What’s new in Saent v1.7: Challenges are here!

One of the best ways to combat the modern issues of information overload, work stress, burnout, and poor work-life balance is through effective behavior change. But changing your behavior is hard. That’s why Saent does more than just block distractions and help you focus. Saent is designed to help coach you toward healthier and more productive work habits and to be your ally in the fight for focus.

This week we released a big update to the Saent app. Here’s an overview of what’s new and what’s on the horizon.

Challenges

We talked about Challenges in our last status update, and now they finally have a home in the app. Challenges help you develop healthier work habits by learning how to optimally use Saent and helping you exorcise your anti-productivity demons. We’ll constantly be adding new Challenges that you can take to better avoid online temptations (like Facebook and Twitter), work smarter (like taking more breaks), and develop better work-life balance (by going home on time and avoiding email during dinner, for example).

Challenges v1.7

New onboarding

We’ve completely revamped the onboarding process around the new Challenges feature. New users can now get started with their first Saent focus session more quickly and learn the philosophy behind Saent while getting acquainted with the app’s features.

New “home screen”

Since we first introduced our conversational interface in January, Saent has always tried to offer menu options contextually. Saent would try to determine what actions you might want to take next based on a number of factors, and display options accordingly. We thought this would reduce the amount of choices you needed to make and thus make the app more user friendly. Good idea in theory, but in practice there were too often times when users would want to do something specific — like look at the Leaderboard or update Preferences — and that option was nowhere to be found.

Main Menu v1.7

In v1.7 we’ve added a main menu of sorts to Saent. The top level features will always be accessible from the app’s “home screen.” In a future UI update early next year, we plan to further organize these items into a more traditional, tabbed menu. (More on that below.)

Online breaks

One of the most oft-requested features is for breaks that won’t lock your screen. The latest version of Saent adds this feature! Now you can choose to either lock your screen, as usual, or spend your breaks browsing the web, with a twist: you can only visit sites you’ve marked as “Evil.”

Note: This feature should be considered very much “beta,” and we’d love to hear what you think. Please share you ideas with us by emailing support@saent.com or through the Saent Facebook Group (request to join if you’re not already a member).

What’s next?

This was a big update, but we’re certainly not resting on our laurels! We’re already hard at work on the next version of Saent. One of the biggest changes we’re working on is a fairly major UI update. For a preview of what’s coming, watch this video from Saent CEO Tim Metz explaining in depth some of the UI features we’re working on and why.

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