Feedback from a YNAB Supporter

rlogue06rlogue06 Posts: 117Member
edited June 2012 in Desktop
Let me start by saying that I'm a supporter of YNAB, and this post is meant to be nothing more than feedback.

I hate to say; but I'm not real crazy about YNAB 4. Version 3 was very good and could have been perfect with some added functions and tweaks (like cloud, etc). The reports on 3 (in my opinion) were more informative and intuitive than they are on 4, I can't understand why you removed the trending reports either. All that was needed to version 3 reports was a little easier (less mouse clicks) access to reports and drill-down ability and they'd have been perfect.

It just seems to me that the interface and feel were "blown up" too much, I wish we had YNAB 3 with some of the behind the scenes features that you did in YNAB 4 - I'd have paid for that. Appears to me that alot of the change was for the sake of change primarily.

This is in no way a rant, I still fully support YNAB and will use YNAB 4, just offering my feedback.
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • litterbuglitterbug Posts: 3,646Member, Beta Tester
    I think very little was changed "for the sake of change" because during the beta testing I didn't get the impression that anyone had time to think about that kind of thing; making it pretty was much less important than making it work. That includes layout and design issues, but those weren't what I'd call cosmetic.

    Many of the changes came from suggestions and (often very passionate) requests from active forum users as well as the team's experience resolving support cases. Some are probably due to the very big alteration in the basic software "architecture" (whatever that is) from making cloud sync work. It's fair to say that all changes were made in order to make the users' implementation of the YNAB system better, including the changes that make it easier for the support staff to diagnose and straighten out our "issues."

    As for the trend chart, I miss it too. A whole lot of people have said they want it back, and I suspect it will come back. I'm just not sure when, because functional bugs and important but easier fixes will be dealt with more quickly, and I don't know where this falls on that very long list.
  • smallLifesmallLife Posts: 325Member
    I've been hesitant to download YNAB4 precisely because of that - upgrades beyond CloudSync seem like a lot of change for minimal substantive differene. Well, more to the point they took out some great features (which thankfully look like they'll be put back in: Income This/Next Month differentiation in the budget screen, and trending in reports) and I'm going to have to wait for future updates for the things I was really looking forward too.

    The graphics are snazzy, but I care more about information and seeing where the money is going. The reports upgrades seem to have overlooked everything that was functional about reports in order to make the pie charts prettier and simply a different (but not easier) workaround for how I use reports. Hopefully the webinar I'm taking tonight will change my mind and provide insights I've missed thus far.

    The all accounts search feature is wonderful, but it is also touted as a work around for other issues that have arisen from features taken out of YNAB4.

    Unless the webinar blows me away, I'm going to hold out until I *know* that the features I'm gaining either replace existing features or make losing others worth while.
  • katsmeowkatsmeow Posts: 197Member
    I actually do think that YNAB 4 has some hugely significant improvements. The Cloud Sync is not really important for me but I can see why it would be to others.

    Overall the changes to reports are hugely, hugely significant as is the searching in All Accounts. Last night I did some tasks using YNAB that before I couldn't use it to do and had been putting off for months as it would have been several hours of manual spreadsheet entry. Last night I did it in 1 hour using the new features.

    So, I actually think the upgrades that were made are actually extremely important.

    At the same time -- wow, those upgrades came with some huge negatives (for me -- realize that this isn't true for everyone). It takes me roughly 10 seconds to move from one month to the other in the budget screen and this involves the whole screen turning light (almost white) and a message that YNAB is not responding. It makes going to the budget page actually painful.

    And, the things that were there and now aren't such as the source of the month's income on the Budget screen.

    And, finally the missed opportunities -- where are resizable columns on the budget screen? Why can't I use a smaller font (or narrow columns) so I can see more months of the budget? I would have never thought YNAB would come out with a new version without including those things....

    I will keep YNAB 4. The report functionality and All reports searching is important enough I will put up with it if the budget screen continues to be so non-responsive.

