1. UVIs != features.
I don’t really mind new/changed features as long as there’s somewhere for
me to look to get clarification on how they’ve changed and they’re working
in a predictable fashion. I’ve been having trouble with the last of that
list and when I look to figure out what I’m doing wrong, there isn’t really
anywhere to check other than emailing support.
2. If you point us to specific examples where it’s not doing that that
would be hugely helpful.
Will do. It’s over 40% of the time that I hit the retroratchet button that
I get the “hellz no” response, so I’ll start sending them in more
3. Scheduled Breaks: not enough transparency about how you’ve changed the
yellow brick road
That, and that it has been outright going wonky, especially after a few
changes in a row (yup, waited for the graph to be done refreshing each
time). Trying to take every Saturday off by trying to add a bunch of
Saturdays off in a row resulted in mayhem.
4. Autoratchet (and retroratchet) for Do Less goals
No idea what’s actually happening with these b/c sometimes when I request a
retroratchet with 2 days left it denies me that. Then I ask for a
retroratchet with 1 day of buffer left and it agrees, does it, and the time
now says I have 2 days left. Confused
5. Online info and tooltips
Just a flat page I can command-f or ctrl-f my way through would be great
for the “wth is this?” moments (maybe question marks could link to sections
of that page or something. And then perhaps make any recent changes to that
document (2-3 weeks) in red font so we can see what’s different when we run
for help, too?) And warnings about new features that are visible (like a
red star beside a recently altered or new feature (1-2 weeks for things on
the graph itself and 2-4 weeks when it’s a change you might not be as
likely to see, like one that’s in the settings) with an
information/instruction tool-tip about the changes that we could mouseover
(or, better yet for us tablet junkies, click on) to get more info about how
it’s going to be different now. (Like the retroratchet changes that were
being made. For a while that feature changed almost daily it seemed. It
stopped changing the slope, it starting requiring a larger buffer, it
stopped using units for do-less, etc. All great changes, but it makes what
you’re about to do less predictable if you aren’t keeping up in the threads
and emails and blog posts. (That’s probably why I’m feeling a little lost
now, actually. I rarely have the time to follow those now so I’m lost about
what’s happening when and would like to find that in the interface when I
need it, rather than keep up with all of it as a skill-set/knowledge-set in
its own right. When I went from being obsessed with Beeminder to just
relying on it, my ability to keep up with the changes dropped, I think. (But
make no mistake, no matter how whinny I am this weekend, I rely on
Beeminder so heavily that I feel like I will owe you a full paragraph on
the acknowledgements page of an upcoming project, at the very least. I’m
cranky, not disgruntled. This is still the bee’s knees to me… get it?..
*6. Discuss changes on akranon before implementing *
Actually, I was thinking mostly about after, cause you guys talk about
changes you’re thinking about all the time to get feedback. I think that
getting a bunch of testers to deliberately test the crap out of a feature
and discuss odd results could be helpful once the change has happened.
Maybe you could even get a group of volunteer testers on a mailing list to
deliberately put new features through quirky testing. As soon as you get a
"hmm… what happened here?" email from someone, you could get those of us
on the list (opt-in) who currently have the time to test the crap out of
whatever seemed off? I don’t know. I’m certain this is an area in which
you’ll have way more ideas than me. But whatever leads to more
predictability = best.
*7. Fix things before adding new features => wait on generalized road dial?
As with all this other stuff, and every single thing that comes out of my
mouth (keyboard), this is just my opinion but I think that if you think
this new feature (not really sure what it is as I’m out of the loop a
little) will fix a lot of other broken things, I would still do some kind
of instruction info/page first. After showing a few people Beeminder, I was
surprised at how many questions they had for which answers were collected
from my use, mistakes, and emails to support. I was able to pass some of
that on to them, but they couldn’t find anything for themselves.
Personally, I think being able to answer the “wth does this do?” question
is a huge priority in the way people are talking about interacting with the
site when they’re new. (And I’ve lost an attempted convert to a rival site
who’s name shall remain unmentioned b/c they were able to understand what
to do easily. That made me sad!)
"Or does that indeed sound like a solution to a lot of the problems you’re
I think you’ll probably know that best cause you have a clearer idea of
what that change will cause as upshots. I love control and predictability.
Whatever gives me that will make me happy. Whenever I lose that, I become a
frantic, hysterical, cranky mess!