Product names vs chemical names?

In my old app, Pool Doctor, I sometimes used product names (for example, “Bioguard BalancePack 200”) instead of chemical names (“Sodium Carbonate” or “soda ash”).

This was useful because some brands had different concentrations of active ingredients, and I could maintain a master list.

However, as I soon learned, there are a lot of chemicals, and I really don’t want to be in the business of endorsing any specific brands.

In pooldash, I’m sticking to chemical names for now, and I made it really easy to adjust concentration on the fly (and the app remembers those adjustments). However, I’m a little bit worried that this is a regression in terms of the poolside experience. It’s easier to see “add 6 oz of BalancePack 200” than it is to see “add 6 oz of Sodium Carbonate”, and then have to read the fine-print on all the chemicals to remember which one is the soda-ash.

I’ve considered letting people create their own “alias” for each chemical – for instance, you could automatically sub out all “sodium carbonate” with “BalancePack 200”, and even include a concentration in that.

Maaaaybe this could eventually be a sort-of crowdsourced master list, but I’m probably not going to take it that far.

I’m open to feedback at this stage – what do y’all think?

What about having a list of materials and the option to duplicate a default material and rename this and set also the scoop size or weight of the used tablets.

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That is an interesting idea… so, to build on it, I could:

  1. Allow people to save their own product names for chemicals / concentrations (for instance: 67% Calcium Hypochlorite could be saved as “Bob’s Chlorine”).

  2. Maybe still have a master-list… but people wouldn’t be limited to it, and maaaaaaybe it could get automatically updated with everyone’s custom product names?

re: scoop sizes & volume vs weight, I’ll respond in the other thread: Custom Scoop Sizes?

I really appreciate the feedback, and am always open to more.

Not afraid that updating the masterlist with all the custom names will make it cluttered.

hmmm I’m actually very afraid of this, now that you mention it.

Also, it will be pretty tedious to code it in a way that’s tough to spam… so I’ll almost certainly not implement this particular feature (the crowd-sourced chemical names) for a long while.

Reviving this thread based on new user feedback – I think we can rethink the concentration screen to add “nickname” functionality, and also allow the user to select from a pre-loaded list of common product names.

@katiehorbal what do you think?

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Think it’s a great idea to let the user nickname/ produce their own names for chemicals in app to make it more personalized and user friendly.

Its going to be a long list of products (the Pool Doctor product selector screen shows that) so we need to think through how we want to order them. alphabetically, by popularity, function, etc.


We are redesign the Treatments screen so that users can customized their treatments by adding their own chemicals/products along with their concentration levels. The new chemical and concentration page is still in the design process.
@gazzini just to review if the user clicks the “make suggestion” button they will be taken to a new page to input their new chemical or product and concentration, then be able to save this new chemical and choose it a treatment for their pool. Is that all correct?

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For V1 of this feature, let’s just open the forum when they press that button (https://forum.pooldash.com)

If we get a lot of action this way, we’ll build out the full flow. For now, there won’t be a way to add a custom treatment in the app itself.