    So, I do see lots of hugely important upgrades, but just see the negatives as well.
  • smallLifesmallLife Posts: 325Member
    katsmeow wrote:
    I actually do think that YNAB 4 has some hugely significant improvements. The Cloud Sync is not really important for me but I can see why it would be to others.

    "Improved Reports" is vague and the glitches/overlooked features mentioned in the forums are big enough to make me hesitant.

    The All Accounts Feature is HUGE and a wonderfully anticipated significant improvement.

    Cloud Sync I understand others are all jazzed up about, but it has no significance to me other than automatic back up to the Cloud.

    Other than that all I've gotten is "prettier" and "better', but with the "better" being something I don't care about or half and half an improvement vs. taking away something I liked/making a feature worse.

    Hopefully a lot of this will go away with increased experience and when they send out the next update (everything but graphics, Cloud, and All Accounts . . or at least that's what it seems like to me).
  • JoelJoel Posts: 9,738Member, Beta Tester, Beta Moderator
    Try it. The features that I was never excited about have turned out to be amazing. The Income popup and spending trends line graph will get added back at some point. They really wanted to get cloud sync out there to the public since its been in development so long.
    smallLife wrote:
    katsmeow wrote:
    I actually do think that YNAB 4 has some hugely significant improvements. The Cloud Sync is not really important for me but I can see why it would be to others.

    "Improved Reports" is vague and the glitches/overlooked features mentioned in the forums are big enough to make me hesitant.

    The All Accounts Feature is HUGE and a wonderfully anticipated significant improvement.

    Cloud Sync I understand others are all jazzed up about, but it has no significance to me other than automatic back up to the Cloud.

    Other than that all I've gotten is "prettier" and "better', but with the "better" being something I don't care about or half and half an improvement vs. taking away something I liked/making a feature worse.

    Hopefully a lot of this will go away with increased experience and when they send out the next update (everything but graphics, Cloud, and All Accounts . . or at least that's what it seems like to me).
  • smallLifesmallLife Posts: 325Member
    Joel wrote:
    Try it. The features that I was never excited about have turned out to be amazing. The Income popup and spending trends line graph will get added back at some point. They really wanted to get cloud sync out there to the public since its been in development so long.

    I did try it, with it being pretty much as I thought it would be - whiz and bang and missing very crucial parts of my YNAB usage/features worthy of upgrading. Just clicking through I have a list of things I want to comment on - new topic upcoming.
  • litterbuglitterbug Posts: 3,646Member, Beta Tester
    smallLife wrote:
    Joel wrote:
    Try it. The features that I was never excited about have turned out to be amazing. The Income popup and spending trends line graph will get added back at some point. They really wanted to get cloud sync out there to the public since its been in development so long.

    I did try it, with it being pretty much as I thought it would be - whiz and bang and missing very crucial parts of my YNAB usage/features worthy of upgrading. Just clicking through I have a list of things I want to comment on - new topic upcoming.
    By "try it" I would mean that you might get something about playing with it some more during the trial period. The whiz and bang might turn out to contain useful functions, and you might find you feel differently about it then.

    I sometimes feel like a cult member, or like I'm trying to talk someone into buying snake oil, but if I didn't find YNAB4 more useful to me than YNAB3, I wouldn't be recommending it. There's nothing wrong with YNAB3, and frankly, even though formal support for it will end in a year, a lot of YNAB3 users will always be on the forums to offer help. Heck, we've got plenty of YNAB Pro users who still know how to operate it!
  • FalconarFalconar Posts: 61Member
    I put this on another thread, but relevant here too, I think, as i've found YNAB 4 has been a bit of a disappointment to me so far; too much UI change of things that weren't broken in YNAB 3. I got it partially for cloud sync and partially simply to continue to support a product that's been genuinely life-changing for me, so i'm in no way a YNAB-hater. Still, i'm close to going back to YNAB 3 and almost certainly would if it wasn't for cloud sync.

