New Design: Making BM's UI awesome for both new/casual and seasoned/nerdy users

Browsing through the Discourse FAQ (I just got a new badge and wondered what that was all about, so I went looking), I encountered this piece of design philosophy:

In particular, “gently land them on the deeper UI as they get more experienced.” That is: give seasoned/nerdy users that deeper UI, with all the bells and whistles and tricks and stuff you can do. Such as:

  • Being able to specify any of the three parameters (goal date, total, rate) on the goal creation screen, not just the rate. (This is useful for goals such as “write 100k words by November 30.” And really hard to set up right if you have to guesstimate a rate to create it, then go in and fiddle with a goal whose first seven days are set in stone now at whatever rate you guesstimated.)
  • Switching out the graph legend to display the goal’s fine print on the Statistics tab. (Though I’d argue that this should be the setup for everyone; I put it here mainly so I can plead for it again.)
  • tons more, as described in many other recent threads on the design.

My sense is that the revamp has focused on the “hide advanced functionality from brand-new users” at the expense of “give advanced users the UI elements they want and need.” So part of the pushback is about losing actual UI functionality, not just having to adjust to a new design.

I know this means more to maintain, but Beeminder’s already maintaining multiple UIs, for the different plans users are on. (On Bee Plus? Now you get a road editor added to your goal page.) I’m suggesting you extend this approach to the new-vs-advanced axis.


This is a great point, and you’re correct that it was a major goal of the redesign. We just didn’t pull it off as well as Discourse. But we’ll get there! Thank you for continuing to beat what is definitely not a dead :horse_racing:

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Thanks, Andy!

Let me also reiterate that I think the new design is really lovely. That may be getting lost among the forest of suggestions for improvement. I’m far more content than discontent with the revamp, and I doubt I’m the only one.



See also: New goal road dial

That post is from the old UI. The new UI does add “yearly” on the “per X” dropdown menu, but all the other problems (rate can’t be 0, safety days can’t exceed 30) still exist.

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Definitely agree that there’s room for the full dial for non-newbees!

But I think the cap on safety days is intentional and makes sense - what’s the use case where you’d want more than 30 days? That seems like it’s beyond the horizon of even wanting to put yourself on the hook for something, but that might be just me.

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At risk of being too snarky, shouldn’t the burden of proof be on Beeminder to show that there are no such use cases? After all, Beeminder is the one putting the restriction in place.

To answer the question, though, whenever I make a goal with a rate that’s less frequent than 1 month, I run into this problem. If I just did the task today, and I want to do it again in (say) 45 days, it is annoying that I have to enter the safety days as 0 and then add a data point. But even then these aren’t equivalent because the new goal screen doesn’t allow you to create a goal that’s immediately eep!ing. It will let you enter “0” safety days but then it doesn’t honor it (you get a goal with 1 safety day anyway). So the workaround is to enter a data point and then retroratchet to (e.g.) 45 days.

Currently 5/28 (17%) of my goals have a rate less frequent than 1/month and so creating each of them hit this problem in some fashion.


Nope, not too snarky - I’m just trying to understand why it is you want this and whether it’s actually in conflict with the reason we put the restriction on there. We were thinking that saying “I want to start doing this thing, but really far in the future” goes agains the whole raison d’être of Beeminder, since having a massive safety buffer would mean you could essentially unhook yourself at any point during the next N - 7 days.

But the low-frequency goal is different, so we should definitely have some way to accommodate that too. Possibly (probably?) by just removing the restriction and figuring people won’t abuse it.

Thanks for clarifying!