New Feature: Personal Behaviors

Written by Corey Watts on November 6, 2019

As a person becomes more familiar with the Faster Scale, sometimes he or she can identify behaviors unique to themselves on their path towards Relapse. These behaviors may not be in the official Faster Scale list, but nonetheless are an important signal to notice.

Many users have asked me over the last several years for the ability to add these kind of "personal behaviors" to the Faster Scale App.

I'm happy to announce this feature is now live.

You can add, update, and remove your own personal behaviors on the Profile page. Assign each behavior you create to a FASTER category, and it will appear there on the form during a check-in.

This was a more involved update than I had anticipated, and I've appreciated your patience as I've worked on it. I hope it is helpful to you all!

UPDATE: Changes to the Upcoming Score Removal Plans

Written by Corey Watts on April 27, 2019

Many people have contacted me about the upcoming changes described below -- thank you for your feedback! One major theme has been concern over the new (and significantly less useful) "all or nothing" change for partner emails. Inundating partners with email reports that may or may not contain actionable information isn't desirable, but neither is not sending any of them.

In response to your feedback I will be replacing the existing score-based Email Threshold field with a selectable dropdown of FASTER categories ("Forgetting Priorities", "Speeding Up", etc). Each person could choose at which level they'd like an email to be sent. For example: if "Speeding Up" is set as the threshold, whenever behaviors at that level or worse are selected an email will be sent.

I've updated the older original post below and struck through the parts that are no longer applicable.

I hope this is a better solution than the "all or nothing" checkbox. Thank you for your patience!

We're Removing the Score (aka. Danger Score)

Written by Corey Watts on April 15, 2019

What's happening?

Check-in scores are going away. Related things like the Email Threshold or the "Last Month's Scores" graph are either going away or significantly changing.


Over the years I've received many messages regarding the score. Most have fallen into two categories:
1. how does the formula work
2. concerns about the score being misleading (either too high or low)

It's fairly clear that many users aren't quite sure how the score works. It's also clear that there are many who think a specific check-in's score doesn't quite feel right for the behaviors they were exhibiting. I think those concerns are completely valid -- I have them too.

I've released tweaks and optimizations to the score several times and rejected many changes that never saw the light of day. Despite the time and effort I've put into creating a decent scoring formula I am still not satisfied with it. That feeling also comes through in the emails that users send me.

As I've slowly trained myself to recognize my behaviors and emotional state by using the Faster Scale, I've come to see the score the tool produces as distracting.

One of the core purposes of the Faster Scale is to help the person learn to name their feelings, to see the patterns in their behavior, and to foresee where they will go if action is not quickly taken. Adding a shortcut to that (like an easy numerical score) is self-defeating. It short-circuits the learning process the person needs to go through.

Adding a score to the Faster Scale was not actually an improvement to Dye's creation. At best, it was a distraction. That's why I intend to remove the "Danger Score" and all related functionality from this application.

What are the effects?

The most visible change involves the "Email Threshold". This feature sends an email report to the user's partners when they score above a value. Since I am removing the score, the "Email Threshold" needs to go as well. For now, sending partner reports will be a simple yes/no checkbox to ALWAYS or NEVER send a partner report. Updated April 26th

When this change is rolled out, users that have enabled partner emails will be switched to always send reports regardless of their Email Threshold value. Likewise, users that do not have partner emails enabled (thus no set Email Threshold) will never have them sent. Updated April 26th

Ripping out the score-related features of the App will also have the effect of simplifying the codebase. Certain portions will be significantly simpler. This means I'll have an easier time implementing new features. I already have several updates in the pipeline that have been simplified with the score removal and I'm excited to get those out to all of our users.

When will this go live?

If all goes well, I'm hoping to roll this out within the next week or two.

Do you think I'm making a mistake? Please send me any concerns or thoughts via the contact form or mailing list. I'd love to hear your feedback.

New Check-In Score Formula

Written by Corey Watts on September 24, 2017

As of April 2019 this post is obselete. Scores no longer exist.

We have News

Written by Corey Watts on June 30, 2017

We have news! No, literally, we now have "news feed" functionality on this site. We spent a bit of time to create a new extension for Yii2 (the framework this site is built in). It provides an easy way to write posts in a simple format (Markdown) that is then automatically converted to HTML markup. You can take a look at this extension here: yii2-markdown-files.

With this addition, announcing larger changes is easier to do. Thus, we hope you won't be blindsided by the large and semi-large changes we have in the pipeline right now. They should be released soon (hopefully...).

As a teaser:

  • COMPLETED We're in the process of radically improving the formula for calculating the "Danger Score". This new formula should make more sense and be on a 1-100 scale. What?! The current scale is NOT on a 0-100 scale? It's a dirty little secret but it's true. It will be much better, but the numbers you're used to will change.
  • COMPLETED We've almost completed major refactoring of some of the deeper code in this application. We're no longer storing what is essentially static data in the database. Instead, it's stored in memory. This will make certain parts of this application easier to test and will hopefully increase performance by a small amount.

Usernames have been Eliminated

Written by Corey Watts on April 29, 2017

As you've likely noticed we've eliminated usernames from the Faster Scale App. There wasn't a tangible purpose or use for usernames here; at least none that an email address couldn't serve. Making our users remember an extraneous username didn't seem very nice. Additionally, we were able to delete a bit of username-related code. Deleting unnecessary code is a great way to keep the project clean and tidy. We've completely deleted all usernames from the database too.

To help you remember not put your username in the login page, we've added a reminder just above the form. Additionally, if you enter something that doesn't look like an email address the form will fail to validate.

If you have any questions or encounter any problems please send us a message on the Contact Form.