Suggestions for improving the Shop

I’ve worked on F2P games in the past, and I’d like to share some recommendations that could make the Shop more efficient in the new Clear.

  1. Reduce the number of products in the Shop, but update it more often.
  2. Make the Shop icon colored after the Shop is updated until the user enters it.
  3. If possible, in line with the Shop icon, write Free!, if a free product has not yet been received or New!, if the user has not yet entered the Shop after the Shop has been updated.
  4. Instead of thematic selections, create sets of very different products so that customers with different tastes can find something they like.
  5. Use different prices for products - this is important to people, it gives the products more value, it will support you more if a person can afford it. It is important to have products with different prices in the set.
  6. Add no more than one free product to the set - this is enough for those interested in coming to the Shop after each update for free stuff.
  7. Add to Rewards the option to unlock them for in-app purchases. The more complex the reward, the more expensive it is to unlock.

Cosmetic edits:

  • Place the price at the same level as the product name.
  • Display the price in the same font size as the product name.

Thank you for your ideas and feedback here, they ring pretty true to me with less experience designing free to play but having enjoyed my share of them as a gamer.

I did find in design passes that any new concept/wrinkle added to the shop tended to be quite noticeable (in the context of Clear’s minimalism + the eccentric cosmetics model in a productivity app side), but some of these sound like the right kind of wrinkles to consider. Especially those that simply make the shopping experience nicer and more fun/satisfying for those into it.

Gonna clear my head post launch and we will start thinking about Store 1.1. It feels like we are in a good place in that there’s proof of concept and some legs it’s proving out of the gate, and we can improve it from there.

Also, greatly appreciate the support from you all that have picked up things so far… I actually think we are going to pull this off and prove kind of a new way of business in this space, that really suits Clear’s principles and our indie values.


I want to say upfront that I think the current version of Clear strikes a good balance and my criticism here is of some of these suggestions, some of which I feel would push things too far.

Maybe twice a day would be ok, but anything more than that and you start getting into the area of having things only available when some people are asleep and that’s a good sign that a design is pushing too far. Some people will feel compelled to check the shop every single time it refreshes, and the developer has a responsibility to make sure that isn’t going to create an unhealthy habit. Again, I don’t think changing it from every 24 hours to 12 would be an issue, but something like every 6 is too far.

I’m sure this is great from the business’s view, but adding badges or similar to the shop at the very top level would simply be annoying and frankly, tacky. A good business shouldn’t need to lean on people’s need to “clear a notification” to make them look at what is being sold.

Agreed here, the 3 free fonts today were nice, but I wouldn’t feel like I’m missing anything by only have one each day. If multiple fonts really only go with one “set”, have one font shown each time the set appears to cycle through them.

Again, I’m sure this kind of thing is great for the business, but it’s the kind of thing that would make me uninstall an app. Making all the rewards p2w would just feel very unpleasant.

Agreed with both, the current font size is pretty small.

TL;DR: Just because a change will make more money doesn’t mean it’s the best option.


Oh yeah. If anyone is worried we’ll go into the dark patterns death spiral… I believe we are pretty set up to resist this.

Basically the super interesting and precious thing to us (or why we tried this weird pivot in the first place), is that as far as I know, we are the only todo app now may have a viable recurring revenue model via cosmetics.

This takes us out of the Red Queen's race - Wikipedia that most other apps and todo/productivity competition are stuck in. They are all frantically competing against themselves with the same models – subscriptions, ads, investor money that is now evaporating away, etc, and often desperately just milking their customers and making the experience more miserable.

But… we’re now in our eccentric potentially self sustaining bubble sealed off from that as I hoped we might achieve.

I think we can keep things cozy and explore our more virtuous feedback loop of like, making shopping fun for those of you who enjoy it + even have it add to your productivity in the right doses and right timing (treating yourself after a productive day with Clear). And yeah no investors to answer to with endless quarterly growth etc.

And at the end of the day, Clear’s preciousness is just too tied to its undiluted principles and purity to really risk that core for more money. We really tried to figure out a business model that could enable that vs. compromise it, so it’s exciting there are early promising signs there.


I agree with this the most! In the last seven days, all themes were from the same group of themes and all of them were very boring, I didn’t buy any. And today’s shop: not a single theme to be purchased! Only fonts, quotes and icons! Please @phillryu if you can update the next shop cycle with more exciting themes such as private beach, plamo, inferno, tundra or that fluorescent green night theme. Yesterday’s themes were the most boring.

It’s more fun to have several themes that are totally different and not all from the same pack.


I think I like that the shop is themed, but yeah, I go in every day ready to buy one of the many many themes/icons that I like, and somehow there always aren’t any, lol. It’s fine, they’ll get there eventually, but it has been uncanny. Think I’ve bought 3 things total so far.

EDIT: Also, just my two cents, I think you guys offered way too many free items for that being your business model. It was kind to do, and the rewards are fun, but between them, the referrals, the collectibles, and all of the free unlocks, I would imagine many people are content to just chill with what they have since it’s already so much. A lot of my favorite themes which I would have bought were just free. I know it’s too late to change that, but it’s been on my mind. No need to offer any more I’d say.


The shower of early adopter unlocks were really for the 1.x people updating who were upset about their classic theme collections not carrying through completely. Trying to make up for that mess up. But it will be phased out in 2.0.3 or something and onwards for everyone new etc.

I’ll be thinking about the theme / daily selection feedback. Maybe we will do some experiments live in the shop this week, there’s a couple things we could test with the current setup.

There being some hit or miss or ups and downs based on the shop’s theme is expected, and I do think sets up for some of the satisfaction when the ones that are made for you pop up. But it’s probably too wildly swing-ey right now in whether the day’s selection connects or not, and obviously problematic if a meaningful amount of people are getting like multiple meh shop lineups for them in a row first week and turning them off of it entirely.

I dunno perhaps among other things we should think about a ‘first time store lineup’ that is is more loaded with some crowdpleasing favorites/variety.

Also: just added Hoverboard / Welcome to Miami themes to today’s perviously theme-less 80s lineup.


I love the Clear gamification experiment. If you had 1,000 true fans can you guesstimate what rate of buying cosmetics would sustain a living decent wage for the staff?

I’m happy to get a new theme biweekly or so if there a good rate. I’d also like to know in general how to best support you lot!


I bought the Clear X theme when I saw it in the shop on day one just to support the devs even though I plan on mostly using the Free Classic Night Owl theme. I wanted to thank them for giving version 1.x owners so much content on day one!.. I feel many loyal users have done the same in the shop.


I guess the biggest question is how well this sustains more longterm, but of course we also hope that the new version (being free alone really helps!) will be connecting with a new generation of people over this year and on too.

What I would say is if the rate over the past 7 days continued and never wavered and just stayed flat, it would sustain pretty active development. Not quite the pace of the ‘beta period’ for the new version, but totally brought back to life vs 1.x’s later years.

I kind of expect shop sales to slowly drift down some over the next few months but then hopefully start recovering/growing over time if we are able to find traction in reaching new people with the app, continued updates and improvements etc.

I’m excited.


For whatever it is worth, I am loving the shop. I have bought something on most days, including three icons today! :heart: