Poor User Interface Design

I’m impressed with SmartThings…sort of. The idea is certainly very interesting. The user interface, however, has a number of disturbing flaws in it.

The latest one I think I’ve run into involves adding a new user to the system. In my ignorance, I attempted to do that by downloading the SmartThings app to my wife’s iPhone, and then tried to set it up the way I had set up my iPhone.

After entering the requested welcome code, I got an error message that said the account was invalid or something, and then was directed to a page with instructions on how to reset my controller.

Sadly, I am no longer able to use the SmartThings app on >>my<< iPhone, which I initially used to set up the system. Apparently, trying to “add” a user the way I did caused a lock out.

I guess I don’t mind, too much, having to reset the controller…although I will be really bloody annoyed if in doing so I lost all the configuration I did the other day setting things up.

But what torques me is that – assuming attempting to add the second user is what caused the lockout – it should never have happened. One should not create mouse traps for the unwary in defining a user interface. “Oh, I’m sorry, attempting to lower the windows in your car before starting the engine requires a factory reset of your engine” would never be tolerated in an automobile, and innocent mistakes in using software should not cause this kind of problem.

Of course, the lock out/need to reset may be caused by something else…in which case, what kind of system initiates lock outs without warning?

  • Mark

Don’t reset the hub! Yes you will lose anything you configured already.

Talk to support and you can probably get it worked out.

To add someone to your account, you go to “my account” in the mobile app’s “more” tab (on iOS it’s the hamburger icon on the bottom right). Then tap “manage users” and add the other person’s email address.

You’re right that this isn’t at all self-explanatory and they probably shouldn’t booby trap the hub if you inadvertently enter the welcome code again from another email address.


Here is a link to tine support instructions on adding users if you would like to read thru that also. It explains what you do as well as what the user being added should do.

Thanx for the responses.

In the end, it looks like the problem was because I had inadvertently set up two developer accounts, one at the SmartThings portal and one at the Samsung SmartThings portal. This confused the login system.

The solution appears to have been to clear the cache on my iPhone. I say “appears” because I’m not sure it actually did the trick, although sometime after doing so I was again able to log in.

Apparently there’s no way to delete the unneeded SmartThings portal account.

Here’s hoping Samsung and SmartThings clean up their login system, or at merge their systems!

  • Mark