Color Changes

This thread is directed at two (three if you count forum readers) groups of people.

1. The Toolkit Developers:
Thank you for making the Toolkit - I have enjoyed and found useful many of the options that you provide.  As YNAB stumbles around trying to figure out this color change fiasco (who knows what decisions will stick), perhaps the easiest option for the Toolkit would be to provide pill and font color sets that the user can choose from.  Or, just completely override the colors for pill and font that YNAB has chosen.

If YNAB does, indeed, move away from using colors, please keep colors as an option in the Toolkit!  I rely on colors to organize my life.  Colors and spatial organization, but spatial thinking hardly exists on a screen, so that is moot.  Thank you for your consideration!  

If YNAB chooses to go the all text route, you will be my lifeline!

2. YNAB Official People:
Well, this color thing has been fun, right?  I wonder what would have happened if you had prepared the users for the changes.  People don't like surprises.  Further, the Toolkit could have perhaps gotten an adjustment ready to go with your changes.  As it is, I am sitting down to budget my paycheck from today, and I am not willing to give up the (now garish) juxtaposition of Toolkit functionality as it relates to the new colors.  For me, I hope you fix this soon.

I had just found 3 people that expressed an interest in YNAB and was going to show them next week.  Believe me when I tell you that these people care how things look, and garish won't be impressive.  You have until the 21st for damage control before I share with them. 

Regarding upcoming changes to the UI: 
What is the reasoning behind taking away color?  I rely heavily on color to organize my thought processes.  I know you don't like toggles (why?), but [appropriate] color/no color toggles would be a great, straightforward toggle to begin that journey.  

Now, I know you're not a huge company like Google, and providing a toggle for large print/compact views on mobile devices might be considerably more complex, as page design may have to change.  However, I am not interested in having large fonts on my phone because they're annoying and everyone around me can see my information easily.  I would also hate to lose the functionality of actually being able to see more data on the screen at once.   That's very important to me.

If you do make these changes, the impetus for me to make my own spreadsheet that somehow syncs with my husband would become powerful.  Too bad, though, because I was fairly excited about YNAB.  It's been a great communication tool for us.  If you continue to ignore important feature requests and make changes that are detrimental, then what reason do I have to subscribe?  

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  • All I can say is AMEN!
    I don't know about normal vision users, but I have trouble differentiating between red and green. Not that I want to go away from colors, but keep them clear! I can tell the difference between stop light red and green, but the new colors are basically the same, for gods sake!

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  • Well Put!  IF I can not differentiate a positive and a negative what would i subscribe also?😱

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  • Hey there,

    I appreciate your comments and feedback as it relates to the color changes. 

    Reducing the color was meant to provide more contrast and reduce reliance on colors in general as part of an ongoing project our Product team is working on. We missed the mark on this release and our Product team is working hard to launch solutions that will work for everyone. We agree that customization would be ideal in this scenario as everyone has such different preferences.

    We'll keep you posted as updates happen, though we will miss your 5/21 deadline and I understand that we'll miss out on your referrals because of it.

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    • Veronica at YNAB That's ok, the toolkit came through with a color match.  The introductory session will go on smoothly.

      I'm glad your development team agrees that customization is ideal.  Thanks for listening to the feedback.  I look forward to seeing how you implement it. 

      I still want to know WHY you have a project to "reduce reliance on colors"...

      Colors are very important to me.  As another user stated, they allow a quick glance to tell me "good, good, good, keep this in mind, good, good, warning, good, not important, good, FIX IT, good."  (Green=good, blue[toolkit]=keep this in mind, orange=warning, red=FIX IT, grey=not important).  Status=checked quickly and done.

      Without colors, my mind must evaluate each number, comparing it with that category's goals/scheduled transactions/activity as well as comparing its priority against other categories' priorities.  That's a lot of mental gymnastics when I've already made my plan and implemented it.  When I'm making mid-paycheck decisions, I need to see what I already planned (and how I've used it) so that I can choose to stay on track or change the plan.  The colors help communicate this information to anyone else involved in the budget and are also helpful when choosing how to budget.

      Without colors, my husband (or I) may easily forget part of the plan and make an under-informed financial decision.  This was the main reason we started YNAB!!!  Please, don't throw away or obscure such a strength in your software!

      While I like the aesthetics of the new colors, they do take more attention in the glance to make sure I didn't overlook something.  It is also possible that older eyes will have to work much harder to gain the same information. 

      Patzer has suggested separating color from the numbers.  "Reducing reliance on colors" could very well mean providing some sort of icon or shape to accompany the colors.  If this is in line with your project, great!  It would offer enhanced readability for the numbers while extending the color information to those with vision needs.  If you are truly trying to rid us of colors, not great, for the reasons stated above. 

      If you go with colored icons/shapes, please consider the best placement - not somewhere weird and disconnected from the pertinent info (amount/category/etc.).  My main worry would be that the icons/shapes would not have enough space for effective color.   Others may worry about visual clutter.

      Here's a brainwave: highlight the entire category line its color, then make the pills white for black text inside.  Put the icon (which I admittedly hardly look at now - I really rely on the colors) somewhere logical. 

      That was a new idea, not thought through, and I don't know if I like it yet.  But, it's a possibility.

      Thanks for your response, and have a good day!

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    • Move Light Sound Life 

      Gray Admiral provided us with an excellent description of the reason why we want to reduce the reliance of color in the budget.

      https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/m20q6r

      We don’t want users to notice overspending or issues in their budget by color only—this was part of introducing icons last year for credit card overspending and underfunded goals. As it stands, a negative available amount is a visual that isn’t reliant on color, as are those icons  if they’re put to use. If not, some users wouldn’t see any difference between the yellow or green available amounts. We want to keep making strides toward giving users options that will help them best use YNAB.

      You’re right, that very well could mean using more icons or shapes instead of color and the balance between design and visual clutter is a tricky one. I appreciate that you have an overall awareness of the areas and features that you use and the ones that fall into the background for you.

      I hope this helps! I will continue to keep you updated in this thread every few days.

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    • Veronica at YNAB 

      Thanks for the reply!  I really liked Gray Admiral's explanation. 

      I do hope that's what you really mean - using other design features in addition to color to convey information, not instead of color:

      Veronica at YNAB said:
      that very well could mean using more icons or shapes instead of color and the balance between design and visual clutter is a tricky one

       Also, don't nix the icons on account of my non-use.  One of my friends really, really likes the gamification they provide as she works towards goals.  Maybe I just don't have the right use case (or thinking style).

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    • Move Light Sound Life I hope you don't mind me jumping in here! :)

      Yes, we want to use other design features in addition to color. We currently don't have any plans to make things black and white, but we don't want red or green to be the only identifiers for a category's balance. We're still working to see exactly where that's going to take us. :)

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    • Faness Sounds good, thanks! Good luck on your journey!

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  • Hello all, 

    I wanted to follow up here to make sure no one missed the latest update on this issue. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to let us know in that thread! :)

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