New Clear changes

Hi,

I am in shock at what has happened this year to my favourite app that I have been using for 10 years.There are a lot of important things that need to be improved here, but of the most important ones, these are also important to me:

  1. The reminders (date and time) should be moved back to their old place on the bottom left. They were more legible and it was clear which list they belonged to. Now they are too small, they are not visible and they are hidden on the right-hand side.

  2. Adding a reminder should be in the old place. Now you have to drag your finger all over the screen, which isn’t very comfortable. And it’s mixed up with deselecting the completed list, which isn’t very practical.

  3. When I have an urgent task to do, I set a reminder: time and hour. When the time comes, the icon on the home screen does not show the numbered badge. (I wrote about this).

  4. In the new version, there is a strange sound set for the notification. - It may not be important, but I’ve got used to the old sound, so I don’t know why they changed it. Nowhere do I see an option to change this sound.

I am surprised that we have a new version of the app that looks like a beta version. What I wrote will be fixed? How long do we have to wait for the changes, is it days, weeks or months?

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I think 3 and 4 will be addressed relatively quickly. I was just chatting with Josh about trying a couple different directions for the reminder chime today.

1 and 2, while I’m not dismissing your issues, they are more complicated in that they do have their positive tradeoffs:

  1. Top right ‘tag’ positioning does not require more line height and can be easier to scan down along the right without your item text also justified and competing for your eye there. I feel like this is what I would do on a simple pen and paper list too.

  2. The old ‘add reminder’ text whenever you add something (which most of the time for most people, is not a reminder), always felt like it violated the ‘no screen clutter’ side of Clear. This was problematic enough where Reminders themselves had to be turned into a setting in 1.x, so people could disable them to remove this. So the goal with the change here was “there when you need it, but not pestering when you don’t”.

So on those two, I’m interested in improving or fixing their issues as we can, but also not ready to throw the towel in simply winding them back either and dropping their positive tradeoffs.

And finally I will say, the current reminders solution I consider one of the clunkiest pieces of Clear’s current design/interactions, so it’s fair if you feel it is alpha/beta quality if your Clear experience leans of them a lot. Towards the end of beta we had actually been planning to ship without reminders at ALL until we could find a better solution… but got this in relatively last minute so the functionality would be there. (And I’m glad we did… but yeah it shows.)

That said I do hope to find a way to make it more elegant in the future.

One idea I am considering is allowing you to swipe right while editing an item, to trigger reminder scheduling as well. So there it wouldn’t conflict with checking off.

I’m surprised to hear so much talk about the reminders setup being bad, or clunky, or in need of tinkering. I think it’s awesome as-is. The colors and icon could match better, but functionally it’s fantastic. Certainly way better than 1.0. People just need to try and get used to things.

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I agree with @r1y3! Not with OP!

EDIT: I made my post clear.

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I don’t agree with any of this.

The reminders are way better than before, could be improved yes, but back to old version definitely no.

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I do consider the current 2.x reminders take kind of clunky, for Clear’s standards, but a little more on a surface level. But yeah the 1.x take was also objectively clunky against Clear’s principles which cuts deeper.

I dunno, one thing I’ve learned is that there are a lot of people who kind of take their overall experience with and perception of Clear’s ‘close to perfect’ design (very flattering btw!), and kind of apply it to every piece of it, and are fiercely protective of how everything was. Like their internal model is, we perfectly solved everything the first time around in a timeless way, and therefore any different solution or change is highly questionable and unnecessary.

And then there is probably even a flip side of that, some of you may love the new design so much you kind of overlook some of its flaws :slight_smile:

But yeah for some perspective, Clear 1.0 and 1.x were uneven too with more compromised designs and areas like this. And 2.0 will be refined as we go in a similar way.

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Uh

I also do not agree with OP, I’m pretty happy with the current design of reminders FWIW. It is pretty sleek and works great, no need to ruin it just go go back to the old version.

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I like the new reminders, too. I wish there was a way to input the time instead of scrolling though. That, or quick options to add (fixed) minutes or hours from the current time, like, +15 m, +1 h, etc.

