TestFlight #10: Simplifications

New Clear TestFlight #10 is out for testers with:

Settings renamed Simplifications
New: Mute Haptics
New: Mute Loot Popups
New: Hide Text Prompts
New: Hide Quotes
Removed List Link Sharing feature
Removed descriptive section captions
Removed emojii sprinkled throughout
Removed placeholder intro video
New list title strikethroughs
Fixed Vanilla theme icon
Loot chance on checkoff reduced

I apologize for the experimental feature/removal whiplash, but I do think we are now in really good shape to focus more on polish/fixing for release! Personally I feel Clear’s radical simplicity shining through more clearly in this build.

P.S. If you’re familiar with Clear’s gestures try turning on the ‘Hide Text Prompts’ setting, it needs a polish pass for some extra visual feedback at some interaction thresholds, but there is something elementally simple feeling about it too :slight_smile:

Previously:
TestFlight #9: Rewards and some cuts
TestFlight #8: NLP Reminders
TestFlight #7: Personalizable Gestures
TestFlight #6: List Sharing
TestFlight #5: Legacy Theme Support + Content DropTestFlight #4: Individual list personalization, 6 new collectible icons and more
TestFlight #3: Collectible App Icons, Swipe Left to Archive List and some more
TestFlight #2: Collectible Fonts & Loot Drops, NLP Reminders disabled for launch
TestFlight #1: Experimental back gesture

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Pardon my language but I HATE the absence of emojis in main Clear menu and its settings menus! Please, if possible, give us the option to show/hide those emojis. The app UI in those menus looks so soulless now. :cry::cry::cry:

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As the person who likes emoji and plastered them throughout the app, I really have to say they felt like placeholders and innately compromised, the way they can clash on some themes etc. And I do feel that Clear’s soul is not attached to emoji? :sweat_smile: We’ll see in the future but for launch I think it will be like this:

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Gotta +1 Mr. Dragon here. As someone who’s obsessed with clean themes I liked the emojis as they were and never found them to clash, even if they did. They were just an accepted part of the interface that was fun and helped to visually differentiate the levels. Less soul now, as he said, and more meandering. I’d take the setting.

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Hahaha, that’s me on twitter :laughing:

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Yup, they don’t clash at all. And emojis really helped me navigate through app visually. Now it happens that when I go into Clear menu and other submenus there, 5 seconds pass until I figure out where the Personalization is or Themes/Fonts etc., because it all looks the same. Just chunks of text.

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When changes to interfaces happen it’s usually best to give them a chance, as more often than not we’ll quickly adapt to them and maybe even grow to prefer them. That said, I feel like I’m just gonna keep long-term “walking into the room and forgetting why I came in” every time I back out of a list with this one, haha. We’ll see.

I get it, from the sense that I hung onto them for years in the app’s design, they are fun. Somewhat hopeful too that there’s actually people who like them gone too but we’ll see :upside_down_face:

The conflicting gut feeling rising lately as we get ready to land this thing is, I feel like Clear’s ‘soul’ centers around how much charm it packs into a kind of shockingly simple silhouette, and to thread this needle I think nearly everything that goes into it has to be extremely pure and polished, and with full conviction. (Settings fights that conviction some.)

Between erring on the side of launching a little simpler than we should, vs. a little more complex than we should. I would prefer erring a bit on the simpler side and correcting as we go, because it’s so much harder to take away things after etc. to simplify vs. the other way around, and this feels especially crucial for Clear compared to most apps. It’s a more nimble approach that fits our tiny team’s resources.

I know we’re not perfectly threading this needle, this really feels like some kind of tightrope walk, but that’s where we are really trying hard to both do a great job, and also not mess it up.

Try hiding Archive btw if for you it is a closet you rarely retrieve things from. Part of the past couple TestFlights has been cutting a number of options in that level so that helps some.

There is totally a chance I am overthinking it and emoji turns out to be a good call, but I guess I’m not feeling ready to call it until we have a bit of space to explore the theme matching glyphs approach too, if that makes sense. And don’t want to ship out one version when it’s possible another angle ends up being the way to go.

I hope this doesn’t come off as too defensive, just trying to explain myself! Haha.

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Nope, makes sense and sounds good. Just wanted to step out into the light as a Known Emoji Liker.

