Author Topic: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas  (Read 7469 times)

Offline shady

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UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« on: February 12, 2010, 04:06:54 pm »
What is open to discussion?  Are we safe to assume that UI4 will be built from the ground up and we should share all of our crazy ideas and wishlists for the perfect UI?  Or, is UI4 the next release of UI3 and our suggestions should be limited to what has been started in UI3?

For the purpose of this post, I'll assume we can brainstorm anything we want.  

Spalding Smails: I want a hamburger. No, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips
[gets cut off by Judge Smails]
Judge Smails: You'll get nothing, and like it!     .....couldn't resist the Caddyshack quote

I would like a UI that is more control panel oriented, similar to what SQ Connect has done with their Remote.  

I'd also like the UI to be touchscreen friendly with larger icons.  Also, easy customization (within reason) similar to what SQ Remote has done.  

I like the open nature of the programmability and I don't think we need to go as far as having wizards set everything up.


Just for starters, I'll keep thinking though.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 04:12:30 pm by shady »
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Offline jamie

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 04:47:12 pm »
I am not one of the lucky ones testing SQ, so I'm not sure how it works... but can't wait to see it...

...but I wanted to drop my 2c - I like the gadget or widget way iGoogle or MyYahoo works for the "Dashboard."

It's customizable by the user to place items that are frequently used in a prominent place on the screen.  Base widgets supplied by MCV, and even the possibility of the community contributing custom widgets.  Since I  too am interested in making it touchscreen friendly, I could even see wanting to put non-vera types of widgets on this screen for weather or other items I wish I had quick access to.

No thoughts on setup at this point, but since it's used less frequently, I'm really kind of okay with anything that works.

I know my suggestion may be wandering from the core of the product, but hey, you gotta have dreams!

guest4733

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 05:54:13 pm »
For sure the UI4 will be built from scratch. I intend to have discussions and debates and I invite all the users to share opinions and to come with wishlists and request. We will consider all your requests and my team has a tough mission: to design an UI based on your everyday needs.

We will focus on the most important aspects and we will try to satisfy everybody even if at the final some will say that they need something more or different.

We will start from scratch and we will build the UI, together, step by step, posting here proposals, sketches, designs and so on. Everybody can have an opinion, and as more opinions we will bring here, the easier our job will be.

So let's brainstorm.

Offline zmistro

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 05:56:38 pm »
Sounds great!

Offline markbawden

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 06:10:18 pm »
Firstly it's great news  that MVC are listening. I really think ui3 was a serious misstep on their part.

I'd suggest firstly looking at use scenarios, then buildling UI4 to meet users expectations.

Firstly divide the UI in 3 parts, set up (which would be used rarely - adding new devices, creating scenes etc). and in to control, (which would be used daily for turning stuff on and off etc) and Luup/mios area for tweakers/coders hidden away where it doesn't confuse new customers. This may sound like basic common sense stuff, but it's what was lacking in UI3.

Next sit down before even touching a keyboard and finesse the language used to describe interface elements - it's inexcusable to describe a 'scene' as a 'device' as ui3 did, words have meaning - stick to them. (i'm sure forum members can help where it comes to localisation).  Same with any other metaphors, stick to the same colours and shapes for interface choices/popups/forms etc. think about how elements present themselves, and a users intuitive response to them.

Don't start tweaking UI3, Start from the ground up and create a user centred interface that puts functionality and information presentation first.

For my use scenario I'd like to see everything at a glance - eg be able to filter a list of all my devices to show all lights that are on, all that aren't responding etc

How many people turn lights on and off from the other side of the world? OK it's sort of cool that you can, but there's not a lot of point to it. Home automation is about just that - AUTOMATION, and automation demands 100% reliability. If your scene to draw your curtains and lock your doors only works 99% of the time, then you'll find yourself logging in to check it's done, which negates the whole point of automation.

Vera needs to concentrate on reliability, I want to click on a scene and forget about it in the knowledge that my command has been actioned, I don't want to wait 30 seconds then poll the devices to see if they have responded, Vera should do that for me.

