Weight Watchers Beta Tracker

Weight Watchers has come out with a new beta tracker to enable members to track their food eaten, activity, and weight.  To be blunt, it just blows.  I mean, it is awful.  It is sort of prettier than the old tracker, but the prettiness comes at the expense of functionality which is vastly reduced.

To be honest, I mostly track my food on MyFitnessPal and periodically I transfer over information to the Weight Watchers tracker so I can see how I am doing on Points Plus.  Weights are synced automatically for most people at weigh ins at Weight Watchers (actually, once I got back to within 2 pounds of goal weight, I’ve found my weights don’t sync automatically, and I have to do it myself).  And, I don’t record Activity there since my Fitbit syncs automatically as well.

Mostly I use the tracker to go and see how I am doing on weekly points and to sometimes look at the week as a whole to check out patterns of eating and activity.  I also sometimes like to just look at the graph of my weight loss.

Unfortunately, most of what I liked about the old tracker is now gone entirely.

So, a few screenshots.  Here is what it looks like when I open it up:

Beta Tracker 1

On the positive side, this is kinda pretty.  The colors are nice.  I do see in the circle that I have 9 Points Plus left.  In tiny print below, it tells me that I have 49 Weekly Points left and 0 Activity points left.  On the right are pics of some recipes and, up top, I can choose to look at my Favorites, go to quick add to simply add points for a food or calculate the points value of the food.  I can also check out my Activity and Weight.  The problems start when this is contrasted to what you see with the current tracker when you open it up:

Tracker

Granted, this is not as pretty as the beta tracker.  But you immediately can look at it and see how many points you have eaten for each meal (you can hit the dropdown to see what it was).  You are told across the top, what you have used, how much you have left for the day, how many weekly points remain, and how much activity you have earned for the week and how much you have left.  On the left, you get the calculator to calculate your points if you don’t know them.  On the bottom you can quick add points if you already know the Points Plus.  On the right, you can easily add Favorite Foods.  On the bottom right you can track the good health guidelines.  You can easily move to the activity tracker or the weight tracker.  At the top where it gives the date you can move by arrows to a nearby date.  But, you can click on the calendar and easily go back to a more distant day if you want to check what you recorded on that date.

To do those things in the beta tracker, if possible at all, is a lot more work.  To record food  you have to go to another screen:

Beta Tracker 2

So that is another click just to get to the log.  Note that there is nothing on this screen that lets you easily add foods.  On the right we have pictures of recipes that I care nothing about. That real estate could be used for the points calculator or for a quick add option or, like now, for favorites.  The current tracker lets you from the first screen select a favorite, calculate Points Plus or quick add a food.  You can’t do any of that from the second screen you have to go to on the beta tracker.

You can track, of course.  You can select track and you get a list of recent foods you have tracked.  If what you ate is on there, then you can select it.  You can also look up a food in a search box.

But what if you just want to quick add the points for a food?  You have to to the top of the page and select Quick Add and you can finally do that.  And, what if you have a nutrition label and just want to calculate the Points Plus for the food?  You have to go to Quick Add on the top and then go to calculator. On the current tracker, you can do that on the very first page you go to.  You don’t have to hunt it down through multiple clicks.

The calculator is…OK.  It is a little harder to add the data as you can type in the amount, say, of calories or you can hit an arrow to go up or down.  It is really easy to hit the arrow by mistake and the arrows hide part of the box you need to type the numbers in.  One interesting thing in the calculator is that you are now asked to input saturated fat and sugar, in addition to the calories, fat, carbs, fiber and protein.  It doesn’t seem to make any difference in the points calculated now, but I suspect it will make a difference when the new program comes out early in December.

So, after finally being able to track the food I ate for lunch, I noticed some missing things.  There was no longer a way to track the Good Health Guidelines.  Something which irritated me is that there is no way to go back and easily look at past days.  You can only move by an arrow one day at a time.  So, if I want to look at what I ate 2 weeks ago, I have to hit that arrow 14 times!  The old tracker let you call up a date on a calendar instead.

