YADD (Yet Another Dashboard Discussion! )

Just thought it was worth 'saying out loud', and I'm sure there's a good reason for it. But...

Although it's obviously a great step in the right direction, I have to wonder why there's a need to reinvent the wheel on this one. The old dashboards were clearly lacking (user friendliness etc), so now EZdash has came along. Thus is clearly in its infancy and the team seem keen to listen to and act on feedback.

However there are some glaring shortfalls and the app, as you'd expect from something new, has a long, long way to go. Reading between the lines there's also a sniff of:

Which follows the somewhat common hubitat path of having 2 completely seperate apps (new & simple vs old & advanced) available and utterly separate.

This just feels like a really, really odd way to conduct the business of, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of thus product being accessible to the wider audience and new users.

Why? To put it bluntly, being utterly aware this sounds quite ungrateful, there are already far, far better singular 3rd party solutions which exist and do the job well. Some are paid, some are free. All are FAR better than than ezdash. Surely there's a way of building a relationship there instead of re inventing the wheel.

I presume resourced are limited. I can't for the life of me understand why the current approach is to waste limited development resources to finally agree the old dashboards are poor, sling some rectangular 'wheels' onto the truck, and ask for suggestions on how to slowly replace them with hexagonal ones whilst maintaining that you guys may actually need to leave a couple of square ones at the rear.

There are already at least 3 pre-existing tyre shops on the side of the road, which have all been providing perfectly round wheels for quite some time. Most of these shops actively specialise in round wheels.

Now, if you guys are planning on allocating the time and energy into becoming the new and improved Dunlop, then... fair play. But you're not. Crucially too, the people who may chose to purchase a dunlop tyre don't need to think about being forced to buy either 2 shitty front tyres OR two shitty back tyres. They can buy 4 decent ones at the same time.

That final analogy was a poor attempt to say "you can use one app, and choose to use beginner and advanced options as needed, without needing to pick either simple or advanced apps with absolutely no compatibility between them"

Hope this makes sense, and not sure at all if this will lead anywhere.

Cheers,
Daz

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Is not about reinventing the wheel, but more like decluttering the flow. Much like Basic Rules app, which offers a different flow than say Rule Machine, and comes pre-installed on every hub, the Easy Dashboard is attempting to offer a similar experience for a quick and easy visual display of connected devices and services.

While Hubitat Dashboard will continue to enhance the customization of individual tiles, the Easy Dashboard will continue to focus on enhancing the rich formatting capabilities of individual dashboards that allow users to display as many or as few details they need to see with the ease of expanding the built-in tiles to best suit their needs.

The goal here is to provide local solutions that are fast, reliable and private, and don't rely on clouds more than is needed, for remote access while away from home.

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I guess the common thread question is why? Why throttle the potential of what Easy Dashboards can be? Some people like to read a manual on a product, others like to watch a YouTube video about it. Does it make one less technical than the other? I don't think so.

Same with the Easy Dashboards. I look at that being more YouTube manual versus the written manual. Does that mean the person building that dashboard is less technical? I don't think so. It's just a preferred route to go.

So why throttle what's available on Easy Dashboards?

Same with the visual Rule Machine. I don't think one defines one as being less technical than the other. It just comes down to preference.

I think both are great steps in the right direction, and kudos to the team for listening. I just think scaling back the potential on both misses the mark.

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There is a fine line between usability and flexibility. The more flexible you are trying to make something, the more cumbersome it becomes for some users to get started. This is not to say that Easy Dashboards may never adopt more tile customization features, but the primary goal is to offer a great user experience that all customers can enjoy.

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The way I look at it, EZ Dashboards provides both a simpler experience for creating a dashboard AND (at the moment) a simpler outcome in terms of the dashboard you can produce. This means that for existing users of HE dashboards EZ Dashboards are, for the most part, a reduction to the features available in what can be produced. This may not concern some in this group of existing users, preferring the simpler setup process and not needing some of the features left out of EZ Dashboards. EZ Dashboards also offers a simpler entry-point for new users, either new to HE or new to using dashboards on HE.

This does mean there is a group of existing HE dashboard users who are not phased by the process to customise an existing HE dashboard, or at least are not willing to forgo the features they have available. EZ Dashboards on it's own is not really intended (as I see it) to offer anything new to this group. As some may expect, I am in this camp. But I do still see EZ Dashboards as a good move, not just for what it offers other users and the prolonged success of the platform. With the work done in developing EZ Dashboards we have got Drag and Drop added to the traditional dashboards. I'm hopeful the renewed focus on dashboards more generally will see similar features brought to both flavours of dashboards over time.

I think the crux of what I am trying to say is that it is all about choice and offering something for everyone, whatever their technical abilities and/or preference.

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I think I might be similar to you. As long as EZ Dashboards stays true to it's name, I probably won't use much. Now that original dashboards have Drag & Drop, that is even less likely. If they were to make one other customization option, then I would probably never use EZ.

HOWEVER, I see the purpose of EZ Dashboards. To me, it has the look, feel, and ease of use of Apple's or Google Home's dashboards and is perfect for new owners or ones that want that for themselves or less technically savvy house-mates. However, with that ease of use comes some loss of customization that many, like myself, want. I do like some of the features showing up on the EZ Dashboard then showing up on original like previously mentioned Drag & Drop.

I am 100% in favor of the two different versions of dashboards.

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-->Legacy/Classic Dashboards
that's 'yesterday'...

Easy Dashboards --> Legacy/Classic Dashboards

That's 'today'....