    Sure i'll get used to the YNAB 4 UI after a while, but from an end-user perspective it's a fairly awful answer if the best that can be said is i'll get used to it. I know it's early days, but i've done a lot of UI development work and the first impressions are often the important ones; as a developer you get too close to it and can't see the wood for the trees (you 'get used to it', in fact), and when someone comes in fresh and says 'why the heck is that there' is often the moment when you think 'oh yeah...'. So I hope someone is listening.


    Positives are cloud sync (flawless) and reports look a substantial improvement. All accounts is neutral, I have quite a lot of transactions going through my accounts in distinct streams, but merging them together is a cluttered mess. Would be useful if I could filter it to on-budget only. Negatives are that the budget seems to have regressed (lost the buffer and is harder to read in general), and the account UI has changed seemingly for the sake of it (doesn't appear to have added anything, just changed it). Unfortunately the negatives are in the core workflow, positives are either invisible (cloud sync) or rarely used (reports, which i'll use a few times a year maybe).
  • JoelJoel Posts: 9,738Member, Beta Tester, Beta Moderator
    I personally don't think the screen is harder to read. I never had a problem reading it before, and still dont.
  • RodeoClownRodeoClown Posts: 4,194Member, Moderator, Administrator, YNAB Team, Beta Tester, Beta Moderator
    Falconar wrote:
    Sure i'll get used to the YNAB 4 UI after a while, but from an end-user perspective it's a fairly awful answer if the best that can be said is i'll get used to it. I know it's early days, but i've done a lot of UI development work and the first impressions are often the important ones; as a developer you get too close to it and can't see the wood for the trees (you 'get used to it', in fact), and when someone comes in fresh and says 'why the heck is that there' is often the moment when you think 'oh yeah...'. So I hope someone is listening.

    We did get someone fresh in to go over the UI. If we hadn't done that, it would have looked very similar to 3, and pretty much every change you see came about for a reason. Jesse went over a lot of these in his blog posts, so I'm not going to rehash them here, but pretty much all of the changes were planned, and there have been a few things that are out temporarily for one reason or another and will be back in later (trend reports and the income breakdown will be back in soon).
  • tindelsurftindelsurf Posts: 243Member
    RodeoClown wrote:
    trend reports and the income breakdown will be back in soon

    Great news! I hope it's soon! Trend reports are the only thing that I'm really missing.
  • YickeYicke Posts: 93Member
    tindelsurf wrote:
    RodeoClown wrote:
    trend reports and the income breakdown will be back in soon

    Great news! I hope it's soon! Trend reports are the only thing that I'm really missing.

    Let me second that.

    On all other fronts, 4 looks very very nice, but I miss my bar- and line graphs to see how spending has gone month to month on certain categories. Looking at the spreadsheet-like table does not give me as much of a visual feedback as the line-graphs!
  • dogfish182dogfish182 Posts: 7Member
    Cloud sync is nice, but I have it turned off, because no password protect on your budget means I don't want to have it running on my office computer. I've read the justifications that if people really want to see that info on a password protected file they can, but I don't think that's a good justification.
  • thevaliantxthevaliantx Posts: 137Member
    litterbug wrote:
    I think very little was changed "for the sake of change" because during the beta testing I didn't get the impression that anyone had time to think about that kind of thing; making it pretty was much less important than making it work. That includes layout and design issues, but those weren't what I'd call cosmetic.

    Many of the changes came from suggestions and (often very passionate) requests from active forum users as well as the team's experience resolving support cases. Some are probably due to the very big alteration in the basic software "architecture" (whatever that is) from making cloud sync work. It's fair to say that all changes were made in order to make the users' implementation of the YNAB system better, including the changes that make it easier for the support staff to diagnose and straighten out our "issues."

