March 31, 2013
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v0.1 Goal Tracking by Mail

For the first time ever, we’re offering Goal Tracking by Mail. You can capture your progress toward Lift goals by filling out a simple paper star chart and sending it in to Lift HQ. 

Follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to learn how to use this feature. Continue reading for some background on why and how we built it.image

The Need for Goal Tracking by Mail

We designed Lift to be a universal tool to support any goal. This includes supporting any person, no matter what software they use or in this case do not use. The upcoming web beta gets us closer to that goal by making it possible for anyone with an internet connection and a browser to use Lift. But it still doesn’t support people without regular access to the internet. For them, we’ve built Goal Tracking by Mail. 

How did we go about designing our first non-software feature? Well, the same way we go about designing software features at Lift.

The Feature Design Process

We design new features at our weekly Monday meeting. Feature owners give a quick presentation of design options, everyone else on the team shares their feedback/ideas and then we vote for the winning design. 

We like to follow a rule of looking at 3-4 different designs for any one feature before making a final decision. This helps us think more deeply about the feature, its implementation and the pain point we’re solving.

Here are the designs we explored for the Goal Tracking by Mail feature:

Find Your Star Habit Chart

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We liked this design because it adds in habit discovery.  As you turn the star wheel (press the TURN! tab to try it) the sky changes as does the star that the arrow points to. This design proved too complicated to implement since it would have required us to build a star chart, an index of stars and their correlated habits as well as a journal for recording check-ins.  

Monthly Calendar with Lift Chocolates

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The second design option was almost too delicious to pass up. Who wouldn’t want a daily dose of chocolately goodness as a reward for performing good habits? Well apparently Tony, Herzog and everyone else sporting crazy streaks in the No Sweets habit. A lot of people track health goals on Lift so this design was destined to get the ax.

Seinfeld Super-streakman Sticker Chart

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Occasionally people write in suggesting we look at Jerry Seinfeld’s Don’t Break the Chain productivity method for feature ideas, so we did. We’re huge fans of Seinfeld, who is a huge fan of Superman and his love for the superhero inspired this sticker chart. Stickers come with a yellow top layer that you can keep on to show you’re on a streak (or peel off if you aren’t any longer). Our lawyers told us we couldn’t use this design because of trademark issues. Our check-ins are green and so is (gasp!) Kryptonite so we didn’t see a long-term fit with this design, either.

The Winning Design

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Sometimes simplicity is best. We chose this design made by Alicia because it has an intuitive UI and is easy to scale. Anyone can print the chart out at home or at their nearest printing facility.

Instructions: How to Use Goal Tracking by Mail

1. Download and print the form.
2. Write in the habits you want to achieve in the left-hand column.
3. Check off the box when you’ve completed a habit. 
4. Once you’ve filled out a week’s worth of check-ins, send in your form and a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Lift Luddites
℅ Erin Frey
760 Market Street
5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Please allow 6-10 business days for processing of Props & Comments.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow,
Tony, Jon, Matt, Erin, Alicia, Matt & Amanda.

Notes:

1. If you have an iPhone, Download Lift
2. and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for tips and habit geekery.

Click for Photo Credits

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