Who designed this UI?


(Stefan Avalos) #1

Overall, I’m happy with my migration to Smartthings from Vera. BUT…
For the love of God, when is the UI going to be updated to a useable interface???

Please –

  1. Allow a default screen to be set. I don’t need to be on the Dashboard all the time.
  2. in the ‘things’ screen, allow customized icon names to be a default rather than shaking the phone to reveal. what the heck???
  3. design the things screen so that you don’t need to go three screens deep to find a dimmer for a dimmable device.
  4. Allow things to be grouped. Allow entire group to be controlled from one icon or going into icon reveals individual items and individual control. Simple concept, eh?
  5. Icon spacing takes too much space. With merely five switches, I need to scroll on my iphone That’s nuts.

#2

Yeah, it’s not a strongpoint.

Meanwhile, there’s a free dashboard app designed by a community member that now has official install support and is very slick. (Formerly called actION, you’ll find much forum discussion. Very popular.)

As for grouping, it’s there in the official mobile app, just hard to find. See:


(Alex) #3

Thank you @JDRoberts for spreading the word!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

Free = “donation-ware” :wink:, proportionate to how useful / valuable you find it and your ability to contribute. A dash of socialism is a good thing.

I love the pattern continuing here of how an OP’s first contribution to the Community Forum is a complaint. (JD knows the little joke I’m talking about.) It happens about 7 new members out of 10.


Welcome, @Stefan_Avalos! Browse around and you’ll find lots of tips. Enjoy finding that your observations regarding the UI go back for a couple years (no sarcasm intended) – Especially “shake for labels”. We’ve seen various improvements in some areas of the platform, and the mobile Apps had a tremendous performance overhaul recently… A great start.

Good news is that SmartThings has recently hired a new head of UX: A man with a mission! @alui.


(Stefan Avalos) #5

well… I did preface with a compliment. :wink: I do like smartthings more than vera. And I was with Vera for three years.
Yes, the smarttiles is definitely better than the app. and that’s nuts.
Hopefully with V2 hub, lag will become a non-issue.

All that said, I AM sticking with smartthings. overall I do like it.


(Jovan) #6

don’t know about you, but if I buy a product and it works the way I expect it to and I have no problems, I don’t typically seek out forums about it. if i do have issues or would like improvements, changes, etc. and cannot find the information on how to do on my own on the manufacturer’s support site THEN i may… if that qualifies for a complaint, so be it.

you admit that UI “complaints” go back years, yet a very performance improvement is a great start?!? YEARS!!

now the positive is that the ST community is absolutely wonderful and has come up with many ways to get around the less-than-stellar UI as well as numerous apps i couldn’t ever have thought of, let alone code…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

I concur.

The difference is that this “Community Forum” actually started as a Developer’s Forum, and not primarily intended for consumer complaints or first-line Tech Support (that would be: Support@SmartThings.com).

Developers / engineers are actually very good critics, though, so complaints and design recommendations were and are common.

Sometimes we propose splitting into two different Forums, but we notice enough members would migrate from one to the other anyway… As your last sentence indicates!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

To be pedantic, I observe the history of UI complaints – I admit very little, thanks to the 5th Amendment. :smiling_imp:

A yes… The performance improvements are worth celebrating despite not addressing the often reiterated longstanding other shortcomings.

A “great start” now falls under “better late than never”.


(Alex) #9

You will find that the community is easily the #1 asset of SmartThings. Lots of experienced users and developers willing to help.


(Tim Slagle) #10

Yep :smile:



(Alfred Lui) #11

Hey everyone,

Yes! I joined SmartThings two months ago. I look after all things UX, starting with our mobile app.

@Stefan_Avalos, all great observations. Thanks so much for your feedback. My team have been re-designing our mobile app as part of the hub v2 launch. You can expect our upcoming UX design address some of these specific issues.

@tgauchat, @jovanm and @625alex, thanks for keeping this community so vibrant!! We need your input to keep making SmartThings more useful and usable for everyone. As both an end-user and employee of SmartThings, thank you and please keep your feedback coming!


(Tim Slagle) #12

Nice to meet you @alui!!!


(Chris Kankiewicz) #13

WOAH! I had no idea that shaking revealed the names. This is terrible UX design.

I would really like it if the SmartThings Android app was given a Material Design facelift. I feel this app could be so much cleaner and simplistic if given some love from some real designers.


(Alfred Lui) #14

@PHLAK Yeah, shaky. :smile:

We’re still a small team and we have ambitious goals. Bringing in platform specific design has been brought up a few times and it is certainly a desire enhancement. We still finding a balance between big lift like that, fixes and new features.

Lots to do!


(Tim Slagle) #15

Thanks for being forthcoming @alui. I am excited to see what you and your team produce!!

P.S. If you need someone to share it without outside of STs i’d gladly take that bullet! :wink:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #16

Pardon me sounding facetious, but why is changing "shake to view labels" into some other simple option like a toggle switch or a preference option for just brute force label overly, such a big deal? I honestly ask this with zero sarcasm. I just would like to understand … and would like to empathise with ST and the team.

I know … there have been a dozen forum threads on exactly this topic, but never an answer that explains why it is either controversial and/or difficult.

Once it’s fixed, the explanation will no longer be required or relevant. But in the meantime, you have a very curious Community. I am personally curious, just to help me understand the complexity that a company like SmartThings faces in designing and maintaining just one portion of their product (the Mobile Apps).

For reference:

And older:

And older still… (August 2013!!!):


(Calvin Robertson) #17

Actually, I miss the days of @smart throwing a Taylor Swift reference into the fray of discussion about shake for labels :wink:


(Ron S) #18

Don’t feel good these days, my friend being a heart patient and chronic pancreatitis and going thru the chronic pancreatitis attack! So kind of shaky right now! Soon buddy we are going to get it rocking again! :slight_smile: it’s going to be swift! Missed two days of work… And well certainly was not shaking it up with Swift! But Aaah! Now you have my heart beating fast.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

Ooooo… Get well soon, bud! You’re next smart devices may be new organs! :sunny:


(Ron S) #20

Get well soon with "bud"weiser! You meant right? :wink: but still doing 6-7 miles a day walking with the crappy UP2… So very soon the the whining will start… And @april will get her hands full. :slight_smile: