I wish it went like this

I want to automate a few things around my house. I install my Hubitat hub on my network, I register it, set the time zone, enter my location, the total square footage and number of floors in my house. I answer a few more questions and check off the names of rooms like dinning, kitchen, covered porch, etc. This takes about twenty minutes; I start wondering how much time home automation takes.

Then I start adding devices. My first purchase is a ZigBee bulb, motion sensor, and contact sensor. I pair them, put them in place and assign them to a room I had selected during setup called “Entry Way”. I go to the now present “Entry Way” tab and see a visual representation of each assigned device with some additional status data. I’m not sure what to do so I click the rooms configure icon. A menu unfolds with a simple slider that shows auto configure already selected. Feeling slightly foolish, I walk to the front door and to my surprise the bulb turns on with motion. I also learn through some semi-timid experimentation that the bulb turns on when the door opens. Feeling much less foolish now, I take a break and enjoy my first automation for a few days.

It’s the weekend; home automation was so fun and simple; I wonder what else it can do? I go to the hub main page, click “Entry Way” and re-open the configuration menu. I turn off the auto configure slider, and underneath the slider a drop-down menu with check boxes labeled advanced automations appears. The advanced automations menu has options for ‘lights on with motion’, ‘lights on with contact open’, and ‘lights on with contact closed’. I select the first two and realize I just recreated the default auto-configuration. I find out later that these are context aware, when I remove the motion sensor from the “Entry Way” to reuse in another automation and the motion-based options are now gone. But for now, I am unsatisfied with reproducing the default configuration. It’s time to go deeper and check out the customize room link at the bottom of the page. This causes another fly-out page where I can further customize the selected profiles by specifying bulb: level, color, or CT based on modes, and the delay to turn off the light and something else called motion time-out. I set a 5-minute delay that cancels on motion. I experiment with these for a few minutes and call it quits until after lunch.

Now with a full belly and beverage in hand I go back to the hubs main configuration page and notice the Hubitat Automations Store icon. It’s a terrible name because no money is collected, but it’s otherwise a fantastic place to explore. This is where other users/developers have posted rules and automations that I can download and add to my rooms! When I later learn I can search by developer I start vacuuming up apps from my favorite contributors. I don’t even have all the devices needed for some of them, but I don’t care, this is so easy and fun! I solemnly explain to my wife that I HAVE to run to the store to pick-up some much needed new light bulbs (and sensors).

It’s fantasy… I like what Hubitat Elevation has created… It could be twice as difficult to use, and I’d still be here. Someone will make it this easy and they’re going to take the market.

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Aside from there not being a concept of "rooms," some of what you're describing actually sounds like the Let's Get Started app that Hubitat recently introduced (you won't have seen it unless you've set up a hub like new recently). This feature can create instances of apps for common automations like you describe using virtual devices (lights on with this motion sensor, etc.), then all you have to do is go in and swap your "real" devices out once you actually get them paired to the hub.

It would be simpler to skip the step with the virtual devices, but this is definitely more than there used to be. I don't disagree that some things could be simpler to set up. However, as you know, once you learn it, it's certainly quite powerful, and we all know about the classic "ease of use vs. power tradeoff" that characterizes most user interfaces. :slight_smile:

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I've played with the Let's Get Started App. It's a good start.
I was trying to describe a UX that's more natural to use and lets you discover automation gradually; by first being automatic, than customize-able, and finally the advanced system we have now. People like to discover features, not get stumped from day one, research the topic by reading posts by other users with the same issues, then trial and error until it works.

Hubitat and ST are like the flip phones of the 90's, I want that first iPhone of home automation.

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I think I would absolutely hate that. In your dreams, please make it optional. Thanks!


Can't please everyone. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

What you describe isn't fantasy, it's totally achievable, and exactly the vision i had for this almost two years ago.

The back end work for collections (our internal name for groups/rooms) was implemented about a year ago, once that's brought out to all the UI components what you described can be done.

Let's Get Started was/is an interim baby step to address the "blank slate" issue that faces new users.