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Author Topic: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction  (Read 16042 times)

Offline umtauscher

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New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« on: February 05, 2010, 02:10:33 am »
Sorry if I will hurt anyone, but I have to say this:

I installed the new beta firmware and after one hour I was sure I had to got back. I am very, very sorry, that I feel vera is moving so much in the wrong direction that I might have to abandon it. If any bugfixes in the furure are based on that, I think I would not be able to live with it. Now my most annyoing points:

1.) The UI is so slow, I don't know how one could ever use this serieously.
2.) It looks hiddeous. The old UI at least looked professional...
3.) The z-wave actions are even slower than with the old software. It took my motion sensor between 10 and 20 sec. to switch on the light through vera.
4.) I cannot find my way arround this thing. The old UI was quite straight forward. How to use the new one escapes me. I can move icons arround, but they keep moving, diappearing or showing up somewhere else.
5.) The mobile UI is unchanged for now (thank God) but it also is still unable to display states of motion sensore, temperatures etc.


I can't imagine what drove you guys, to try to build a "Windows" UI in flash. On my Notebook (1,4 GHz Celeron) this is totally unusable.  What device would I have to install for a quick an snappy performance of this?  I can understand that you felt, that the hardware wasn't up to the task of driving the grafic userinterface. So instead of making a leaner UI which consumes less horsepower, you decided to design an even heavier UI and put the workload on the client...

The only way I could stay with vera would be, that the Squareconnect UI would be awesome and I would never have to see Veras UI again. I doubt that that's going to happen!

Sorry again, if I come on so strong, but I liked the old Vera very much.
If it looked that ("new") way in the first place, I think I never would have bought it.

Umtauscher.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 02:51:09 am by umtauscher »

Offline Roger.NET

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 09:27:39 am »
Hey umtauscher,

I agree with you.  I hate flash.  Its only good for powerful PCs and its so processor intensive that its got to eat of Vera's resources.  If my choice is between a regular web page or flash interface... I choose regular web page.

I know you guys are spending a lot of effort, time, and love on flash but I don't think its the right solution.

Offline Roger.NET

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 09:29:59 am »
Being in flash will also affect the ability to create a wall mounted PC to control the system because the hardware has to be that much more powerful and drives up cost.  I would love to use the new Archos 9 tablet but a Flash interface would run like crap.

http://www.archos.com/products/nb/archos_9/index.html?country=us&lang=en

Offline mdconnelly

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 10:04:15 am »
OK, I've been on the developer side of beta software.  The purpose of beta 'testers' is to provide constructive feedback, not ridicule.   With that in mind....  Your flash orientation post identifies 3 goals:

Our goals with the new UI were: 1) Make it look prettier and more polished, 2) Make it simpler and more intuitive, 3) Make it extensible so third party developers of Luup plugins can create their own user interfaces for their own device types.  

Based upon about an hour with the new UI, I have to agree with umtauscher - so far, I think you missed your first two goals.  It would be interesting to put a brand new Vera owner in front of this UI.   Having spent the last month becoming very familiar with Vera and the old UI, I was able to become productive with the new UI relatively quickly, but... polished and intuitive?  Not so much.

With that said, I have no doubt that it has much more under the hood to facilitate your 3rd goal, but that's not likely to help sell the product to new users.  I bought Vera a bit over a month ago because in researching it, it seemed like a very well-designed and professional product.  The older UI, while likely not as robust, had a nice sense of workflow and simplicity.  

As with any new product in beta, it will most certainly improve so take the above feedback for what it's worth.   Personally, I think Vera is an awesome product and there's no way I'm giving up on it.  The goal of Vera is not about highly productive software, but about controlling my living environment and it does that amazingly well.  But (and there's always a but ;-) you absolutely need a highly intuitive software platform to get this product into homes - IMHO, most people will not have the patience it takes to master this UI as it is currently designed.


Offline michaelk

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2010, 10:17:27 am »
not much love in this thread.  doh!

But seriously-

MCV has said they are working on efficiency to speed things up and use less resources. But I'm no expert at all what that means. And how far that can go.

So my question is- Adobe is supposedly making Flash for cell phones- I beleive it's basically ready for the Android OS and Palm WebOS. And the Winmo version is on the way. So if flash is such a hog- what's the flash experience (in general- not necessarily vera's ui)- going to be like on those devices?

