I can't even decide what to put in the choices list. Man.
"what question should I ask? and what should the answers be?"
 - http://www.hichapp.com/
that’d be a nice play project for phoenix and liveview!
I was the tech guy, working with a coach. The term we used for this method was Weighted Attribute Matrix. The coach had already implemented it as a spreadsheet which he would use as a tool with his clients. He therefore had a (big) pre-created list of criteria, such as “Allows me to spend time with my family”.
Each client would the list the options they were trying to choose between, and then go through the process of 1) weighting the criteria, and 2) scoring the criteria against their choices.
This would take a day or two to do with his clients, and was tedious.
The software we created streamlined all those. First they weighted the criteria, at which point we could then ignore all the criteria the client didn’t care about.
We also drastically improved the interface, and used a bit of UX & phycology to make it a bit addictive. This helped users get through it quickly. I think we got initial results down to 30 mins which was kinda revolutionary for his practice. This software was used in workshops/1-to-1 sessions, not self-guided SaaS-style (although we were considering it)
In the end nothing came of it. I think we fell down on the selling and marketing. Sharing the story here in case it is useful.
Incidentally, I also used this process when buying some land a few years ago. Multiple people had to choose, so we each had a Weighted Attribute Matrix to fill out. I then put it into a Django app and we could see where the disagreements & commonalities lay.
What was especially cool was that people could get a rough idea of how much they would personally like the land without having to visit it.
Remember once again, AHP/ANP are not the most 'useful' ones, having advantages and drawbacks, but they are a good starting point on Multicriteria Decision Methods (MCDM).
You may want to check MAUT/MAVT, PROMETHEE, VIKOR, Best Worst Method, and TOPSIS (this one is quite simple to understand and use).
So then you might look up the documentation for the submit event on forms: https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/form-control-infrastr...
And then realize that adding the onclick handler on the submit button handles one use case (clicking the button), but a more general solution would be to add the onclick handlers on the form itself.
Then maybe you start thinking, huh, what happens when someone tabs to a button and presses enter, does the onclick handler work there? And so on and so on...
So the answer for where it's written down, it's in the documentation. But most people these days can't be bothered with things like reading documentation and textbooks and reference manuals, so, uh, I guess you just need to have a little bit of experience combined with an attention to detail?
My email in profile if you’d like to check it out.
<input type="radio" id="factor-weight-4" name="score" value="4">
<label for="factor-weight-3">super important</label>
<input type="radio" id="factor-weight-3" name="score" value="3">
<label for="factor-weight-3">pretty important</label>
 most people use JSON not XML so i prefer to call it AJAJ not AJAX
Most web applications I have seen opt to use the form element. The default form browser behaviour can be suppressed easily.
1. pizza: 54
2. beer: 54
3. italian: 45
4. home cooked food: 44
5. thai: 42
6. mexican: 34
It's a serious question. Unless the "staying alive" criterion has no value to you.
Here are some things I believe you could improve about the implementation:
- There's no explanation behind the math of weighing that's done. "these scores were calculated based on your ratings for each choice and the weight you gave to each factor" isn't an explanation. "(e.g., "super important" has a weight of 4 and "not that important" has a weight of 1)" doesn't tell me why my choice of one "super important" and one "not that important" gives me the score of 14. Not knowing the math you're doing makes me not trust the result. I mean, I suspect you're doing "sum of factors multiplied by weights", but a non-math-savvy person may take a while to figure where the numbers come from.
- Too many pages. I know you're aiming for dead simple (technically) UI, but I think it would be better if I could enter choices and factors on the same page.
