-end complexity and bug-proneness.

Not to say it’s not a worthy feature and I suspect we’ll want it eventually. I’m just not exactly rooting for it to win now.

Feel free to change your votes if that was convincing or make your case if not!

PS: That’s very flattering that you think we’re so pretty that no one’s voting for “aesthetic problems” so far. I guess it’s a bit vague and general but I do think there’s important stuff to be improved that’s arguably mostly aesthetic, like the layout of recent data.

PPS: I guess the lack of votes for aesthetic problems could also be like “oh you’re ugly as sin but let’s worry about that after you get the functionality nailed down”. :slight_smile:


I agree with all of that: Each goal still needs still at least some individual consideration when making bulk changes.

But some goals are quite similar: For instance I’ll almost always want to make the same changes to my four fitness goals (crunches, pushups, kettle bell swings, and zumba).

What I imagine is the ability to check any number of goals, and apply bulk changes to the selected goals. That would allow us to take a look at all goals at-a-glance, identify those that do indeed need exactly the same changes, make those changes once (yay DRY principle), and then give the truly unique ones individual attention as needed.

Consider WordPress’ bulk edit functionality if you haven’t already. Alternately, if you implemented goal tagging first, that could play into this.

(I would give all of my votes to goal tagging and sort-by-tag if I could.)


Also, at least for me, the meh-ness of the mobile apps and my general ability to remember to check in during vacations (or the difficulty in even getting internet in some vacations) means that I’m way better off turning EVERYTHING off, rather than having some things be on and having to remember to mark them as done. It’s not really a vacation if I’m still glued to my phone :wink: Even if I think I might have enough safe days, it’s hard to judge that a week in advance, when I have to make the call to pause – that also bit me on my last vacation, and I had to add some fudge data to avoid failure on the last day of my trip!

And with 12 goals, turning everything off one at a time a week in advance is super tedious and prone to error (I managed to screw it up last time I took a trip; thanks to support for fixing it for me), and, as I have hand issues, means WAY too many mouse clicks for the health of my wrists.


I have the same experience to @lanthala except I have 50+ goals.

I am prone to depressive max-akratic breakdowns and unplanned deviations from routine (eg being forced to go to a vacation in 3 days time) thus I plan at least 7 days of safety buffer to allow myself time to catch up once I’m back in shape; having the option to schedule multiple goals breaks would be nice. My use case is probably anomalous and I agree that it is probably not that important for newbees.


My greatest mismatch between dreams and reality is simply “the road editor”. Even when I ultimately make the shape I want, it seems only to be fortune smiling upon me. Whether I conceptualize each line in the road editor as describing a line segment or a point of inflection, I struggle to understand what to type in.

That’s also not very newbee-impactful and definitely a huge programming burden, so lucky for you my runner-up is “colours not always meaning what they should mean”, which, I am given to understand, also requires major interventions in the whole road system in order to change!


Point taken about vacations - but curious what you’d improve about the mobile apps to make them less “meh”!


Now the feature request of changing settings for multiple goals at once is in second place. Listen to @chelsea everyone! Change your votes to fixing goal restarts! :slight_smile: I’m also now wondering if people know about the New Goal Defaults tab in Account Settings. Similarly, in the global reminder settings, the first row of that huge table lets you specify defaults for new goals and the huge table itself is supposed to make it easy to set up a deadline waterfall. I know most of you are voting for being able to dial multiple roads (especially scheduling breaks) at once, but in case any use cases are or could be covered by New Goal Defaults and global reminder settings…


Not to derail, because the android app doesn’t hit my top three most annoying beeminder things (…now that “never actually loads graphs” has been fixed), but the fact that each dashboard entry is HUGE, meaning I can only see three goals at a time, makes things awkward (and I bet @wanzulfikri LOVES that, with 50 goals :slight_smile: ) I also super dislike how, in the absence of internet, my device gets endlessly spammed with notifications about how I failed everything, forever, sometimes for multiple days. On the other hand, I can’t turn off notifications ENTIRELY because as I mentioned previously, I tend to forget to update beeminder when my routine is disrupted. (I also wish the android widget was a straight “click the widget, get a +1 to your goal”, but that’s more of a wishlist feature).