BTW- is the long delay from when we click an icon and the z-wave response related to flash?

Offline michaelk

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2010, 10:30:00 am »
OK, I've been on the developer side of beta software.  The purpose of beta 'testers' is to provide constructive feedback, not ridicule.   With that in mind....  Your flash orientation post identifies 3 goals:

Our goals with the new UI were: 1) Make it look prettier and more polished, 2) Make it simpler and more intuitive, 3) Make it extensible so third party developers of Luup plugins can create their own user interfaces for their own device types.  

Based upon about an hour with the new UI, I have to agree with umtauscher - so far, I think you missed your first two goals.  It would be interesting to put a brand new Vera owner in front of this UI.   Having spent the last month becoming very familiar with Vera and the old UI, I was able to become productive with the new UI relatively quickly, but... polished and intuitive?  Not so much.

With that said, I have no doubt that it has much more under the hood to facilitate your 3rd goal, but that's not likely to help sell the product to new users.  I bought Vera a bit over a month ago because in researching it, it seemed like a very well-designed and professional product.  The older UI, while likely not as robust, had a nice sense of workflow and simplicity.  

As with any new product in beta, it will most certainly improve so take the above feedback for what it's worth.   Personally, I think Vera is an awesome product and there's no way I'm giving up on it.  The goal of Vera is not about highly productive software, but about controlling my living environment and it does that amazingly well.  But (and there's always a but ;-) you absolutely need a highly intuitive software platform to get this product into homes - IMHO, most people will not have the patience it takes to master this UI as it is currently designed.



I think this is a very well put post- although personally I think #1 is well on the way. They need to tweak icons and fonts and colors and the like, but the framework is there to purdy it up. They’re moving from a largely text based interface to something that is graphical. Seems like a good direction.

#2- actually I think the dashboard/status things are simpler- and for some the graphical setup will be better to see where things actually are. But the setup pages are a mess- too complicated to edit a device or scene. Not very intuitive (how long did it take everyone to realize the pattern of closing a tab after you open it on a setup box? It wasn’t just obvious to me- was I the only one) . Having multiple tabs to click around to gather or edit info on a device or scene  isn’t the cleanest thing- especially since the way things are grouped isn’t so obvious to beginners.  The setup should be simpler and intuitive and seems there was essentially zero effort to fiddle with the backend of things  for that goal- it’s just not obvious that sunrise and sunset are day of the week times as opposed to events- the logic of events and timers isn’t any simpler to understand-  users that don’t take the time to learn Lua still can’t make triggers based on and/or statements.  Having a great “dashboard” doesn’t do much if you can’t figure out how to set it up to suit your needs.

Offline Roger.NET

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 10:32:52 am »
I just want to be clear.  I am not dissing anyones work.  I'm just noting my experience.  I just got my Vera yesterday.  As for the flash, it is a resource hog.  It will not run well on portable devices just like it doesn't run well on low powered desktops.  This is the reason Apple won't let flash on the iPhone.

PS... I still think Vera is the best on the market!

Offline brsipaq

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 11:01:31 am »
I bought my Vera early last Spring to support my new Z-Wave network.  I've spent approximately $1200 on my devices and obviously Vera was about a quarter of that.

I would recommend focusing on what Vera was designed for.... z-wave.  Get me a usable interface so I can manage and automate my z-wave devices.  I don't want phantom devices that I can't delete.  Make it rock solid.

Then worry about x10, insteon, cameras, energy, etc.

Thanks,
Brian
Controllers - Vera firmware 979 Dongle version 2.78 L:1, GE 45601 and 45608, HA07c, HA09c
Outlets/Switches - HA01c, (2) HA02c, (4) VRI06, (2) VRS15, HA04c (Not used yet) Sensor - HRDS1 Door/Window (garage door) Thermostat - WDTC-20 IP Camera - Linksys WVC54GCA

Offline markbawden

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 12:48:16 pm »
I've got to sadly agree, I feel this is a step in the wrong direction. I'm going to wind back to the old firmware, this is just a mess. I really love my Vera, and really want to see it succeed, but if I was a new customer, this would not persuade me to buy.

In the meantime I'm using the smart phone interface on my computer, it's a shame development is probably going to stop for this.

