Reducing Clicks

Clicks might be great for social media, but for turning on a light or opening a garage door, it takes way too many clicks to do it. For example, if I want to open my shed door, I have to:

-Turn on my phone screen
-Start the Hubitat app
-Select Dashboards
-Select the Dashboard I want (wait for that to load.......)
-Select the door I want to open
-Confirm that I really want that door opened.

That is just way too many clicks just to open the shed door. Is there a way to reduce this to just a couple clicks?

You could setup NFC tags and put one on or near your shed door. Then simply scan the tag with your phone and open your door. For security you have the option of keeping it local to your own network or using the cloud if your shed is out of reach of your home network.

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I think there are a few things that can help reduce the # of clicks required to control these types of devices.

  1. I make sure there is always a way to manually control the smart devices. I would hate for a guest to be unable to do something as simple as turning on the lights. Ideally, all lights are controlled using smart switches rather than smart bulbs. If you have to use bulbs, try to add a nearby switch (such as a wireless zooz remote or a lutron pico remote) that can be used to control lighting. For the garage door, just make sure there are remotes where you need them (in the car, by the door, etc) To me, the phone connection should be an extra way to control a device, not the ONLY way to control it.

  2. Connect your hubitat to your phone's native smart home system (homekit for IOS, or Google Home for Android) to serve as the front-end interface. For me, it's so much easier to control devices through the Homekit interface than the Hubitat app, especially because these can integrate directly with features like the drop-down control center and Shortcuts.

  3. Leverage automations to avoid having to use the app in the first place. Use motion/presence sensors, room lighting, etc. so that your lights / garage doors are in the desired state as much as possible. I only use the app controls when what I want is out of the ordinary. If I am always in the living room in the evening when I'm home, I shouldn't need to use my phone to turn on the lights. They should just be on.

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:point_up_2:

What he said!

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I use the above method in a couple of places, but I also use IOS automatons. I say Hey Siri open the shop. And it opens both shop GDOs. This is not perfect as Siri does not always understand. About 20% of the time when I say Open the shop , she will ask if I want to call Mike Sharpe.

Yeah Siri can be a bit passive aggressive at times.

I'm mostly automated but, like you, hated all the clicks for an off-pattern or impromptu event. I also didn't like having to yell commands to Alexa. I rarely use the dashboards except for a daily morning scan of RMs & devices. I'm laptop-centric and use curated bookmarks heavily to mange my day. So the HE Maker Api works great for me. I just make an url to toggle the switch and bookmark it in my SmartHome bookmarks.

Well, these are all interesting ideas, but I think this thread reinforces what I feared, the UI on this product really needs some serious attention.

  • Get rid of the "are you sure?" prompt first and foremost. I know I know, it is a garage door. But guess what, I've never had a garage door button that asked me "are you sure" every time I pressed the button.

  • Allow me to have a garage door widget on my Android phone. This would really cut to the chase.

  • Why is the only widget 1x1? Surely you could make it as flexible as the dashboards.

I'm still using SmartThings for my vacation properties and it is really nice how integrated it has become to my phone OS. Yes, its a Samsung so go figure....But ever since day 1 ST has had a leg up on Hubitat in the UI department. It is time to really put a bit more time into that, I think.

Thanks again for all the feedback.

I have not done this myself but I think it should be possible. Make a Rule machine rule to do what you want. Have the trigger be an endpoint. You can call that endpoint from a browser.
So you could either bookmark it on your home screen, or possibly use the iOS shortcuts to trigger it? Could probably make the Rule "toggle" the door so its just one button to open and close.

You could get rid of the prompt on the dashboard by using rule machine to tie the GD status to a virtual switch, then put the virtual switch on the dashboard.

Like someone else mentioned, I used Homebridge to integrate my devices to Homekit, and use voice (on my watch which is even better) or the HK dashboard which is more integrated into the OS obviously.

I had an idea along the same lines, but just with a virtual button instead (that runs a rule to toggle the garage door state)

I think you should be able to add the button to your dashboard and layer it directly over the garage door tile. Go into the CSS and change the visibility to be hidden. It will appear as though you're tapping the garage door button but you are actually tapping the invisible virtual button. Then the garage door state should show through

In all fairness, when you're physically pressing the hardwired garage button, you're feet away from the garage door so the visual feedback is pretty obvious. When using the dashboard you could be thousands of miles away and without the prompt it would be all too easy to inadvertently open the door. Everyone's use case is different--I own a second property located 600 miles away from my primary residence. For me, having the extra prompt is a good thing.

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This is actually the only widget I have. I have a Zen17 that has a widget attached to it. It is one way to control my garage door.

I do pretty much all of what @wd5008.

To maintain WAF I have to always have a manual way to control everything. Then anywhere I automate so that just stuff happens. Lastly Google Home has access to anything we may want it to control like Lights.

I think one thing people tend to forget when looking at these systems is the idea it is for Home Automation. Automation isn't controlling a device with your voice but allow the device to use sensors to automatically do things for you so you don't need to touch anything. I have quite a few things that just happen for us in the house now. It is interesting when going on vacation you finally find out how much folks appreciate that stuff when it doesn't just happen.

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Not a dashboard user, and I virtually never control devices from the HE UI.

Our household is 95% Alexa (with plenty of Routines and/or RM automations behind the scenes) and 5% Z-Wave remote (Nodon SoftRemote, no longer available, but amazing) with a dozen Button Controller automations reacting to those button pushes.

Why mess with a UI at all when you (along with any family member, guest or employee) can yell simple voice commands or push/hold a certain button!?

I totally get why it is there. I just don't want it. I'm used to having buttons that do way more dangerous/dramatic things than open my shed.

For a number of reasons, I'm not interested in cloud-based voice recognition and do my best to ensure that is disabled on all my devices. I do give in a bit when I'm driving though for obvious reasons.

You can create a direct dashboard link icon on your cell phone dashboard and avoid the need for steps 1 and 2.
If you are using an iPhone you can also create shortcuts using maker api app for some specific actions you often use.

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Shortcut on home screen to particular menu. Or a direct widget

If you still have a ST hub you could use Mira and the ST app as a dashboard to control HE devices, including your garage door.

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Download the Hubitat app