I would want to consider each goal individually. Don’t give me one box to change a bunch of goals. Give me a page like the reminder settings page, where I just see the one setting I care about for each of my goals (e.g. commitment, safety buffer, or break scheduling). Then I can change them individually without clicking through 16 pages plus 16 tabs. If I can choose which goals show up before getting to that page, that would be even better.

I imagine this would go something like the “create new goal” page flow. When you click “Create New Goal,” you first pick a way to track your progress. Then you are sent to a page where you pick more information about what type of goal you want to make. For the settings, I would want to go to a page where I would pick a setting that I want to change. Then I would get sent to a different page that lists the goals for which that setting can be changed. I would pick the goals that I want to change. Then I would get sent to a page that lists the current setting for each goal and lets me change it.


@lantha I also didn’t mark the apps as a priority, but the mobile notifications aren’t great. I actually just turned all of them off and switched to sms because that way I can configure them in the grid and don’t have to worry about whether my app is up to date with the server.

@dreev I hit ‘difficulty of changing multiple goals at once’ and my use case is mostly a subset of goal tagging - I’d like to be able to update my reminder strategy for an entire category of goals without having to update 20 fields. I was going to say that my use case would be greatly helped if the grid view of reminders was sorted by deadline, but I just realized you can do that already.


yessssssss this. I second @ibwi_unju’s workflow; it’s what makes changing goal due times not terrible. Just don’t make me click through to each goal individually, and I will love you forever!


this probably falls under the ‘improved documentation’ bullet! there’s a whole lot about using beeminder to document, which is why it’s so daunting a task (and also why we just gotta buck up and do it).

anyway, here’s how i explain the road editor in its current glory to myself, in case it helps turn any keys for you (or anyone else reading):

  1. a date-rate segment ( X _ Z ) makes the road have Z slope through X date
  2. a date-value segment ( X Y _ ) jumps the road to Y value on X date
  3. a value-rate segment ( _ Y Z ) makes the road have Z slope until its centerline reaches Y value

a derailment, for example, is usually 1 followed by 2 - it creates a row that preserves the shape of the road you were following until you derailed, then a second row that moves the road position to your current value. and there might be a second 1 if you don’t have no-mercy on, so you get that week off.

so if you’re trying to figure out what the heck to enter, see if you can describe your wishes in terms of the 3 “types” of segment, then translate into XYZ.

and/or email support and we’ll try our hand at it :slight_smile:


Tab refreshing! it bugs me because: i) it’s erratic - sometimes the tabs work fine and sometimes they don’t ii) there’s no way to tell whether the content is loading or just isn’t coming iii) it’s dynamically loading so my brain feels like hitting refresh will put me back on the first tab and not solve my problem. Overall it makes the site feel janky AND makes it harder to gets things done because it puts an annoying roadblock in the way of important functionality.


Speaking of notifications, it would be nice to receive a notification when a datapoint is added.


Then again, IFTTT can handle this… :slight_smile:


Not in the poll: the website is still not mobile friendly despite the re-design


Point-and-click, with bubble “+X daily for Y days (+XY total)” for each segment would be as intuitive as it gets IMO. Make segment ends draggable and numbers in the bubble editable and it would be precise on mobile too.

Changing settings for multiple goals could be more intuitive after there’s goal hierarchy - groups or tags or whatever. It makes more sense to implement multiple goals management after goal hierarchy IMO.

do-less loophole

Hm, in early January I couldn’t find again the one I knew about, so I guess you’re speaking of different one:)


Just curious, what exactly is wrong with restarting goals currently? I’m not exposed to this flow much since I usually extend my goal before it ends, unless it has a natural “no longer relevant after” point, in which case I don’t restart it at all.