What if "next year" it looked like:
Easy Dashboards --> Delux Dashboards --> Amazing Dashboards --> Legacy/Classic Dashboards

Except for Bobby, none of us know what the Plan is... Having an entry level package does not preclude future additions. And Hubitat seems unique in ending the development of a package but not terminating it. RuleMachine is certainly an easy example:
Screenshot 2024-06-11 at 12.24.23 PM

I was somewhat surprised when I took that screenshot because in the past, I had a handful of Rule-2.5 in there :smiley: I guess I've moved on :smiley:

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Neural interface dashboards!

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I didn't explain how Amazing Dashboards would be implemented... so neural is an option, obviously. :smiley: :smiley:

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Thanks for the reply.

I have a great amount of respect and admiration for the product you guys have created. I've been around for around 4 years now I think, and from what I can remember, the general, overall community feeling towards dashboards has been less than enthusiastic. For that reason alone, the work you guys have put into ezdash is a positive thing.

Your comment above eluded to the fact that yes, it's harder to design a UI for something which is powerful. By definition it's easier to create a UI for something simple.

My point here is that you guys aren't designers. The people who are designers have already designed various 3rd party apps. They're easy to use, they accomplish almost anything you want, and crucially they don't require to trade off features for simplicity - the user installs a single product and then uses it as they see fit. Complex creations or simple. Entirely up to the user.

I completely accept and understand the wish to remain local as much as possible.

I'm just disappointed that for reasons above my pay-grade (so to speak), it hasn't been possible/appropriate to strike a deal with one of the bigger ESTABLISHED players to have a local version of a decent dashboard app instead of needing to create something in-house - which currently requires substantial future efforts to bring better functionality.

I guess on this subject I'll just have to accept my views are different. But I do appreciate the opportunity to have shared my thoughts on this all.

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I'm a huge fan of choice.

However, a decent UI and a decent app should be able to serve the needs of both the basic and the advanced user without requiring two entirely seperate apps to do so.

For the most part I agree, but in some circumstances it can make more sense to start from scratch. In HE's case, shaping the existing offering into something accessible for users targeted by EZ Dashboards would likely be complicated and prohibitive. This is obviously speculation on my part.

I think the ability to transition from an EZ Dashboard to the existing dashboard offering is a good start. I would agree with those that call for an easy transition in this process and explaining the difference between the dashboard offerings more generally.

I understand your point, but you're saying a bunch of things that are purely assumptions. AKA you're talking out of your β– β– β– .

You don't know what their background is, you don't know if they've contracted outside designers, you really don't know anything other than you don't like what they're offering.

And that's okay, you're allowed to not like things of course. But stop making assumptions.

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Just in the Automation World alone, both Home Assistant and Tasker have a Basic Mode and Advanced Mode that is simply changed by a switch in the platform. I don't see a difference in what Hubitat is doing other than fact that Hubitat offers more flexibility in when a user wants to use advanced features or simpler features by app and not platform wide.

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Surely we all reserve the right to this here in the Lounge... I know I at least make assumptions.... :wink:

This is somewhat true for each of us in many topics, looking to understand the motivations for changes that are made:

To be fair, it did come up in Beta, including from me, that an elevated level of education was required for users in the differences between what they were used to in the existing dashboards and the new EZ Dashboards, plus new users looking to move between the two offerings. I'm not saying there was noting, just that there was an acknowledgement of the need for the existing documentation / tutorials.

I've been around long enough to make reasoned/informed assumptions.

That's my reply above to a staff member. There is no part of my post (or my initial post) which is disrespectful. Your reply however, is less so. If you don't like my opinion, that's fine. But people tend to form opinions based on reasonable assumptions, formed from all of the information available, current and historical.

My assumptions can be summarised as follows:

  1. It appears the team are attempting to re-invent the wheel, by designing a new dashboard app from the ground up. I queried the need for this, when there are several fantastic 3rd party alternatives which are (arguably ;)) way more fully-featured than the latest/greatest official offering.
  • This assumption is for the most part, true. However, a staff member responded to this specifically by pointing out they'd like an entirely local solution.
  1. There is likely to be, for the foreseeable future, two distinct dashboard apps. One basic, one classic.
  • This assumption is true.
  1. These two apps will likely have different features. Depending on experience/needs, users will use one or the other. Again (arguably, best not to assume, eh? :wink: there may be features missing from one, present in the other, and users will need to make allowances.
  • This assumption is also true. I could cite evidence of this, but I presume it's so obvious, this isn't required. Read around.
  1. There must be a reason (as I mentioned earlier) why one of the 3rd party apps couldn't be adopted/adjusted instead of starting from scratch.
  • This assumption is either correct because the idea has been explored and abandoned, or not explored at all. Either way, existing 3rd part apps have not been used and the team have started from scratch. Nothing wrong with my logic there either.
  1. The team aren't 'designers'.
  • I'd certainly argue this assumption is also true. Hubitat in general blatantly exists through the work of engineers. I'm not getting drawn into this point too much, as it's academic. If you want to pull on that thread, feel free.

I'm certainly not talking out my β– β– β– , however your post makes it glaringly obvious you do not like nor agree with my reasoned opinions which I have every right to express, provided they adhere to community standards.

I'm done here, and have nothing else to contribute to the conversation without descending into pointless arguments.

It’s interesting how some people will see certain assumptions as reasonable, while others reject the same assumptions at face value for being unreasonable.

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Life in general, I suspect. =)

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Personally, I think lengthy discussion / argument about the rights or wrongs of the finer details of our interpretations / assumptions of the reasons for design decisions are less fruitful, but the original premise in asking, in general, about the premise behind the choice to provide two dashboard options is sound, in my opinion.

But I feel less likely to feature in peoples considerations for which dashboarding option they are likely to choose....