Even worse, you can’t see a week as a whole.

Look at how it is with the old tracker (this is an older image, not the current week):

WW week

I often used to look at this to see a week as a whole to get an idea of food patterns.  I see no way to do that on the beta tracker. Possibly it is there somewhere.  If it is, then it sure isn’t easy to find!

I then turned my attention to looking at the Weight Tracker portion.

I’ve always loved to look at the graphs from the Weight Tracker.  Here are a couple of examples:

WW 6-27-2013

WW graph

This was so motivating.  Look at the bottom graph.  This represents my entire period of weight loss from August, 2010 until early July, 2015.  Yes, I had that big regain in the middle.  But, I managed to get back on track and I seem from August, 2013 all the success I’ve had.  It really is something I love to look at when things get tough.

Now?  All gone.  No graph at all!

When you go the weight tab, you instead get:

Beta Tracker 3

This took up my entire screen.  Yes, it was nice to have the ability to quickly add a weight (we already had that, but still nice to have).  But, I want to see the graph, not that meaningless picture.  Actually, my first look startled me because it said my goal weight was 130 pounds.  At first, I couldn’t imagine where that came from, but I think it imported it from Fitbit.  I had set a goal weight in Fitbit of 130 pounds the other day (since I know I still have fat to lose), but that isn’t my Weight Watchers goal weight.  So, I had to go change my goal weight in Weight Watchers to 145 pounds instead.

If I want to see my individual weigh ins, it is a pain.  If I scroll down the page, I get a few weigh ins:

Beta Tracker 4

Again, this takes up the whole screen (after I’ve scrolled down) to get 3 months of weigh ins.  If I load, more I get another 3 months.  I then have to load more to get another 3 months.  It is incredibly tedious.  With the graphs you could click on a point and see the weight:

9-5-2015 WI

Or you could just get a list of weigh ins as well:

1-10-2015 Weigh in

You could select the date range that you wanted weigh ins for and it was a nice, neat, easy to read list.  Now, you have tediously add 3 months at a time and there seems to be no way to go to a particularly date or range of dates.

And, again, there is no weight loss graph!  I just am dumbfounded that they take away the graph to, instead, give me some sort of image of an outdoor scene!  The image is actually not even pretty to look at!  More importantly, though this is taking away something that is both motivating and functional to give us nothing in return.

For any members of Weight Watchers reading this, go check out the beta tracker.  There is a button where you can send feedback (and, I certainly did send feedback).  Look for the things that have been taken away and tell them about it.  I like the idea of having something that is visually more appealing.  But, function should be improved not destroyed.

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for letting me know this! I loved the graph. They also took away just plain e-tools, which I wanted. Long story, but it is cheaper for me to keep paying my weekly amount and doing e-tools than to do the monthly pass. I am glad now because I hate the new beta tracker!
    Laura recently posted…Weight Watchers Beta TrackerMy Profile

    • says

      I am just hoping this is an early version of the tracker and that they plan to add back in some of missing stuff, particularly if they get a lot of good feedback.

  2. Sue says

    Amen! I couldn’t agree more. I don’t need a tracker to look pretty. I need it to work, quickly and accurately. WW is mighty close to roll-out day not to have their new tracker ready to launch. I am online only, and if the tracker is not as good as, or an improvement over, the current one, there is no reason for me to stay (excitement over Oprah to the contrary).

    • says

      I know. I honestly don’t understand what would possess them to do something so bad. I hope that it will get better if enough people give feedback.

  3. Kelly Lynn says

    I really don’t like it. Seems so confusing. I can’t find the recipe builder on the beta version. Nothing is an easy grab.

  4. says

    Great blog! Thanks for the useful information. I believe in using gadgets like fitbit to achieve fitness goals. Keep sharing such informative blogs.