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Not philosophically opposed to a calendar view (option?), but we need to clear our heads and look at that ‘pane’ again, and what else we may want to put there over time without overstuffing it!

This swipe to schedule / popup pane actually replaced an earlier experiment that triggered via natural language. Maybe that will return in the future and coexist. You could type like ‘in 15m’ and it used to let you schedule that in beta. Language parsing wasn’t robust enough to commit for shipping but maybe in the future.

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It’s sad that you don’t give people a choice. There should be such an option to choose in the app, whoever wants has the settings from old clear or from claer 2 and everyone would be happy. If you care about money, you can even add individual settings in the shop…

I have two suggestions:

  1. If you are not convinced about certain settings for changes in the application, etc., you should create surveys and pin them to this page, for example in the form of bar charts.

  2. If you care about your users, you should create a roadmap template. Answering soon, sometime in the future is not the answer for me, and I think for most people.

I don’t want to use the beta version, i’m leaving. Maybe one day i’ll come back. Good luck.

I feel that these are all reasonable suggestions for like, 99% of apps out there. But I do feel some of what you really love about Clear (its custom UI and principles there) makes these usual things extra difficult or less aligned. For example:

  1. Surveys could be a good way to poll for general interest on things to add, and I have been kind of doing an informal one with the design requests thread and occasional polls on twitter. But also… to be frank Clear 1.x and Clear 2.x are very opinionated designs. It’s not data driven, it’s not focus groups or committees, or checking off features to match the competition. It’s very driven by gut feel and some core conceptual pillars it adheres to. This is why it has a striking personality vs. most other apps.

  2. I agree some kind of a community roadmap would be great. Thing is we have to do a lot more R&D on every new feature and how it fits into Clear’s custom design (because Clear’s UX is not a common design pattern that can be copied/referenced directly from other apps). So I have found it is extra difficult to offer concrete timelines or early promises of features to be delivered, as experimentation does not tend to run on schedule.

Clear is kind of an intricately interlocking puzzle, and it means we need to be extra careful about what we add and how, because there isn’t that much room to maneuver through the future. (It’s kind of like we’re designing a custom home that fits within the nature and shape of your land etc. vs. more pre-fabricated designs.) That’s why the best I can do is offer some concrete idea of what we can deliver soon, and much vaguer ideas and timeframes on what’s following.

If you don’t have the patience for this, then it probably is best to leave for now and occasionally check by if you’re still missing it or curious on progress while we keep at it. Get a bit of a Timelapse perspective with less frustration waiting for each update.

Meanwhile there will be a lot more updates and progress over this year than the past 5+. And with Clear we will always be shooting for that specific kind of charm probably won you over in the first place – ‘Well this has some things I’m not sure of but, I’m kind of swooning for the all the things it gets right.’

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My only one remaining irk with the reminders, is how far you need to drag to add one. Make it 80% of what it is now, and I’ll love it.

Now I’m used to it I like how it is, except for the drag distance feeling a tad too long and uncomfortable.

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Yeah I’ve been thinking about this… wondering lately if it might make (more?) sense while editing an item. And then there it doesn’t have to compete with the checkmark, or at least doesn’t have to be pushed off screen more to avoid the ‘catching your eye when you don’t need it’ side. (And arguably fits within this modal editing context.)

Maybe add it while editing too, but I often put it on items that were created well before adding reminders, so that would put it an extra tap and swipe away. Less hassle the way it is now, just a little ergonomically tricky.

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Agree, it’s more annoying to have to go into the item to edit, than to swipe across as it is now.

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My problems with reminders is I somehow keep accidentally adding them to items I’m trying to un-check off, and then once a reminder is attached I can’t figure out how to remove it. It’s not at all obvious or intuitive for me how to manage or delete reminders.

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To remove reminders, do the same gesture to activate it, then hit clear.

Yeah I’m seriously considering moving this to swipe while editing an item to avoid this overlapping issue. Just want to really sleep on it before we move it yet again :upside_down_face:

FWIW, I personally really like everything with the reminders gesture.

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Yeah I think it’s fine as is, you have to swipe very far for them to trigger. Never had an accidental one ever.

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