Centsible Alpha Update

Its been a little over a month since I opened up a closed alpha for Centsible. The Android app was released in the beginning of March, and the iOS app was released at the end of March. How'd it go?

To put it bluntly, the alpha went terribly. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It taught me a valuable lesson. As someone who designed the software, I cannot objectively decide what is simple or difficult to understand. So what happened?

The Bad

As far as I can tell, users were having a hard time entering categories. Unfortunately it's also one of the big features of Centsible. The entire point is an envelope style budget, centered around spending categories. If a tester can't enter this, we're dead in the water.

The problem is Centsible has the concept of groups. Categories are then added to groups. Testers were adding typical spending categories as groups. For example, they added rent or groceries as a group. But in Centsible, rent and groceries should be added under a group, likely called "Monthly Bills".

The good news is I understand the problem. The result of this was the addition of starter categories when adding a new budget. As a new user you can now pre-select sane default categories auto grouped for convenience.

The Good

Throughout this month I've been able to iterate on the features in the app while fixing existing and new bugs introduced. Some highlights:

  • Starter categories for new budgets
  • Added an Income v Expense graph.
  • Improved category pickers with ability to search categories.
  • Added reconciliation
  • Added visual way to know when your categories have a plan, and if they are funded or not.

It's been pretty gratifying to improve Centsible this last month. Since I am budgeting with Centsible, these features have definitely improved my own personal experience with the app. I hope it can for you to.

The Future

Centsible is in a pretty good state. I've been using it for several months as my main budget. As I encountered bugs, I squashed them. Although there is still some work to be done, Centsible is ready for a larger audience. What's missing? In the short term I have identified the following:

  • Recurring transactions
  • Direct Import

From the feedback I received, direct import is a must have feature. At the moment I am leaning towards focusing on that. But to be clear, I imagine that feature is several months of work. It's not trivial. I'll be exploring what it will take to get it working.

In the long term I'd love to add some features that grow with our users. You start off trying to gain control of your money. Maybe Centsible can help you track your investments. Currency support is possible. I'd love to add multi user accounts using different emails.

All of this does depend on new users though. If you'd like to be part of the direction Centsible takes, please request an invite and subscribe.