Thursday, February 16, 2017

YouVersion 21 Day Challenge

Project Status: Feature Request
Follow-up Post: YouVersion's Half-Year Challenge for Seven Days

The Challenge

If you don't know what YouVersion is or what the 21-Day Challenge is I encourage you to check it out. The YouVersion Bible app is a free and awesome Bible app, the 21-Day Challenge has already begun for 2017. Don't worry if you missed out, if I'm not mistaken I think they do this once every year. If you search for the hashtag #BibleFor21 on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you will see what people are saying about the challenge.

An actual reading plan calendar view from within the app.


It's very hard from a user standpoint to do the 21-day challenge and know that I haven't missed any days. There is no feedback or way to track my progress. From a development standpoint, I'm sure it must take some time to roll through and award each user a badge once the 21 days conclude.


What I suggest is to give the users a card in their home feed when opening the app which shows the progress of the challenge. I also think by doing this it will be easy to distribute the badge awarding workload from the servers to the individual devices which are using the app. I drew up a quick example of what a progress card could look like:

Example Layout Mock-up

This would provide direct feedback for the users and keep them motivated and informed. This should also help slow down a lot of technical support traffic. I would assume that is a problem now, as many users likely contact the help center to try and figure out where they stand or how the challenge works.

If you really want to make it awesome for the users, I would also suggest things such as having a timer on the card. This way users know how much time they have left to complete today's reading plan. They could also set a reminder notification to trigger only in the case that they haven't completed the plan for the day by a certain user defined time.

On the other side, this should really help with back-end services. I assume that currently badges are handed out by running a batch job from the servers to step through the user accounts and see who has met the requirements. This can now be done instead by distributing the workload to the user's devices. Each day as the challenge goes on the user's own app will track progress locally and store the progress within the user's account for other linked devices to view. Meaning that no server process will have to churn through every account, as now each account can check itself and claim its own badge.

Alternative Solution

Another way of going about this would be to make the 21 day challenge show up in the "My Plans" section of the Bible app. It could almost appear as a reading plan itself. The only difference being that instead of users having the option to check off readings as they go, the plan would automatically check itself as complete when any other plans are completed on the same day.

When looking into any one day of the challenge plan you would see one item listed. This item could provide a small amount of information such as "Complete any other reading plan for today and this challenge will track your progress." It could have a link to the website for more information and whether or not it is checked will depend on the other plans for the day.


I just wanted to make it clear that these are my opinions and I do not work for YouVersion or Life Church. They don't pay me to say their app is awesome, I just do that on my own.