Updates to SmartThings Community

I felt I needed to say that privately some of the employees who are working on improving accessibility did reach out to me for more details on the voiceover issues. I can’t say who they are publicly, because I don’t even know if this was an assignment or was on their own time, but this has happened in a very positive way multiple times over the last couple of years, and I do appreciate it. :sunglasses:

The overall development process is still obviously not accessibility friendly, as we’ve discussed many times in this forum. But there are definitely individual employees who do care and who do want to see all customer-facing interactions improve in this regard. And it is noticed and appreciated. :+1:

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@SamsungZell @erickv have you guys finished playing around with the design of the forum, or still playing? Because when you’ve finished, please let us know as I think the community, your customers, have some feedback for you.

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At least on the bright side, they didn’t combine the SmartThings forum with the existing Samsung forums…
https://us.community.samsung.com/

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Luckily they haven’t! My tablet hasn’t restarted nor have I closed my browser tab either!

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@JDRoberts, I haven’t questioned that. But if you scroll along the 80 posts you can see, that nobody from ST has chimed in to give an explanation.
And it is not only this topic, but the Get ready to make the switch! as well. The only feedback what you can see recently if somebody has any integration/hub issue. Everyone went silent recently.
It might be the pandemic and the remote work situation as people are not seeing each other in the office and have no time to talk about other things, but development targets on official Skype meetings.
The two dedicated partners’ correspondence level is quite low as well. I have been waiting for an answers for a week at least in another topic.
I know it is tough time for everyone, but honestly, that is insane, how someone from ST is playing around with the community forum and forcing non-tested, non-working skins on the Discourse engine. And I cannot believe that none of the managers are intervening and saying, look install a Discourse engine on a Raspberry Pi and set up things on that first, showcase what you have done and we will make a decision is it good or not.

Just look at this sentence:

Exactly something what a marketing or sales person would put out the window without knowing anything…

And at the end this:

What connection it has with the the rest of the topic? And I am not a native English speaker, but is this sentence grammatically correct at all? - And it raises more question, how an announcement can be published without proofreading?

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The whole post has grammatical errors and clearly hasn’t been proofread. In fact you don’t need to be Sherlock Homes to see that the same person (intern?) wrote these posts, get ready to make the switch, updates to smartthings community, changes to sms service, and is obviously not a natively born English speaker. Which only exacerbates the consequences of what they are trying to say. They seem thrown together with no collaboration, no thought, no understanding of the nuance of their audience or their message. Written in such a hodgepodge manner that it reflects their work on the new app, and now what they are engaging in with these on the fly forum design changes. Their insensitivity to their users (of the forum and the new app) is quite bewildering. Why don’t they test stuff before they release it?

Why JDRoberts is again apologising for Samsung I have no idea, to say that Samsung have employees that reach out, that care, we know, it’s a
tautology. But as an organisation do you really think that Samsung should be privately messaging a disabled user to ask them questions about getting Voiceover to work correctly on their app? If they were serious about accessibility they would hire somebody to do it, test it, then release it to the public, it’s not complicated.

This thread is clearly being read by @SmartThings, are they not responding because of the overwhelming negative feedback of their design choices? Hoping it will die down shortly? And the silence of @SamsungZell and @erickv on this thread is deafening. If you guys won’t take on board some of the feedback from this thread, insist on not testing behind closed doors, insist on not using focus groups etc etc there are plenty of official Google and Apple websites to get help making web pages user friendly, such as…

https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/accessibility/apps

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/uikit/accessibility/supporting_voiceover_in_your_app

Example…

Increase text visibility

For each set of text within your app, the color contrast – or difference in perceived brightness between the color of the text and the color of the background behind the text – is recommended to be above a specific threshold. The exact threshold depends on the text’s font size and whether the text appears in bold:

  • If the text is smaller than 18pt, or if the text is bold and smaller than 14pt, the color contrast ratio should be at least 4.5:1.
  • For all other text, the color contrast ratio should be at least 3.0:1.

The following image shows two examples of text-to-background color contrast:

Pictures displaying text

Figure 1. Lower than recommended (left) and sufficient (right) color contrast

I hope this message finds you well!

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All these small changes which have caused bad feedback from the community… They should have closed forum for maintenance and did this correctly which also would have stopped all the negative feedback… well at least until maintenance was finished :roll_eyes: :smile:

I definitely wasn’t apologising for Samsung: as a company, the distance between their public statements supporting accessibility and their delivered products is huge, and compares poorly to their competition. As I have said before in the forum.

I was responding to this specific statement:

Nobody from ST took the time to give any explanation or feedback

Only to say that privately that some ST employees have reached out. And
I specifically said I didn’t know if that was official or not.

But as a corporate entity, Samsung does not deliver on this issue in spite of saying all the right things in their marketing. :disappointed_relieved:

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Private correspondence being private by definition, is therefore meaningless to this discussion, and would mean this statement…

… is still true.

user badges aren’t displaying on the avatar anymore, they are at the bottom of the post
image

Avatars don’t show for me unless my phone is landscape. Wow, this is messed up.

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That’s exactly what I’m experiencing. Galaxy S10 running Android 10.

I don’t even see that…

Update on the Community Update

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the great feedback on the latest Community update. There were a number of issues in this week’s update that were not visible in our staging environment. We are continuing to optimize and will release additional fixes for mobile views and web readability starting next week. If you notice any new issues, please post them on this thread - we are listening.

Our Community is the heart of our organization and we truly appreciate your support. Additionally, we are committed to our developers and will continue bringing you new content on the forums, Glitch, and Github.

We appreciate your patience as we continue creating incredible experiences for your home. Please stay healthy and safe!

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@Aaron, thank you for getting to us, but it really had to take 10 days?

This is really not the way how things should have been done. Do you see the above eightysomething posts and all the issues? Don’t fool us please, that it hasn’t showed up in the staging environment. You shouldn’t do the worst development practice on a live forum.

If it wasn’t working then you should have go back to the staging environment and test it again, and review the results. This is not rocket science. And please listen to people, and follow the visual guidelines and test, test, test…

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Please, simply revert these awful changes, immediately. Why on earth would ST feel the need to screw up a Discourse-based community forum in the first place? User preferences for font no longer work. No Dark theme selection. Tons of wasted space. Low contrast text.

Please, simply revert these changes. It wasn’t broken to begin with.

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Are you being sarcastic? “Great feedback”? Really?

If you listened to your users @Aaron you would recognise this has been an unmitigated disaster, with a simple logical solution, revert back to what was working before, then test in future before releasing to the public. But I’m sure you won’t listen to us, as you haven’t listened to us about the new app… It’s pointless. Test test test.

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I understand Discourse handles the theme, hopefully they will fix the bugs. They are usually very responsive.

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Yay, avatars work again on mobile!

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We are listening and have made a few changes based on your feedback. Please continue to leave your feedback in this thread.

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