I am mixing up what’s deployed versus some not-yet-deployed changes and ideas. There’s an idea that showcasing the daily rate, regardless of the configured time unit, will help alleviate user confusion over how much they have to do each day. There’s a few reasons for this, but one of them is what I was mentioning above.
When we let a new user say their goal is 30 blocks a month, and then show them that their configured rate is 30 blocks a month, and then we check the next morning if they’ve made progress–we aren’t doing nearly enough to explain that Beeminder checks every day. Even when we write the words, even if we send out reminder emails, users still get confused by it, until they internalize it. One of the ways to help users internalize this would be to show their rate back to them as a daily rate–and to help alleviate the confusion of “I said 30 blocks a month, and now you’re saying 1 block a day?” we could go farther with it and show that the rate setting is just a calculator.
I’m just making this UI up right now, but imagine a little gray calculator icon on the right side of a Daily Rate input box, and when you tap or click it, it opens up something that looks like your [ 3 ] [$GOALUNITS] every [ 2 ] [timeunits selector] but with a => [X] [$GOALUNITS] per day, preloaded with the values you set last time, and when you accept the value, it fills in the input box for you. If you want to set a daily rate, you just enter it, and if you want to think about it in a different way, you can use the calculator. YNAB has some things like this, among others.
Now I’m just dreaming, but let’s say we still showcase the daily rate, but next to the daily rate, we show you the “rational rate”. One way to do that would be to show you the values you used in the calculator–since if we saved them to preload them for you the next time you want to use the calculator, we already have them. What if you didn’t use that calculator? Should we guess it? If someone said 0.125 batteries per day, would it be helpful to add “(1 battery every 8 days)” next to their daily rate? Would it make sense to be fuzzy? If someone said 0.49 chocolates per day, would “(~1 chocolate every 2 days)” be sensible?