SmartThings Website "refresh" - why why why?!


#1

For the life of me I can’t figure out why companies let the Marketing and Creative design folks get involved in website updates. What was a straight forward page to look an see if a product “Works with SmartThings” is now a big bubbly fluffy waste of my browser space. Instead of giving me a nice concise list of the products what work I now get a enormous picture of an Arlo camera and half of a light bulb. So on 23" inches or monitor I can see 1 full product at a time and it’s so freakin big people behind me 15’ away can clearly see every detail.

I understand that you guys wanna sell some of that space at the top and limit it to a single product promotion but dang leave the rest of the page somewhat more usable. I’m not shopping for a new motion sensor, door contact or leak detector based on what a 6"+ picture looks like. If this were shoes or a cellphone case this would be more appropriate. Now this page just looks like everyone elses that is doing everything they can to look like Apples website.


(Ben Lebson) #2

That is the “Works with SmartThings” page, which isn’t an actual compatibility list, just the list of ‘certified’ devices. They don’t show any of the ‘Labs’ devices anymore. That means no Sonos, no D-Link Cameras, etc.


#3

They let creative and marketing folks involved in the website because they have this weird condition where they need to sell products in order to make money.


#4

Thanks for the feedback. I’ve shared it with the teams involved with the redesign. We have some more changes following quickly that should make it a bit easier to navigate. We’ve actually added a ton of information as part of this redesign, including full product pages so that we can have consistent information about our devices on every web property and in SmartThings clients.

Our intent is to add a “list view” in a future revision of the site.


(Ben Lebson) #5

Will there ever be an ‘unofficial’ compatibility list created? For things like the Labs integrations or Lowes IRIS sensors which have fingerprints in the official ST DTHs. A list that would have everything that works without a 3rd party DTH but might not be certified ‘Works with Smartthings’?


(Michael Hess) #6

I agree, it’s like the websites that scroll a sentence worth of info in a whole screen. Sure it works better on mobile, sometimes, but seeing 3 and 1/2 of 3 items on a 24" monitor is ridiculous.


#7

Yes but it’s not Samsung products for sale on this page. It’s as Ben corrected me on above a list of certified items. Making it 10x harder for me to verify if a product I saw elsewhere is on the list of certified products certainly doesn’t make Samsung anymore money. This is where I think you missed the point of my post, why are the “creative” folks getting involved in what should be more of a technical or engineering side of the business.


#8

Yes, that’s what you’ve been using this page for.

But this is their branded page, open to the public and clearly designed with the express intent of selling people - most likely newcomers to HA - on all the wonderful things that will work with Smartthings. This adds more value to their service, sells more hubs, more stuff, more whatever. The value of this strategy for Samsung’s long term revenue is debatable, I guess - but this is clearly their play to capture as much of the budding HA market as they can.

How many customers choose Smartthings because of how many devices it works with compared to its competitors? I’m going to guess its in the top three reasons people choose a hub.

Customers browse, they want big pictures, white space and clean design that makes them more likely to purchase. They don’t hunt through Excel lists. That’s too much effort. It’s why stores are designed the way the are. I work in this field, the data is obvious. Every site redesign is meticulously studied for every possible site visit metric.

So, yes, this is a page for newcomers and potential Smartthings customers doing typical customer research, more often than not these days on mobile devices. Not a list for the current Smartthings power user to quickly check. That’s what this community is for, I suppose.

And this is why creative folks design UX interfaces for online browsing, shopping, etc.


#9

They didn’t copy Apple on this one. Here’s the official list of HomeKit – compatible devices:

The list with pictures is in the store, not in support.


#10

Not a chance that this applies to this particular redesign.

It is completely inaccessible via voiceover or any other screen reader. Even the text labels are off: the Phillips hue go is voiced as just “go.”

Many of the links, including the one to shop, don’t work at all using voice.

People with disabilities are a significant market for home automation systems. Samsung said so in keynote addresses this year.

Samsung strives to create breakthrough mobile technologies that help make the digital world more accessible for those with disabilities
.
http://www.design.samsung.com/global/contents/accessibility/

Unfortunately, the new Samsung SmartThings compatible devices page will not work for many of them. It absolutely has not gone through an ADA-compliance review.

I’m not opposed to pretty pages. But this one is not the result of metrics.


(Michael Hess) #11

“Customers browse, they want big pictures, white space and clean design that makes them more likely to purchase.”

Unfortunately you are very right about this. Design for any sales organization is brought to the lowest common denominator. Design like this sucks, simply because it suckers more idiots into buying stuff because it’s perty. It’s a terrible trend that’s only gotten worse over the years in the tech industry. The more complicated stuff gets, the “easier” it has to be presented, and the fewer immediate options the better. People hate to learn how their new toys work.

Ironic really, in this case.

Oh and the perfect example of this: Apple.


(Shelley Powers) #12

Is it just me, or are there a whole lot less items than there used to be?


(Rob) #13

Also noticed SONOS is no longer listed as well, are we to take that as a message?


#14

Oh and the perfect example of this: Apple.

Yeah, well I can’t think of a single company that wouldn’t want Apple’s success, so what you say is “lowest common denominator”, I say is obviously successful marketing.

But it’s not my job to defend creative design and marketing. I was just answering the question “why.”


#15

It is the result of metrics. It’s just not the result of the proper metrics, in this case. Ie - these metrics would be site visits, click throughs, mobile traffic, SEM, etc. Which is what the majority of web analytics are looking at.

100% agree that every aspect of that site should be accessible. My only guess is that whoever was tasked with the development were not informed of this before or during Q/A and coding. Which is disappointing.

But you complaint and LCSteve’s are vastly different, for a design perspective. There’s no reason this site couldn’t look and function as a sales/marketing piece for Smartthings as well as be completely accessible.

However, this also wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen Samsung say one thing while doing another thing. Happens quite a bit with huge orgs.


(Michael Hess) #16

I agree, it’s just a sad reality is all I’m saying. I work for a cable company, I see the worst of the worst marketing wise, hence my disdain in this are. But I digress.


(Aaron S) #17

I asked the team to look into this. There won’t be an immediate fix, but we are working on some other smartthings.com changes that this should get wrapped into.

We implemented a new Works with SmartThings certification program. These will be deep integrations and super-supported devices. Look for labels on products where SmartThings is sold!


#18

I’m a to the point often no frills numbers guy by nature and profession so this is a very concise way of articulating the sum of my disappointment in the refresh. I’m just not a big fan of inefficiency so pages like this frustrate me because it is a waste of space in my opinion. I understand that lots of people like the froufrou it just gets frustrating sometimes because not everything needs to be the embodiment of a debutante closet.


#19

I hear ya. But it’s really just a numbers game.

We all like the ST platform, but without new adopters and a wider audience, there isn’t anything to sustain it. Honestly, I think they’ve done a really good job of being open to early adopters like the crew here - while still having to ease in new folks who aren’t as technically minded. Sales to a wider audience requires a certain amount of presentation (or froufrou).

To be honest, this entire argument can be made when it comes to scaling any technological advancement into a commercial venture.


(Rob) #20

@Aaron so are you officially saying that SONOS is no longer supported? What recourse do we have for investing in a system where the Hub vendor can pull devices from support at anytime? You must understand that we all buy SmartThings based on the ecosystem of supported devices. I’d like to get some clarity here before I further invest in any future expansions of my SmartThings compatible devices.