Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Habits question

I've got an interesting question/problem, answer to which would affect how the app will be implemented in one of its part. It's about recurring actions and goals.

The great idea is to add a motivational  feedback to the Goal page. The one that would show you how many actions you have already completed in addition to the total actions count shown there already.

When there are non-recurring actions - no problem, we just count the number of done vs. total and show. But, what should we do when a recurring action is done today, but not the next time its occurrence must appear?

There are two solutions:
1. the simplest - ignore the recurrence, count all actions as simple, non-recurring
2. take recurrence into account. This is not so straightforward to implement.

One might think that the right way would be to go with the second solution. But! There's one nuance - suppose there's an everyday action. The action is done yesterday, but not today. How should the indicator behave? Show 100% for yesterday, but 75% for today (numbers are just for example) ? Isn't this behavior confusing?

Upd.: Another similar issue: when you click a goal as 'reached', all its actions should be set as done. But what should we do with recurring actions? Stop recurrence, delete recurrence?

Any advice?


  1. So in this dissertation a recurrence acts as a notification, a carrot on a stick,a track 2follw,a distraction with formible consequences. Perceptions change intentions don't when they are principle driven.The cup appears to one monk to hold water, whilst another soup, or another to hold change in. Profit comes from what is there, usefulness from what is not. My opinion is just to allow a motivational saying to be background written, as a light house, and our action reflectant to that principle, the ship. Every ship finds it's port.

    1. Hi QuiChiYang, sorry, I didn't understand what you wrote. I guess you used some auto-translating service?

  2. Hello Andtek,

    I see that this is an older post, but still appears to be an issue in the app. Here is my suggestion.

    The thing about reoccurring tasks is that "success" is measured in a different way, especially for goals with no clear point of completion. For example, if one of my goals was to "build a boat", my actions might be "find a blueprint, collect wood etc", and completion of each action brings me a step closer to completion. Here, your "percentage completed" concept makes sense.

    However, if instead my goal was to "stay in shape", and an action was to "work out everyday", then there is no clear point where this goal is completed. Success, in this case, is whether or not I have kept up my routine.

    So, one idea would be to compare the number of days the action was completed vs the number of days it was missed, as a percentage. This could even be reset on a weekly basis, to keep users from being discouraged if the percentage gets too low.

    For example, if I work out 4 out of 7 days, my indicator would read 57%.

    Hope that helps,


    1. Hi again Delyle :)

      This is a great feedback, interesting proposal to go on with. The only thing is - with this approach most of the time users will have less actions done than "planned" which might look a bit demotivating. But, still, is a good idea to start with, thank you!

  3. I like the thought of option 2, take the reoccurence into account, but I do understand that is the more difficult choice.

    Perhaps a option/setting to view ALL completed tasks, or just ones completed "today" or "this week" possibly logged by completion time rather than by due date?

    Also, under goals, I think I'd vote for stop the recurrence and mark the latest one as complete.