Video introducing Nickelpinch, a web-based budgeting tool. Needs feedback!

Nickelpinch is a web app I’ve been working on for a while. It’s an open source, self hosted budgeting and finance tool. There is also a hosted version people can use for free.

After creating it and then using it for ~10 months, I am still really liking it and finding it very useful. However, there is no documentation, and it sorely needs some. The tricky thing is, I am the worst person to determine what is useful, since I’m familiar with it all.

I made a video that goes over all the features and how to use it:

Dropbox Link / Streaming

I would really appreciate feedback on this. Any/all feedback is welcome, but specifically I’m hoping to get info on what new viewers think is interesting, what seemed confusing until I explained how it worked. Also any suggestions on how to approach getting people interested in this would be really helpful. (I feel like a 30-60 sec commercial/elevator pitch would be good, but I have no idea what to show in that time.)

Thanks in advance, @maiki and others!

Okay, here goes a lot of feedback. :slight_smile:

First thing: this should probably be between 6 and 30 videos. You have an opinionated budgeting app, but the app itself isn’t very difficult to understand. Rather, the budgeting is the difficult part. If I were marketing this, I would start with a (long) series of small blog posts explaining these tiny concepts, and getting feedback on them, so you can elaborate as needed, and figure out the way to explain it that resonates with folks.

For instance, you are showing an open source, self-hosted and responsive web app, but really you are pointing out that even when a person budgets for the month, our brains are not wired to account for money moving between categories, or how credit affects the bottom line. And because we can’t hold that in mind, we will overspend or give up budgeting completely. That is the real value of Nickelpinch.

Quick aside: I said aloud that you had made a video for Nicklepinch and someone heard it as “nipple pinch”. So, ya know, there is that. :slight_smile:

Second thing about the video, you have other windows and tabs open, one of which has an article referencing the current political happenings; you probably don’t want to send that out. But each of those topics you cover in this video can seriously use their own smaller video, so I’d just go with that.

Third, if you want a pitch video, make it pitch, not instructional. Or, show an interaction that demonstrates how useful the software is to use, not the difficulty in setting it up or editing categories; the reason is that all those things will be setup more or less at the beginning and will rarely be changed. While it is important to change them easily, changing settings shouldn’t be a highlight of the software, it should speak for itself, or to put it another way: decisions, not options.

I know that is my bias speaking, but I am personally turned off from videos trying to explain how obvious the software is, because it should be. However, it could be compared to something else, and that might be a selling point.

And one last thing: self-hosted and open source! Your pitch should go over why that is important, and how it works. Also, you should have an INSTALL file in your repo. :slight_smile:

Okay, that is feedback for the video. I have some general feedback for the app itself, but I’d like to open actual issues for those, so I’ll find my way to your tool of choice for that.

Thanks for being vulnerable and taking the steps to share your creation with the world. It looks really solid, and I actually like the content on the website describing the project and why it exists. I will help out where I can!

@maiki thanks a lot for all this feedback, it is invaluable to me.

I totally agree, I’m starting to jot down my post ideas

That is amazing.

Definitely. This was a first pass for just this feedback purpose. I really like the idea of those smaller videos.

Yeah, that’s a good point. And as to the decision, not options, I agree. I’ve actually cut out a lot of options I had in there originally, because they didn’t really add value, and were unnecessary. There are some other things, like the position of the categories, I really just need to handle via JS dragging and reordering the list, not having the user enter an integer value of the position.

That is annoying to me too. I didn’t even realize I had done it.

My near-term goals are to write some INSTALL docs, prune the homepage a little, since there is flat out incorrect information in some of the sections. Then start on some blog posts!

The repo is currently on github; but I’m not sure if I want it there forever. I really like gitlab, though I’m worried about link permanence. Maybe that doesn’t matter. I should think on this.

Thanks again, this feedback is really, really helpful. I feel like I am finally moving forward on this, down a good path.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Migrating from GitHub to GitLab