    As for the trend chart, I miss it too. A whole lot of people have said they want it back, and I suspect it will come back. I'm just not sure when, because functional bugs and important but easier fixes will be dealt with more quickly, and I don't know where this falls on that very long list.

    The missing trend chart is exactly why I won't be buying YNAB4. I do not believe in supporting companies that remove working features from their programs. If the developers decide to re-include the trending chart (line graph based on spending categories) as part of a patch for YNAB4, then I will strongly reconsider purchasing YNAB4. Otherwise, they lost a customer.

    There just isn't any good reason to remove something like that, especially when it's in a product that, by design, is supposed to teach you about your spending habits. People tend to be visual, and there is no better way to get the 'big picture' of one's recent spending habits than to look a trend chart.
  • DeguelloTexDeguelloTex Posts: 3,242Member, Beta Tester
    tindelsurf wrote:
    RodeoClown wrote:
    trend reports and the income breakdown will be back in soon

    Great news! I hope it's soon! Trend reports are the only thing that I'm really missing.
    Agreed that that is great news. What would really be sweet is if YNAB remembered which categories you included/excluded in the trend report so you didn't have to set it up again every time you restarted.
  • TProTPro Posts: 271Member
    litterbug wrote:
    There's nothing wrong with YNAB3, and frankly, even though formal support for it will end in a year

    I'm confused, what does it mean that formal support will end in a year? :(

    I really loved YNAB 3 and am disappointed with v.4 as it is now. There were little things I would like to have seen changed in 3 so I could ditch Quicken, but I'm really disappointed with 4, and the way it shows on the half screen on my computer isn't workable for me even if I were to get used to the changes.
  • litterbuglitterbug Posts: 3,646Member, Beta Tester
    I was concerned at first too, even though I've gotten used to it with Apple, which drops support for updates even more quickly. However, as with Apple, the user forums contain a lot of regulars still using older versions of the programs, including YNAB Pro, a pre-YNAB3 Excel-style spreadsheet with pretty much no UI to speak of (I've never used it, but that's what it sounds like), and they provide a lot of support for YNAB Pro users who pop up. Some of the developers hearken from those days, too.
  • JoelJoel Posts: 9,738Member, Beta Tester, Beta Moderator
    Most fo the things with YNAB3 and YNAB4 are similar enough that you can continue using it forever. They are concentrating their development and support hours on YNAB4 in the future though.

    TPro, I do believe the half screen issue you are having will be resolved. What specifically is missing that is limiting you from upgrading to 4 permanently?
  • TProTPro Posts: 271Member
    I do have my license for 4 and will keep up with the updates, but I plan to use 3 as long as possible hoping for a better v.5. Thanks for assuring me that the half screen problem will be fixed. When I discovered that, it was the deal breaker and I just couldn't keep working with it. The missing element for me that I need to ditch Quicken is a better bill scheduling functionality with a calendar. It would be amazing if YNAB could do better than Quicken does with bills.
  • blackdiamondblackdiamond Posts: 2,314Member, Beta Tester
    TPro - I have never used Quicken and thus don't claim to understand how the calendar is used for bill scheduling, but it sure seems like the YNAB scheduler in the All Accounts View will allow the user to see the upcoming bills in the order they are due and also the date that they are due. If you have income in the scheduler, why would a "picture" of a calender be beneficial any more than having one on the wall next to your desk? What am I missing here? I pay bills through US Banks and some of them are on auto and other I have to do manually. When paying bills I often have to shift the actual pay dates a bit to avoid holidays and weekends, but I don't see Quicken accounting for that?

