Simplify the UI for family members

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Simplify the UI for family members

Postby Sachelis » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:11 pm

I've seen numerous posts about changes to the Favorites, but I'd still like to see a much simpler user interface for my less-techy family members.

I have four devices (light switches), three programs (that specify whether we are home, away, or on vacation), and two thermostats. It is easy-enough for me to access these, but when a family member picks up the iPad (maybe weeks or months since they used it last), they see eight icons across the bottom of the page and each page has additional options. Even if I could teach them to "always select the heart" (Favorites), they'd still need to toggle between Devices to control lights and Programs to change between Home and Vacation. And then to change the thermostats, they have to click the thermostat icon (which they won't remember) and know to slide left-right to change between upstairs and downstairs.

I'd like to see a "dummies" mode (hee-hee) that would limit the display to one set of scrollable pages (similar to the home screens in iOS and Android), where I could put scenes, devices, programs, and thermostats. I'd want to control the order of the items (similar to the home screens in iOS and Android). Tapping on the thermostats would bring up an easily-closeable window showing the larger thermostat (because thermostats require more screen real estate). To non-techies, it'd be intuitive and very much like their existing mobile devices.

I'm fine with the complexities of programming home automation, but until turning on/off lights and setting the temperature is as easy as walking up to a wall switch or thermostat, I think it'll remain the domain of us techies.

(Apologies that this turned into a mild-rant! I'm a developer and get "suggestions" from customers daily. That said, I didn't want to remain silent. Thanks for a great product.)
Sachelis
 
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Re: Simplify the UI for family members

Postby AdminWes » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:52 am

Hi Sachelis,

Thanks for reaching out and providing your input! Yes, it's a challenge to design interfaces that work for non-tech folks all the way down to those that have hundreds and hundreds of devices that want to fine tune every aspect of their setup. We've tried to strike a balance in between both positions, but with that said, I do understand what you are looking for.

While the feedback we've received has been very positive from our non-techy users, we're considering creating a "Guest" app version of MobiLinc that would be similar to what you are suggesting where it's even more basic than what the most basic setup of MobiLinc presents today. Just a very basic UI for the guests or non-techy folks of the house. It would be tied and authentified to your MobiLinc Connect account so that you could enable/disable access via your main MobiLinc app/account as well as setup how the screen looks, etc.

We're still in the very early consideration stages for something like this, but can see the value that this would offer to our multi-experienced users.

Wes
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Re: Simplify the UI for family members

Postby Sachelis » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:11 pm

Thanks for the response, Wes. I agree it really should be a guest app and not a part of the current MobiLinc app. It'd be nice if the customization was stored on your server, so all of the "guest" apps in the house would look similar. And I do think you've struck a good balance for techy users (i.e., the folks who implement the HA). Making a simple guest app would help us techies sell the technology to our significant others.
Sachelis
 
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:47 pm

Re: Simplify the UI for family members

Postby AdminWes » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:14 pm

We agree! That's the idea we're playing with (storing the config server side) so that it's as simple of a process to download and get connected as possible for the guest.

Wes
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