Feature Update – July 2018 – Attendance Score, Booking Limits

Our CTO Mike and I are going to try a new thing where we share updates on new and planned features every two weeks.

Two weeks is not much time, so these will be small updates, but they’ll help us stay accountable to you, our users, while also keeping you in the loop and providing another opportunity for you to share ideas and feedback (which we LOVE)!!!

New Features

These features will be live on Sunday, July 22nd, 2018.

Attendance score

We’re now tracking your attendance automatically. Your score is from 0-100%, and is calculated based on your last 20 matched sessions. For example, if you have perfect attendance but then miss one, your score would be 95%.

You can find your score on your profile:

You can find your attendance score on your Profile. It is only visible to you.

It’s important to note that after 5 minutes, you are considered a “no-show”. So, if you show up in minute 6 of an appointment, that one will be marked as missed, and counted against your attendance score. We chose 5 minutes because things happen and we can run a little late sometimes, but after about 5 minutes your partner will probably not want to wait any longer.

In the future we will refine this feature and likely add more metrics such as Timeliness, to incentivize you to show up on time!

IMPORTANT! If you have back-to-back sessions with the same user, you must change to the new session link in order for us to count you as “attended”.

Book limits

We’re imposing limitations based on your attendance score. This prevents users who are not attending their sessions from booking a large number of appointments and not attending, which hurts all users.

How does it work?

If you have excellent attendance, you can book unlimited sessions. If you have mediocre attendance, you can book 3 sessions at a time. And if you hav

e poor attendance, you can book 1 session at a time. This means that if you have a low attendance score, you have a chance to improve your score by booking a small number of appointments and making sure you show up. Once your score goes up, your limits will be reduced or removed. We will deliberately keep the cutoffs secret (for now) so that you don’t game the system.

We are also imposing booking limits on new users, who are still learning the ropes and may be at a greater risk of missing appointments. This is also meant to prevent malicious spammers from joining Focusmate and filling the calendar with fake sessions.

Until you clock 5 sessions, you can only book 3 appointments at a time. After 5 sessions, you can book up to 10 sessions at a time. And once you’ve completed 20 sessions, you can book an unlimited number of sessions.

Here’s what a new user will see when they try to book a 4th session:

Planned Features

These are features we are working on over the next 2 weeks.

Automated reporting

This replaces the manual process of users reporting one another. We will leave the ability to report misconduct, but remove No Show reporting and Late reporting, since we are now automatically tracking whether a user showed up within the first 5 minutes.

Auto-cancel due to no-shows

If you do not show up to a session (or several), this affects your attendance score, and it will soon cause some of your upcoming appointments to be automatically canceled.

This is a precaution to prevent you from hurting your own account and attendance score, and to prevent further no shows.

Coming Soon

  1. Streaks. We will show you if you have done Focusmate sessions for multiple weeks in a row, and for how long. This will help incentivize you to schedule new sessions.
  2. Weekly stats. We will send you an optional, weekly email letting you know things such as your attendance score, how many sessions you did that week, and what streak you’re on. We will add new stats as we have them.

Please share your input in the comments!


Taylor & Mike

16 thoughts on “Feature Update – July 2018 – Attendance Score, Booking Limits”

  1. I like the autoreporting, and I didn’t know you could report behavior other than being late, good to know. I’ve been avoiding more sessions since my last focusmate kept bouncing between their desk and their bedroom. I thought that was beyond inappropriate.

  2. I’m glad to see these features in the pipeline. I think they are a good, rationale response that will encourage users to participate in the spirit of Focusmate and partnership accountability.

  3. How about some sort of protocol for those of us working around all the lates and no shows… e.g. suggestions for message wording to send to coax latecomers into turning up (so the session isn’t completely lost) and perhaps a list of the sorts of things it would be reasonable to report (e.g. too much time away from the camera, leaving early, poor communication etc). Thanks as always for the great site!

  4. After reading this I’m looking forward to the new features and the upcoming ones too. I love streaks. It has a way of keeping me motivated to see my progress is ‘adding up.’ Also the weekly stats I imagine I will like so I can track my most productive weeks. Thank you for your commitment to the user experience and developing a great product.

  5. I have suggestions for alternative payments to those who live outside the US. Eg I’m in EU currency country. If I pay the monthly US $5 then it ends up being charged by the credit card company/bank for the currency exchange and then again by the bank for DD or standing order payment. I’d like to see the option open for paying twice a year or perhaps a year in advance with a discount. I’d do that in a shot. Is this something you have considered? Other than that really looking forward to my first session on Monday. Thanks

    1. Taylor Jacobson

      Hi Ruth, makes so much sense, thanks for noting this. It’s definitely on our radar!

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