My investment in ZWAVE far exceeds the cost of vera, so Vera is the most easily replaceable component in my system, please make it work, otherwise you'll find customers slipping away after reading about stuf like UI3 on forums.

Lastly, I really love my vera, (with ui2 for all it's faults), it's a great low energy solution, much better than a dedicated pc, and I really want to stick with it. heres hoping UI4 is what we want it to be.

Offline Bazzo1

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 07:53:58 pm »
I recommend that UI2 be polished and continue to be used for current retail market.  A dual path development should take place.  UI4 shouldn't be the primary focus if a retail customer can't us it.  Keep it simply stupid.  Have a tech savy interface for those who want to tinker.
All of the Press MCV got was its simplicity.  Finish what you started.

Offline mdconnelly

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 09:33:38 pm »
I totally agree with MarkBawden - divide the UI to keep setup, control and programming separate.  They each have quite different requirements and, may, in fact serve different users.  Of course, you can make it easy to get from one to the other, but design each to address the purpose of each.

I'd also suggest keeping it simple and light-weight knowing that you will be tweaking, improving and, yes, replacing it over time.  The UI evolution is continuous, fast paced and, if you're not careful, expensive.   You're not designing games - there's no need for glitz.   Keep in professional, consistent, and intuitive for the functions needed most. 

I *really* appreciate your openness to input via these forums, but be careful not to let it slow you down or derail you.   While listening to customer feedback is critical, you're never going to get it with a single voice - you can't please everyone.   

When you are ready for beta testing, use a robust regimen, post beta releases in a clearly defined place, and establish a means of communication for beta users that help YOU move the beta forward.     

Communicate!  I am so impressed with how MCV has responded in the last couple days.   Users can generally tolerate bugs and mistakes as long as they understand what's going on and feel like MCV is listening and responding. 

Offline Keeper

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 10:04:12 pm »
I recommend that UI2 be polished and continue to be used for current retail market.  A dual path development should take place.  UI4 shouldn't be the primary focus if a retail customer can't us it.  Keep it simply stupid.  Have a tech savy interface for those who want to tinker.
All of the Press MCV got was its simplicity.  Finish what you started.


+1

I second every word said with a focus on

Simple and Stupid as front (will help you sell)
Tech Savvy interface at back  full of combinations and logics to choose from (Customization)_
Third interface (as in manual mode) for Scripts as required
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 01:26:06 am by guessed »

Offline michaelk

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 12:53:32 pm »
i agree with the opinion about keeping the "dashboard" from the "setup" different.

not sure if 'normal' setup needs to be separate from programming but maybe that's a good idea.

One complaint I have about setup

 in both UI2 and UI3 is that you have to open a pile of tabs or expand pluses and keep clicking to add different events or triggers and actions. Even once complete you can't see the whole shabang at once. I'd like one complete overview that shows the whole thing rather than needing to click all over to see what events, or timers, or commands that there are.


I'd also LOVE to actually get the web page to help those of us programmatically challanged help with lua- - or an ability to have simple logic in triggers without learning lua- but I'm not sure if either of those are for the UI team or the engine team to build.... (can you give any incite actually on that?)

Offline lyonne

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2010, 03:40:35 pm »
I will vote for keeping the Lua code and maybe polishing it up a little bit with documentation and a easier debugging interface.  Tailing logs works but I find it hard to sit down for a few minutes and fix a couple of problems when it takes me 10 minutes to set up my workspace.  For me, the Lua programming filled in the things I wanted Vera to do.  It made me a much happier customer since I could set up my automation like I wanted it.  A simple, low weight and elegant interface is great, but the community to help fix my problems has been the most satisfying part of the Vera experience.
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Offline michaelk

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 03:58:31 pm »
another wish as I think about it more- can we get multiple views to switch between easily? Maybe the sections could have tabs to bounce around or something like that?

basically I'm thinking of floor plans view- I have 3 floors. It's tough to draw them all on one page and not be so small to be unreadable. But if i could bounce between all 3 floors easily that might work well.

