UI: Bare minimum traffic light

Continuing the discussion from UI: Should the numbers in the Bare Min box of odometer goals be absolute rather than relative?:

Liking the new traffic light style bare minimum indicator. :vertical_traffic_light:

It might be nice to show the current and required road values under the circles with just the bare minimum value in between.
Here’s a quick mockup:

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i’m also getting this now :slight_smile:

what are you guys doing? :slight_smile:

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OK, so the “traffic lights” show up on “do more” and the “delta” shows on my “do less”

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Small report: On do-less goals, “The hard cap you can do today before hitting the red” is showing up in red instead of orange for times when the datapoint is orange.

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I think that’s correct: it’s the distance-to-red, so is in in red regardless of what lane you’re in.

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It seems a bit strange to see the value of the road displayed in parenthesis when the number is actually positive.

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Also, IMHO the traffic light doesn’t properly display the “this goal needs no more work to succeed” case because it shows a “bare min” which is misleading.

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green -> green is an interesting case.

The options I can think of right now are:

  1. Show green -> +dayrate -> green as the Bare Min (like now)
  2. Show green -> +dayrate -> green but label it as something else. (“Coasting value”, “Consistency Rate”, “Suggested Amount”, “RDA”, Something better.)
  3. Show green -> 0 -> green as the Bare minimum

I like option 2, which shows the bare minimum to stay the same distance from the road. I like to keep my safety buffers[1] from decreasing.

Anyone else have other options / alternate label suggestions?

[1] When I have them.

But what colour will it be when it’s over, then? How will they be distinguished visually?

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I agree with chipmangaged here, “Do less” roads still have lanes so the delta should be coloured according to the lane you are currently in.

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Well, my particular goal is even trickier because the road is flat. So none of the options you listed in #2 apply. Although maybe a better question is why it shows “Bare min +20.4” when the road is flat forever.

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@mary orange is the new red! (-:


@insti it’s not the lane you’re in, it’s the commensurate danger of derailment


If we can think of do more lane colours as usefully canonical, then the red of an eep! day is a signal that you need to actively do something today in order to stay on track. Analogously for a do less goal, when I’m in the wrong lane (orange) I need to actively not do (too much of) something today in order to stay on track. I find the lane colours misleading for do less goals, because by the time it’s gone red, it’s too late.


@mary the answer to your actual question turns out to be ‘nothing useful’
I just added a false datapoint to one of my do less goals to make it red, and it unhelpfully looks not much different to if I were 0.3 units into the orange: Δ -0.3

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When I have too many emails in my inbox I can still process them and get below my do-less limit.
Do less is not always about doing less.

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Right, and even beyond aggday Beeminder doesn’t have the information about whether negative data points are valid for a particular goal. So there’s no way to know whether a goal is recoverable or not.

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Tricky - that’s inbox-fewer, rather than do-less.
Plus the difficulty of monotonic and non-monotonic data. And as @drtall says, whether negative datapoints are kosher.
Traditional do-less goals would require you to un-eat a doughnut or something equally infeasible in order to get back on the road. So by the time you’re in the wrong lane, it’s too late to do anything about it.

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I would maintain they are both do less, but one of them has aggday min and the other is aggday sum. Simply asking whether yaw is 1 or -1 is not enough to tell you whether new data points can rescue you from a derail.

When you say “traditional do less” I think you mean “drinker” per the table in the API?

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yes, ‘drinker’ is the old ‘do less’, in the sense of ‘set a limit’.

And yes, it may not be possible to deduce from the goal’s settings whether it’s possible to claw your way back onto the road. When it you can actively get yourself back onto the road, then the ‘do more’ colouring makes sense to me.

I probably spend too much time worrying about the types of goal that you can’t actively do anything to get yourself back on the road. It may even be best not to create that kind of goal in the first place.

(gosh, this is an active thread; a clear sign that it’s worth getting these things right(er). violent agreement abounds.)

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The colour becomes uninformative then, though. Time of day goals with kyoom turned off, as an example. Especially if you’re tightening that road and need to be earlier and earlier from one day to the next (sleep early, work early, whatever). It’s likely always to be red, then, whether you’re over or not, so the colour provides no information whatsoever and you’re squinting on your iPhone to see if there’s a minus or not.

That leaves out some other cases too, I’m sure. I know some are tracking net calories, for example, where someone could workout to eek back under. There should really be some way to differentiate, at a glance, the situation where you’re over vs when you’re not.

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(Sorry my replies have been out of step with the timing of the full thread. Was answering on email and replying to one post at a time, so was behind and answering things people had already touched on before me.)

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Question: how do I find out by how many units I’m over my minimum? I occasionally use the amount by which I’m over my work goal to squirrel away time off by subtracting time from the work goal and adding it to the time off goal (with comments for QS purposes). It doesn’t seem like there’s anywhere to see how much I’m above the red anymore, though. (Used to be available via mouseover.)

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