Perhaps a good temporary alternative for us to differentiate between lists/menu would be to put the emojis in our list titles instead. I’ll give it a try. Just gonna be tougher with 17 of them things.

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:beers: Yeah I actually had emoji in every one of my list titles, and then removed them all the other week lol. There is some fun in both ways, but the lists level at least is entirely up to the person and their preferences in a simple way.

But yeah it’s tricky, there’s a lot of almost koan-like paradoxes we need to figure out, like balancing the simplicity and personality because it’s like at a certain frequency they harmonize beautifully, but clash otherwise. And of course some of that is subjective per person too.

Or the way it feels like we need to experiment and R&D and scout out possible ground furiously to do Clear justice, and yet also be very conservative and careful in picking what actually ships in it.

One example I would point towards though is how much of the new Clear’s general UI feels like even more of a blank canvas to project your own favorite themes on etc and totally transform the app. That’s a good example I think where going even simpler lets the personality pop even more.

Anyways enough rambling here :smiley: Appreciate the initial feedback and I’ll check in later to see what others think as they check it out.

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When I look at Clear 2 now I almost don’t recognise it anymore. It seems like every new beta strips more things out of the app and it is starting to get less of my attention as a result. I find this sad because a few betas ago it was flying high for me, everything I needed was there and it was visually a joy to use. Now, with no list sharing, no list duplicating and no emojis it doesn’t offer me anything like the usefulness or pleasure it once did.

I’m sorry to be so down about all this, and I do understand the reasons for the stripping back, but now I feel I’m beta testing an app for that reason alone - just to test it, and I don’t feel any motivation to actually use the app for it’s intended purpose. Every time a new beta rolls out I hesitate to download it for fear of even more of what I used to enjoy in Clear 2 being removed. I know for some people the earlier beta features were problematic, but apart from the temporary removal of the back button gesture everything has been fine for me on an aging iPhone XS.

Here’s hoping for a promising future with the app :crossed_fingers:t2:

Al

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It’s looking so much better without the big clunky emojis! And hiding the archive menu is good too! Everything is so clean now, thank you!

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It’s ok to be down on this build, I know you (and some of the others a bit disappointed with this one) love the app. I promise you there will be some fun polish/filling out/rounding out following these cuts that you will like.

@AndrewDavidJ finally an emoji-disliker emerges in this thread! Glad to hear it :wink: Clean is what we’re going for, radically so but hopefully not tooooo much.

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It’s fine Phill, like I said above I understand why you stripped back with this one but the earlier betas have shown us some of the extra features we can hopefully expect going forward.

My mistake here was building a workflow that used beta software at it’s core and now of course that workflow is, for the time being, broken. My bad, and lesson learned :wink:

Here’s to the future

Al

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Yeah appreciate the patience… that is by far the main thing in hindsight I wish we better framed or anticipated, like in practice this so far has been more of an alpha test than a beta test, with many experiments run by you all. And it’s very hard for me to separate out the excitement of a promising new experiment with the time to sleep on it, digest, and sometimes retract :sweat_smile: I did not mean this to be such a rollercoaster ride there!

I felt like I was going to miss the emoji in the main menu more than I actually do. While they are fun, I think some themes also pop more without the emoji there (emoji do have color to them, after all). Depending on your chosen theme and font, you might find the emoji kind of clash with the aesthetic you’re going for, and there’s obviously no way to adapt the emoji to every possible aesthetic short of designing dozens of unique sets.

I’m keeping the emoji in my list titles for now. A toggle would be cool in the new Simplifications menu (“Hide Emoji”), but I’m OK with it as it is, too.

I too feel very strongly against having the emojis. App got 10x better once they were removed for me.

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Great. So so far on emoji removal – anywhere from ‘soulless’ to ‘10x better’. Got it! :sweat_smile:

It is interesting how Clear’s minimalism makes smaller tweaks or removals like this a bigger deal. Also interesting there’s been more noise about the emoji than some of the features we’ve cut. (That’s good if we cut the right features.)

Hopefully next TF is less controversial. It will be largely filling out the rewards list and rounding out the quotes in a fun way.

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Same. Much cleaner and simplified now.

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But also, there is a lot of us who like emojis and I’d like a toggle in simplifications to hide/show emojis.

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