If sections were easy to navigate I could make a basement section, a first floor section, and a second floor section. (and probably a fourth section for stuff I dont want on any of those)

And while I'm dreaming - maybe allow devices to be shown in more than one view/section/floor. someone else mentioned that before for certain scenes and I think that would be a good idea. I'd probably like to see my main thermostat in a couple sections.  Some scenes would be nice to have by the front door (first floor) and also in the second floor by the master bedroom. etc.



guest4733

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2010, 02:32:45 am »
OK, and in the operate mode the user should be able to change between sections? I think yes. But would't come this as a tough operation? Because there were a lot of complaints about the fact that you don't have a basic, simple, fast way to operate.

Anyway, on my mac I can switch between SPACE with CMD+Arrows and I have in one space business in one home in one entertainment and so on. I think this is a good model for the sections, to have one (or more) quick way of changing the sections.

Offline michaelk

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 09:47:26 am »
And hence we see why I'm not the UI designer- laughing.

it could make things too complex- and people might just opt to keep everything in one section and not be bothered. But I think options are a good thing.

you have any other thoughts as to how to make a floorplan view work with a house that isn't one story? Honestly I'm a bit at a loss. I tried to do all 3 floors of my house (on the small side) side by side in UI3 but then when it zooms out it's almost worthless as the icons are so small.

Offline dsh2009

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 04:42:39 pm »
hi all,

total newb here.  NOT a Vera user YET - i am shopping for something to be the heart of my home automation/security system and also for use in a commercial application, and have been lurking around here for several months trying to determine if Vera will fit the bill.

i have two questions/suggestions.  the first pertains to my personal potential use of Vera at my home.  as i understand the Vera technology, it does not allow for live streaming of video, either locally or remotely - correct?  what i envision in my home is a setup where there are cameras at strategic locations inside and outside the house that can be monitored/controlled via two or tree touch-screens.  for example, if i am in the back bedroom and someone rings the doorbell, i want to be able to see live video on a touch-screen in the bedroom to see who is there and either grant access or not (probably with the Schlage lock).  so, if i am correct and Vera currently will NOT do this for me, perhaps this is something that can be overcome with a new software build?  if not then i will most probably be looking at a more robust (and much more expensive!) solution.

my second suggestion, and please correct me if this is something that is already possible, would be to add multi-location abilities to the software.  my girlfriend works at a small property management company, and they could really use the ability to monitor several locations without having to log in and out of separate Vera's.  in other words, for example, if they could have cameras/Veras at say, ten locations, but access them all through one account, that would be a hugely useful application.  or, as another example, if the same thing could be done with the Schlage door lock - they could grant remote access to real estate agents, potential tenants, workmen, etc.

i realize that in this configuration, each location would need it's own Vera.  as i understand it, the way the software works now would mean that for each location, there would be a separate password and login required.  this doesn't work for her application.  ideally, she, or someone at the management office, would be able to log in to one account and access multiple Vera's at multiple locations.  one computer screen in the office could give real-time updates on all locations (as many as could be fit on the screen of course) at one time and be monitored/controlled easily from one workstation.

i hope these aren't pie-in-the-sky ideas!  thanks!

-d

guest4690

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Re: UI4 Wishlist and other crazy ideas
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2010, 05:41:01 pm »
my second suggestion, and please correct me if this is something that is already possible, would be to add multi-location abilities to the software.  my girlfriend works at a small property management company, and they could really use the ability to monitor several locations without having to log in and out of separate Vera's.  in other words, for example, if they could have cameras/Veras at say, ten locations, but access them all through one account, that would be a hugely useful application.  or, as another example, if the same thing could be done with the Schlage door lock - they could grant remote access to real estate agents, potential tenants, workmen, etc.

Currently you can have several Vera's as primary/secondaries setup.  This makes all devices appear to be controlled by the primary one.  From here to a multi-location ability, seems to be mostly an issue of IP networking.... something to test