As explained in a previous post, TimeTune 2.7 marked the beginning of a series of changes that will take the app to a new level in 2020.
This is the next step in that series of changes.
In this change, the ‘Reminders’ functionality will be integrated into the ‘Events’ section. In other words, we’ll use events to do what we did with reminders so far.
The new approach will allow us to achieve the same results, even in a more powerful way.
Apart from that, the app will automatically transform your reminders into events. This way, the transition will be smooth and no work will be required on your part.
But why this change? 🤔
REMOVING DUPLICATE BEHAVIOR
In TimeTune, reminders behaved exactly like events without duration.
This means the difference was only conceptual:
- Reminders represented a single point in time.
- Events represent a chunk of time, but they may represent a single point in time too.
This duplicate behavior increased cognitive load for the user: ‘Should I use a reminder or an event without duration for this? And why?’
By integrating reminders into events, we can simplify things and remove decision fatigue.
REMOVING DUPLICATE CODE
The overlapping behavior came with a high price too. Internally, the app needed to implement two full separate paths for two things that produced the same result.
That meant a lot of duplicate code, with its corresponding maintenance (and a higher chance of bugs).
So this change will not only simplify things externally, but also internally.
Reminders included a switch to enable or disable them, in case you wanted to use them temporarily.
However, many users thought the switch was intended to mark the reminder as ‘Done’, like in a ‘To do’ application. The confusion is understandable.
But TimeTune is not a ‘To do’ application. It behaves more like a calendar, with additional features and a different purpose.
As events don’t have that switch, the problem disappears.
That being said, if you need to disable a repetitive event temporarily, you can do it by setting a limit of zero occurrences for the event (Edit event / Limit / For a number of events / zero).
BUILDING A STRONGER FEATURE
If you remember the article where we analyzed our most and least used features, this is how users make use of reminders and events in TimeTune:
- 11.8% of users create and use reminders regularly.
- 8.2% of users create and use events regularly.
Although we did not measure the intersection between those two groups (i.e. users who use reminders and events regularly), the feedback received so far indicates that people tends to gravitate towards one section or the other (i.e. the intersection appears to be relatively small).
Consequently, merging reminders into events may effectively transform two ‘second-class’ features into a stronger one that could be used by almost 20% of users.
But that’s not all!
Events will become more relevant in the future, when we implement other features we have in mind 😉
ADDRESSING USER REQUESTS
Several users requested the option to add multiple notifications to a reminder. For example, someone would like to be reminded to do a specific thing 10 minutes in advance and at the exact time too.
Those users didn’t realize that this was already possible with events.
Unconsciously, we tend to associate the ‘reminders’ word with tasks and the ‘events’ word with meetings. A user who only thinks in terms of tasks could gravitate towards reminders by default and forget that the events section even existed.
By merging reminders into events, that problem won’t happen anymore. Users will know immediately how to create a single point in time with multiple notifications.
REMEMBERING OUR PURPOSE
Our goal in TimeTune is to help you improve your distribution of time, so you can be more productive.
However, reminders per se didn’t really contribute to that goal. As they represented an isolated point in time, they didn’t provide any information about how the time was spent.
Events, on the other hand, paint a precise picture of what we’ve been doing during a specific chunk of time. This will play an important role in the app in future releases (mainly related to statistics).
But as events can represent a single point in time as well, we’re good. We don’t lose that functionality and we can concentrate only on events.
SIMPLIFYING THE INTERFACE
This change will allow us to simplify the user interface and migrate to a new navigation model in upcoming versions:
But that’s a story for another day… 🤗
WHEN WILL THIS CHANGE HAPPEN?
Our intention is to push the change for everyone during January 2020.
So stay tuned for changes very soon! 📢