@apb has put together a dashboard view of your goals.
It’s brand new, and likely to be full of things that need changing.
It’s not linked from anywhere on the main site yet, but you can see a preview if you’re logged in and go to: https://www.beeminder.com/dashboard
Add your thoughts below.
Request: Don’t show goals with a goal date in the past. (I have a few backburnered goals that are now at the top of the list.)
Looks very nice, but to my mind this seems like an ‘advanced’ user feature rather than something for newbies.
The current compromise is the title is shown as hovertext. The way we do slugs vs titles is suboptimal but for now we really need to treat the slug as the canonical goal identifier. It’s complicated.
One thing I’m missing in this dashboard is a way to enter datapoint comments. We could solve this for power users by just accepting the full datapoint format in that text box (newbees would be none the wiser) but I feel like newbees should be encouraged to add comments too.
As for timestamp of last entry, maybe just a checkmark if data was entered today, like the goal gallery has.
I like, but (as partially daniel is already saying above):
- I enter a comment for at least half of my manual goals
- Checkmark for goals already entered today
- Long slugs get elided, but still needs two lines, sortof messing up the looks, at least in my browser
- The “needs 0.3 by Sun somthing something” seems to take a lot of room
I feel like color coding by number of safe days remaining would be a lot easier to understand. Take a look at my dashboard:
I don’t think a newbie would ever infer how the color scheme works without referring to the hidden graphs.
This is so funny, because this was a feature I was planning to suggest, based on how useful I found the Android widget.
A few observations
Definitely agree on the tick marks for goals with at least one data entry for today already.
Agree with wanting to be able to sort by deadline as well as date of most recent data. Specifically, I want goals that haven’t been updated for a while to be at the top while goals that have just had data entered at the bottom.
I personally don’t see the need to see the last entry, let alone the timestamp. Perhaps @apolyton can elaborate on his reasoning?
I’m much more interested in there being a text box for comments next to (or below to conserve horizontal width) the current box for data.
Show the exact number of safe days next to the slug/pledge. As I have previously mentioned, I tend to have a lot of green goals, but I would really like to know at a glance if a particular green goal derails in 7 days, 11 days, 27 days, or 63 days. Also, while I also like the actual date of derailment listed as it currently is, often I don’t know off the top of my head what the day is, and for more distant dates, I certainly don’t know the date, so say, if a goal of mine derails Mar 5, I don’t want to have to first think about what the date is, how many days are in February, and then do date math in my head.
I agreed with @strickvl at first; after all, I don’t think newbees would (or should) have many goals that they would need it in this kind of vertical list form. However, after thinking a little more about it, it hit me. This new style may help a LOT, especially if my suggestion #5 is implemented. The graph is more interesting for QS-type people, but if Beeminder is to grow, it needs to appeal to non-QS people who may not care at all about data visualization and the current focus on the graph (with the bar above it containing the derailment info seeming like a border) probably contributes to these folks’ confusion about the fundamental value proposition of Beeminder.
Speaking of newbees, for users with only one goal (or zero!), will there be a sort of placeholder goal at the bottom of this list that visually indicates to new users that this list is meant to grow. Otherwise, I see new users being even more confused by having one more page to look at their data. Perhaps this new page should only be activated once a user has two goals, so as to not overwhelm the newbee as well as to introduce this new tool right when it’s actually relevant (users may forget that this is even possible).
@drtall apolyton and my list is sorted by due date…are some of your goals archived/inactive or in a custom order?
Oh, and @dreev, when you talk about the possibility of “quitting” Beeminder, you should be careful that you’re not accidentally triggering the Chris Carter Effect. I know you shared the basic profitability stats before, so I’m personally not worried about Beeminder’s continued existence, but you certainly don’t want to risk scaring some users into migrating to another platform.
Edit: I just realized I completely forgot to answer the question about beemindable growth metrics. Here are some possible metrics to track / suggestions for things you can do.
Watch a person new to Beeminder use the site to look for areas where new users tend to get confused.
Write up new documentation. For this and #3, a lot of the material is already pretty much written and ready to go, but is buried in the blog and this forum.