    Would having the transactions in the scheduler turn different colors based on how soon they were due? Maybe yellow/orange if they are due in the 1 to two week range and red if they are due within a week?
  • DeguelloTexDeguelloTex Posts: 3,242Member, Beta Tester
    I'd love to ditch Quicken so I could stop with the double entry, but it does too many useful things. IMO, a Quicken-like product with a YNAB-like budgeting module and CloudSync with feature parity on Windows and Mac versions would be perfection.
  • litterbuglitterbug Posts: 3,646Member, Beta Tester
    TPro, someone just posted on another thread that the latest YNAB4 update fixed this problem, so you should try again after updating the software.
  • JenniferRT66JenniferRT66 Posts: 3Member
    I'm a former Quicken user and a VERY happy YNAB user. I couldn't stand Quicken's philosophy of actually disabling software functionality in an effort to force users to upgrade. I didn't like passwords and bank imports going through Quicken's servers. But when they killed their relationship with Landware, who developed Pocket Quicken, and and essentially disabled that software in their then-current release, I was on the search for a new finance program. I really wasn't interested in Mint, I didn't want all my bank account numbers and log in info stored on their servers. At that time - but not now (I guess they have been improving it), Mint wasn't really for people who want to meticulously budget and track their money. Also, at the time, users couldn't add transactions, they only got imported after they cleared through the bank. I thought that was odd, because if I went out and spent money, I want to add it to my program and see the budget category decrease, not wait until it clears! But that may be different now.

    YNAB fit my needs perfectly because it eliminated many of the advanced functionality of Quicken that I didn't need but does a way better job of budgeting and tracking against the budget. It also had wifi sync, and an iPhone app - I'm happy with it, and excited about YNAB 4. I played with a few days, but now I'm just waiting on version 4 for the iPhone, so I can cloud sync my iPhone and my husband's - that way we'll both have accurate, updated balances any time. Until that happens (hopefully soon - I keep hoping to see it in my iPhone updates screen!), I need to stick with v 3, since we like to have our budget with us on the phone. Also can't wait for the update to the Amazon App Store Android version, so I'll have it for my Kindle Fire.
  • TProTPro Posts: 271Member
    TPro - I have never used Quicken and thus don't claim to understand how the calendar is used for bill scheduling, but it sure seems like the YNAB scheduler in the All Accounts View will allow the user to see the upcoming bills in the order they are due and also the date that they are due.

    Without prior experience with the Quicken scheduler, the YNAB scheduler is adequate. The Quicken scheduler does a lot more and I really like it.
    why would a "picture" of a calender be beneficial any more than having one on the wall next to your desk? What am I missing here?

    It's understandable that if you haven't used it, you might not appreciate the power that it has and the help that it is. This was invaluable for me as a new YNABer in transitioning from bi-weekly paychecks to buffered. A calendar scheduler showing how scheduled bills affect account balances would easily remedy the difficulty so many newbies have in wanting the budget to be able to flex for bi-weekly budgeting, or for fiscal months that differ from the calendar month. It would be a huge help for those living on or over the edge of overdraft. I'm aware that some feel this goes against the YNAB method of making spending decisions based on category balances, but it didn't hinder me in any way from building a buffer or spending from cat balances.
    Would having the transactions in the scheduler turn different colors based on how soon they were due? Maybe yellow/orange if they are due in the 1 to two week range and red if they are due within a week?

    Yikes, no thanks on the multiple colors. I really like how Quicken notifies me that something is due by displaying a small red flag next to the account name in the account list which is in the sidebar similar to YNAB. I can choose to have the bill reminder appear x number of days before it is due, on the due date, or I can have it auto-enter into the register. YNAB doesn't remind, and only auto-enters on the due date.

    Anyway, I really do love YNAB's people and the YNAB method, as someone else wrote somewhere on this forum, it just makes sense. And YNAB software helps me do the method.
  • TProTPro Posts: 271Member
    litterbug wrote:
    TPro, someone just posted on another thread that the latest YNAB4 update fixed this problem, so you should try again after updating the software.

    I updated last night, but the issue is still there.
  • rlogue06rlogue06 Posts: 117Member
    Ok, dammit... it's growing on me... just give me back my trend graphs and I'll shut up.
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