  5. Sarah says

    I couldn’t agree more about the beta tracker. I used the old plan manager all the time – it was incredibly quick and easy – and now you can’t search for your own recipes or foods, you have to scroll all over the place to add foods, and no graph – it’s really too bad

    • says

      I am hoping that when the new program comes out that some of the changes to the tracker will makes sense and that it isn’t working as well now as it will with the new program. I am hope members keep that feedback coming to Weight Watchers and that they will take heed of it…

  6. Jessica says

    Yes, I agree 100% with all of you. I can’t stand the new “Beta” tracker and have made repeated request via the feedback option to have the “Classic Plan Manager” restored, or at the very least, fix all of the issues with the beta version. It’s so frustrating to track now, especially where it keeps on making mistakes and doesn’t allow you to do the things that you used to be able to do, like edit meals, see your daily and weekly totals at a glance, input your activity points, and have your food/meals save correctly. It seems that there are many of us that feel this way, but yet, the beta tracker remains. Wake up Weight Watchers! Your members are not happy with this beta tracker! Bring back the old Classic Plan Manager please! Don’t fix it if it’s not broken people!!!

    • says

      I agree entirely about wanting all the functionality back. From what I’ve read, one of the problems with the old Plan Manager was that it was Adobe Flash based and Weight Watchers (like many sites) wanted to move away from using flash. I can understand that, so I can see why they would want to have a new tracker. But, the problem is that the new one is lacking so much functionality and isn’t at all user friendly. And, was nowhere near ready to be the sole option to use. The Classic Plan Manager should have remained until the new tracker was truly ready and functional.

  7. Tammy says

    I feel like crying right now because they’ve completely taken away the old tracker. I’m now being “forced” to track in this new system and it’s awful. It says I’ve gone 35 points over my target and I don’t even know how. I’ve never gone over by that much. I downloaded a spread sheet to help me track and to be honest, I may end up just going with that and canceling my subscription if they don’t offer the old tracker as an option for those who want and need it, like myself. I can no longer go in and add activity points for later in the week on the days I know I will work out. This no longer allows me to plan ahead what I’m able to eat, depending on how much I know I’m going to work out for the week. In the past, it was easy to plan the entire week. I no longer can and I feel this is going to set me up for failure. 🙁

    • says

      I think a lot of the numbers are wrong on stuff right now. It told me the other day my breakfast was over 20 points when it was 4. I think those kinds of things will get fixed. The old tracker won’t be coming back I don’t think. WW wanted to move away from Flash (which I think is good) and they aren’t likely to bring it back. I do think also that some of the missing features will come back. It is so frustrating right now though. I like the idea of a new tracker, but I don’t like the lessening of functionality.

  8. Kathy says

    I really do not like the new Beta. I did like the graphs to follow my weigh in, my mensurations …now it is complicated to from my profil page, to the forum to my home page…. I did not choose to be on a proteins diet!!! no way. now take my little treats cost a lot of points… I will probably not continu with that
    sorry if I make mistakes in my writting, I am frenchy girl!!!

  9. Beth says

    I actually unsubscribed in December because it was so frustrating and not working properly. I would like to re-subscribe but have no way of knowing if the site has been improved and the bugs have been worked out. Any info would be appreciated. 🙂

    • says

      It is better, at least for me. I am satisfied with the iPhone app now. On the browser login, I’m not personally having any errors right now. There are still some links that seem to come and go. The biggest issue is that on the browser we still can’t search the foods we put in there or search our favorites. I find that annoying. Supposedly it and some other features are returning, but they aren’t here yet. However, that search is on the iPhone app so I can go search there so it doesn’t really bother me that much. I do think that things are much better than they were in December.

  10. Patti says

    Returning to WW after many years, I JUST signed up for and paid 6 months via PayPal. As soon as I logged in and saw (attempted to use) the new Tracking site, I called for and received a FULL Refund. This is so unfortunate. I was looking forward to getting back to WW and using the tracker online. 🙁

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