Highlight case studies on the front page (instead of a small link to testimonials, which are a wall of text and about Beeminder in general instead of a specific use case). There is also a link to an “Overview” which has some of this stuff, but I think the problem is that the Overview page is too long/detailed while the front page is not detailed enough. Thus, users arriving at the homepage without any prior knowledge of what Beeminder is are liable to be really confused about the concept and the value of Beeminder. I think you should emphasize how Beeminder manages to enforce consistency but not at the expense of flexibility, which I see as the primary way Beeminder is different from the competition. This can lead to a discussion of the akrasia horizon for adjusting rates; the multiple ways Beeminder allows you to add data (autodata, on the website, email); how responsive the support staff is to any problems, including errors that cause an unwarranted derailment; even some sneak peek of advanced features like retroratchet (also an opportunity to advise users to start off with a easy/gentle rate, so they don’t make a too ambitious commitment and actually derail in the first few days) and auto-sum. As it stands now, I think the overview and the intro video don’t present topics in the optimal order nor with the optimal emphasis on the basic concept versus mere logistics.
Re your 7):
I think a goal list would be very good alternative to “front” page - especially if the list (however long or short) includes the ability to extend it by adding more goals - aka there is a last row that is the Add new goal button.
Oh, yes, my list is also sorted by due date but the colors don’t have much to do with the due date.
If you never derail or adjust your goal slope, the colors do follow a pattern related to the due date. But if you adjust the goal slope for whatever reason, all bets are off. Red always means derail in less than 24 hours, but none of the other colors mean anything except “not red”.
Yeah, that might be a better solution than my original suggestion to wait. Especially if my hypothesis in #6 is correct.
I can’t work out what the sort order is. I would expect it to be goal deadline time, but it might be value required, which makes no sense since all my goals have different units. Whatever it is it’s putting my goals in a slightly ‘wrong’ order.
I think this is just a bug, then. I have a whole bunch of different types of goals (do more, do less, etc) with different units and they sort correctly.
The only possibility I can think of is if you have custom settings for reminders?
On the topic of frontpage - I find that when I go to beeminder.com and is logged in, I want my front page, not the static Beeminder front page.
More on the dashboard - I like them being dynamic. E.g. if I click on the slug for one goal, it can expand (push rest of the list downwards) to show graph and other more advanced info (last data inputs, etc). This could also alleviate the need to put too much stuff into the main line if that is a concern (personally I’m more into “rich” entries in such dashboards, but then I’m probably atypical since I tend to program similar systems myself …).
You totally did! Is this everything you were asking for?
Thank you everyone for all the feedback. I pushed some changes today that address a lot of it:
- You can enter a comment in the data entry box (but feel free to try and break it)
- You can sort by slug, pledge, deadline, and recently entered data. Again - there are likely edge cases around the deadline and recent data sorting, so please continue to post bugs here!
- The ellipses issue and line wrapping should now be fixed
- You can toggle between the “+3 by Thursday at 3pm” deadline format and the “+3 in 17 days” format by clicking on the text
Still to do:
- Graphs? Maybe expand the row to show them?
- Checkmarks? Not totally convinced this will be less confusing than useful, and maybe it’s obviated by the sort button.
- Placeholder goal at the bottom? Or at least the button there I think would make sense.
- Make this or the gallery or some beautiful love child of the two the front page of Beeminder instead of the static one if you’re signed in.
This looks nice, indeed, and is an interesting addition.
The one thing which is lacking, in my opinion, is an option to preserve the sorting order of the gallery. In my gallery, I have of the goals “pinned” to the top (through sorting threshold) - those are mostly “do less” goals, where the “days left” make little sense (if I can eat the buffer in one day), but which I should be constantly aware of. Then I have several dozens of “normal” goals, sorted as expected. Then go the backburner goals, which contain repetition of the data from some other goals, so it is not important to keep an eye on them and days left to deadline. Now that everything is mixed in the dashboard, it is a pain to try and find, which goal I am actually going to update.
Apart from that, I really like the idea to have a place where the data can be added quickly - and where the goal proceeds down the list immediately as the necessary data is added. The possibility to fetch the third-party data with one click is especially nice.
And special thanks for the possibility to toggle the date formats!
Very nice and effective view of the goals.
I have only 5 goals, 2 of them are exercising more (Duolingo and Misfit steps), the view is OK, I know what I Have to do.
I have two goals, which are to limit how much I can spend on some items, you board tells me the maximum I’m allowed to spend and permits me to enter a new expense, PERFECT !
But the last view is very strange, the goal is loosing weight, and the board tells me to gain weight (+0.67) in 61 days, I don’t know what it means. I think for loosing weight, I must have a limit (like for the money) and something about the number of days before weighting.
The colored labels are nice, but you could indicate in those labels the percentage of goal committed with two nuances of same color (darker for committed and lighter for to come). Maybe it is difficult to define for some kind of goals, like spending less money.
Woah TIL! This is perfect for my beelint goal, thanks!