I can only hope that the upcoming square connect app isn't as disappointing as this has turned out to be.

Please take this criticism as constructive, to restate I love my Vera, but I relly think that you should have just refined the previous web interface.

Offline joserpaq

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 12:55:17 pm »
I think we need to be patient since it's beta so I hope that it will speed up with time but the speed is by far the biggest issue that I have seen. I just cannot use to with a netbook and it's very slow on a core2dual laptop. The visual glitches and corks can be worked out but if the speed can't be improved it might be a big issue.
Vera, 30 Leviton Nodes (dimmers, switches, zone/scene controllers, combo controllers), Schlage, 3N1 Motion, Water sensor, Techniku shades

Offline umtauscher

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 01:23:39 pm »
I think we need to be patient since it's beta so I hope that it will speed up with time but the speed is by far the biggest issue that I have seen.
I fear there will not be enough patience in the world to make this nearly as performant as the old UI and I think this already is quite slow and eats on interla processing speed.
Vera sould seriously speed up the internal processing of the z-wave stuff. Making a fancy UI on a simple router is never going to happen. It simply hasn't enough horsepower. If SQ is then able to steer that thing appropriately I would even spend some more $ (or € in my case) on that software.
Anything else is just whishful thinking.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 01:26:38 pm by umtauscher »

Offline reiserx

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2010, 01:24:55 pm »
I agree also that the old UI just needed a minor update to make it a bit more intuitive here and there. This new one is more confusing, slow, and it was nowhere near ready to be released even as a beta to the general public. It should have been kept between a select few testers as not to waste everyone's time. At least they are getting feedback albeit negative. It's back to .979 for me. I'll wait it out until it's proven because I'm so sick of wasting hour upon hour trying to get it working when crap like this comes out. All I have is a WD thermostat and a Schlage lock and nether one worked. Hmm probably the most popular thermostat and the only lock and they couldn't even get them working properly before a release. What the hell?

Offline zmistro

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 01:41:20 pm »
Using this new UI on my own machine is a big disapointment compared to CES. At CES the app ran pretty smooth but here at the office it is a pain. It is so sloooooooooooooow.
I too think MCV has gone in the wrong direction. All I expected was refinements to the original GUI a place to place custom banners, Get rid of the fuzziness feel of the graphics. What we have is what I might consider a mess at the moment.

MCV please keep it simple bright and intuitive. Clean and sharp. We don't need this other stuff as long as it slows down the user experience.

Thanks for listening.

Offline Bazzo1

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 01:44:18 pm »
I agree.  New UI will not work for the common user.  I think that a dual path development must happen.   The original UI should be tweaked and polished.  Then do whatever you want with the new UI.  Please don't abandon the old UI.    Continue to develop both UIs and have them converge somewhere down the road when enough of the Computer savvy work out the issues.

Offline shady

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Re: New UI: A Giant step - In the wrong direction
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 01:53:21 pm »
I had access to the new UI through the SQ Connect beta test, and I was able to see it in action at CES.  I have to say that I was that much happier that I'd have SQ Remote controlling everything and not have to use the new Vera UI much.  

I was in most of your shoes, as far as the shock of such a major change goes.  I thought that at least I'm not scrolling and scrolling anymore, but then I realized now I'm zooming in and out.  I have mentioned elsewhere that I'm not a fan of the floor plan layout and I prefer customizable control pages (like in SQ Remote).

I understand that the reason most of us bought a Vera is because it was such a light weight elegant solution.  It didn't have all of the eyecandy and bell and whistles, but was a simple control solution that did everything it needed to.  I know this new UI seems like they are moving away from that simplicity, but MCV says it is actually a smaller footprint than the old UI.  It does seem better suited toward touchscreens, except for the zooming.  If we could have an option between floorplan or control pages that might do the trick for me.

I am getting used to it as time passes, so I'd say lets give it some time and see what improvements we can suggest and see if we can help make it what we want.
Vera3 1.5.346, Schlage (3)DB (2)Lever, Kwikset (1)Lever, RCS TZ43 Thermo, (2) Vizia RZI06-1LX 600W Dimmers, (17) Monster (Leviton) Dimmers (6) Monster (Leviton) IWC Scene Controllers (1) Etherrain-8, (3) HSM 100's (1)GE 3-Way set