Show what habits must be done today

#1

I’ve been using Habitify for a week or so and there’s one short-coming that’s really bothering me. When looking at the list of habits for a day, you can’t tell which habits you need to do today to meet your goals and keep your streaks going and which habits you could wait because you have time left in the week to complete them.

I’ve created a mockup with an elegant solution. Now, I don’t pretend to be the world’s best UI / UX designer, but I think this mockup is very much in keeping with the current app and clearly conveys better information. Given that I spent longer on it than I should have, I hope that you’ll at least carefully consider it and share with the developers or team. I also have some comments about how I envision the app working with this screen. Finally, there are alternative ways to implement what I’m requesting, and I’ll mention at a few at the end.

Here’s the mockup:

Show what habits must be done today!

I’ve used a yellow star to show at a glance what habits need to completed today. Other habits, for which there is time left in the week, should not get a star.

Suggestion: Show stars once there’s no longer days which can be skipped for the habit. For example, if a habit should be done 3 days per week, then don’t show the star on the first 4 days of the week. Once there are 3 days left, and the habit has been done 0 times, show the star the last 3 days of the week. If the habit has been done once, then don’t show the star until the last 2 days of the week. The star means a habit must be done today or the streak will be broken.

Move the streak to the side

By showing the streaks on the side, we make it easy to glance down the list and see what habits we’ve done the longest. If it becomes important to protect a streak and let others be broken, it’s easy to see what streaks we’ve got going that are most important to us. This also frees up space under the habit. (I’ve added other ideas at the end of my post about the benefits of placing streaks on the side.)

Show habit schedule

I’ve included the habit schedule under the habit. I feel that it’s important to see these details when I’m looking at the habit. It lets me see which habits I’m suppose to do every day. It reminds me that certain habits are getting done every X days. (Example: Water plants every 3 days. The schedule is as important as the habit because doing it too much or too little kills the plant.) And most importantly, showing the weekly goal and progress helps me decide when I need to buckle down and do the habit and when I can wait. If I only need to do a habit once per week and I want to do it later because I don’t have much time left today, that’s very different than a 4 day per week habit where putting it off a couple days means I’ll have to do the habit on the weekend when I really want to be done by then.

Tweak Badge Icon

I have one other important suggestion. Currently, the badge notification number seems to be the total number of habits in a week. So if I have one habit everyday and 6 habits that are once per week, then when the week starts, the badge notification shows 7 habits. But if I do every habit the first day, then the rest of the week will only show 1 habit–the daily habit. I haven’t paced myself very well. Furthermore, that large number of 7 for the badge makes the week start out with a larger number than is really necessary, which also seems kind of discouraging.

I have a simple solution. The badge icon should only be the habits that must be done today. In other words, in my mockup, the number of yellow stars should be the same number that’s shown in the badge. So, instead of showing 6 in the badge (because there are 6 habits in my mockup) show the number 5, because that’s the number of habits that must be done today. I can see how some users might want this behavior and other might not, so making it an option under settings could be the best approach.

Here’s why this is so important to me. I want to make my goal each day to mark off all necessary habits to get rid of the badge number by the end of each day. In other words, work down to zero each day. But if I have weekly habits, they always show up at the beginning of the week in the badge number. This means that if I don’t do them every day at the beginning of the week, the badge count will never get to zero for the day. This frustrates me.

Alternative Ideas:

There are a lot of variations you could take on my idea above. For example, you could have the streak and the schedule switch places. Streak stays in the same place it is now, the schedule gets shown in the right column. You could even use little icons or graphs to communicate the information. It would take some work to get the iconography right.

Another example is you could just show the stars for those habits that have to be done today. Leave streak below the habit name (like it is now) and not include the schedule. Obviously, I like my mockup better, but just showing the stars is an option that would help.

For weekly habits, why not have the streak in weeks? 1 week streak, 3 week streak, etc? It doesn’t make sense to me to count by days when 1) you’re not doing a habit every day and 2) you’re measuring success or failure based on the number of times a habit is done in a week…

When it comes to the streaks, I suggest a nice little animation when the habit is checked off. The streak lightning bolt could animate to briefly become yellow and then fade back to gray, like so:

[I had an image here but as a new user, could only upload one image. Lame! :wink: ]

You could also include icons where the streak is shown in my mockup for different types of ‘awards’ for a streak. Silver medal at 10 days, gold at 100. Trophy at a year. You could put the icon behind the words that say ’10 day streak.’ You could also show the longest streak below the current streak.

Anyway, for the most part, I’m enjoying the app. I just find the lack of information about which habits I must do today vs which I can space out over the week, to be very frustrating. If you could address this, I would be delighted.

Cheers.

2 Likes
#2

This is a great idea, and it’s something the app Streaks does. (If a habit must be completed that day to maintain a streak, a small dot appears on the habit.) I know the developers want to avoid clutter, but I’m sure something like this could be integrated subtly.

#3

I want to add an agreement to this request. I have looked at many habit-forming apps and while there are some that allow me to see the difference between daily, weekly, or other interval habits, they don’t have the nice flow of Habitify.

While the above ideas are good, I would also like to suggest a way to segment the list. Either with a line (segment) or with nested or grouped habits. It doesn’t have to be automatic. It can be done by user so those who don’t need the differentiation can keep a cleaner interface.

Let me end with my own user story. I have added all the things that I want to become habits into the app. About half are daily habits, others are habits to do a few times a week, then only a couple are once or twice a month. As I go to the app each day, I see this long list and as I start ticking through them things are fine and I’m feeling good about what I’m doing.

However, at the end of the day I still see a list of things that I haven’t done. While some of them or perhaps all of them don’t need to be done that day, there is a cognitive burden to think through each. While it isn’t a problem, it isn’t simple, it isn’t easily. Now, I’m not feeling good about what I’m doing and I’m wondering if there is another way I can do this that won’t require as much effort.

Thank you for listening. I’m down for subscribing if my user experience is easier and I don’t feel like I need to find another solution to not do so much work as I review what habits are left to complete that day.

Brett