- I'd consider changing the factor score UI from:
- ( ) 4 (best)
- ( ) 3
- (x) 2
- ( ) 1 (worst)
4 - best: ( ) ( ) (x) ( ) :1 - worst
Quite honestly, a perfect incarnation of this idea to me would be a spreadsheet. This problem domain naturally fits into a shape like this:
What should I eat tonight?
| Option x Factor | Effort | Taste | Biosafety || SCORE |
| Factor weitht | 2 | 3 | 4 || |
| Turkey sandwich | 3 | 2 | 3 || 24 |
| Pizza (delivery) | 4 | 4 | 1 || 24 |
| Pizza (homemade) | 1 | 2 | 4 || 27 |
| Chicken soup | 2 | 3 | 4 || 29 | < PICK ME
Something I think you should consider for version 2.0 or as an alternative to test out. Hell, I think I'll make myself one in Excel right now.
I wouldn't use a spreadsheet. While I clicked 'How was this calculated?', I realised I didn't care.
Your mistake is thinking the purpose of the app is to give the user the perfect objective recommendation. For most decisions, you just want some kind of psychological justification - for some people that can even be a coin flip.
I'm glad the tool helped in your case. I can imagine it helping in mine once, but me getting immediately frustrated. In my own philosophy of UX, I generally don't care much about tools you're only going to use once in your life; I focus on ones that you're going to use repeatedly. Repeated use has different priorities - in particular, efficiency over hand holding.
Decisions that involve multiple options and criteria (like comparison shopping) are difficult because of your limited working memory. That's where techniques like these are valuable, especially if you can simplify the UX and explain how the magic happens, which this app does well.
I enjoy using hobby projects to learn new programming languages and frameworks. My favorite one is called "dcidr" which is a similar decision-making app that uses a prioritization/decision matrix under the hood. I've rebuilt it many times since 2001 in PHP, Java, XAML, Ruby, JS, Rust, and so on. It's great fun.
The current version is a PWA that uses Blazor (.NET web assembly) which was awesome to work with, but it's still in preview and the download is pretty huge:
Enjoy! There are links in the footer if you want to reach out.
I could see this being mined/modeled later using machine learning, natural language, market basket analysis, a whole bunch of things, to try to help people make decisions. You must have thought about those possibilities.
It’s a cool tool/idea!
Another idea: it might be too touchy of a subject but a little tool that helps resolve conflict between two parties is something I’ve always wanted to see.
Just a simple tool to help move forward on a decision. Objectivity-as-a-service for consensus building (though whether consensus building is always the right tool is a separate debate.)
In fact after typing all this I feel like Help Me Decide Please could just as easily be used by two people, as an effective tool. Help us decide! I’ll try and see how it works!
As a note, your label for the highest level of importance should be for="factor-weight-4", currently two labels point at for="factor-weight-3". This means the wrong radio button is selected if you click that label. But props to you for actually using labels and inputs properly so you don't have to try to click on a tiny radio button.
The problem in making decisions is not obvious calculations, but assigning importance in relative of each other.
It reminds me of a tool I used some time ago, the "Oracle" script at SimilarMinds.com. One difference is that the Oracle script used forced-choice based on baked-in global factors, even including how much a decision would affect your social standing, for example.
It would be nice to be able to go back and fix mistakes. For instance, on the first pass after entering something to consider I pressed Enter. I didn't even notice the "important" radio button, so the first choice got "somewhat important". It was actually super important and there was seemingly no way to fix it.
On that note, it is pretty cool that you made a V1 and just released it. If it was me I would get lost in a bread first search of algorithms and prior art and whatnot :-p
I did a lot of work/research in this area while working for a fraud detection company.
You might be interested in an old public domain tool called CLIPS that NASA released many years ago . It is a lot of fun and amazingly powerful, albeit, I don’t hear much about it anymore. Still works though!
Thanks for sharing.
Btw, it tells me I should be using F#
I've been pondering the idea if software can help us to make decisions in the way you have shown here for a while. If you (or anyone else) would like to have an exchange about it, my email is in my profile.
A link to a personal website or Twitter profile would be nice.
Funny I did basically the same app as everyone for the ever common problem of deciding where to go to lunch at work.
It was a long time ago to try AngularJS (the new hotness of 2012), Less, and eventually Redis.
Simple look with standard form elements works well.
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