‎Why was website downgraded? | SimpliSafe Support Home
 
maxfred's profile

Thursday, July 20th, 2023 2:31 PM

Why was website downgraded?

The website used to previously allow a user to view all of their devices and all of their settings & statuses on a single webpage in a table view.  This allowed users for example myself on a 27" monitor to easily view all of their devices and statuses.

Now the website redesign has removed the ability to quickly see all of your devices settings on a single page.  Previously I could easily view every monitor with a secret alert, every device that triggered the camera, I could see all the camera settings on a single page.

Now I have to click through each device one at a time to look at my settings.  This is onerous and tedious.  I don't want to have to manually click on every device, then try and remember the settings.  I want to look at all of them at once and see them.  The vast majority of the space on the redesign is simply empty.  It's useless white space where the information and controls used to be located.

I want to quickly in a single glance see all my devices and their settings. Before the update, this was trivially easy. Now it's impossible.

This is simply a bad design.  It is a downgrade.  I want my features back.  I want the website full of information and not mostly populated with empty margins and padding.



Official Solution

Community Admin

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2.8K Messages

10 months ago

Hi all,

Thank you for providing feedback on the new "devices" web page. Our team is continuing to make improvements to it. I will forward your feedback to them.

52 Messages

Please Please do not spend a lot of time on "improving" the Devices web page.  Either, return to the previous version -or- provide the option to use the old version  (I know maintaining two sites would be more maintenance for you BUT if you took metrics you would see which one was more popular and devote your effort there).  Another suggestion is that you could keep the old UI and make it possible for people like the Captain to click on it and get the new menus.  Of course I see no advantage to that once you have everything at your disposal in the original menu but that would at least make him/her happy.

If your developers are looking for something to improve, it would be nice to improve the way the keypads work.  I would love to make the warnings be associated with the individual keypads.  We have one in the first floor and one in the bedroom.  This was an obvious choice for home protection.  However, I go to sleep at 10pm and my wife is a night owl.  If she presses the "HOME" button, it causes the beep for 15 seconds before arming the alarm.  This wakes the insomniac husband and ruins his sleep.  Now she activates it by phone because she doesn't want to wake me up.  Our previous alarm system, ADT, would allow her to just push a button and go to bed.  I complained about it 4 years ago and others did too but the response was "that isn't how it works".  So if you are going to waste our money on useless UI Downgrades, maybe you should just spend the money on real issues.

I am a retired system engineer with a heavy software background.  I'm not saying this to try to impress you or anything like that.  If you would like some help, I'd gladly provide it to you free of charge to help you improve rather than degrade you once great product.  Let me know if I can help.

6 Messages

@emily_s

I started a similar complaint about the change 23 days ago. “Do other people think the new web app Devices page is a poor design compared to previous version?”  A couple others found it and added their comments. please note my comments I added to this thread, Thank You.

Two Suggestions that may mitigate some of the shortcomings of the new page:

1. The new page displays stale info if you don't refresh the Dashboard page first. Display last refresh date and time on devices page and add a refresh button or some way to refresh the page beside having go to the Dashboard page and back.

2. Add a report page that displays all devices and their properties for the big picture the old devices page displayed.

(edited)

Captain

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5.9K Messages

10 months ago

@maxfred One user "downgrade" is another user's "upgrade".  The former page was a mishmash of different GUI elements that occurred everytime SS added another type of sensor. The result was inconsistent functionality with the app or keypad and led to confusion and worse. The new GUI is consistent with the capabilities in the app and keypad, and in my opinion, a vast improvement. Yes, a "at a glance" overall page would be nice, and offer some convenience, but I consider the work SS did already more important.  If they want to provide such a summary review, great, go for it.

3 Messages

You must have a very simple setup and a single system.  I have dozens of devices and multiple locations/logins. I need to be able to quickly view all of the information at once.  This is a huge downgrade.  There is already native apps which provide an identical experience for users as this website.

3 Messages

This support website is also poorly designed as the alerts are delivered with HTML tags not stripped or rendered




(edited)

52 Messages

Captain11 must be a person who helped develop this new website.  I have not found anyone who said that this change was an "upgrade".  These support people were helpful in the past.  I prefer that they would admit that it was a mistake and fix it rather than try to gaslight us.

Captain

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5.9K Messages

@chuckgrasser actually, no, I didn't help develop, design etc any part of the website. What I did do is complain that from a functional standpoint, it was not compliant with the keypad or app functionality. Now it is. Also, hopeufully I can say this without insulting you,  that I take exception that if isn't what you think it should be, it's bad. As I said in my post, for one it may be a downgrade, for another an upgrade. Again, my opinion it's an improvement. We agree to disagree.

4 Messages

@chuckgrasser​ Ask for the UX (User Experience) testing results.  :-) 

52 Messages

10 months ago

I am so glad you echo'ed my complaint about the new webpage.  I also hate the security changes as well.  I'm a big fan of improve security as long as it doesn't interfere with usability (that these do).  I would elaborate but I did in an earlier response but it was removed so I didn't want to waste my time reentering it.

4 Messages

10 months ago

Makes me wonder how the Usability testing was conducted. 

52 Messages

I think their usability testing is very poor now days.  Three of my five new model cameras stopped working about a week ago.  Today I noticed a message saying "Base Station Firmware Update Successful".  The update date was Dec 20, 2023, which seems to coincide with my new cameras not working.  I reported this with a lot of detail.  The relevance to your comment was that I'm curious how much testing was done on this firmware update.  It can't be coincidence that five cameras worked fine for over 6 months then suddenly the 3 new model cameras stopped working while the two 5 year old cameras do still work.

6 Messages

10 months ago

100% Agree.  This was probably one of the worst changes I've seen since I have been using Simplisafe!  The old was far more user friendly and there were far fewer steps to complete the same tasks.

It would be interesting to learn how the GUI had any effect on the keypad also...somehow I find that very difficult to believe.

Bring back what wasn't broken please(and thank you)!

(edited)

Captain

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5.9K Messages

@UncleFred​ From a functionality viewpoint, the GUI eliminated non or spotty supported processes. The largest was the install of sensors that was not kept up with by Simplisafe for new items.  

6 Messages

From a design, and backend viewpoint it may be great, but at this point users are no longer able to see half of their devices.  I can no longer see the temp sensors, motion sensors, smoke alarms, etc on the webpage.  Being able to see the entire system at a glance was far more helpful(and functional) than looking nice.  I understand that it made the backend easier, and many companies are doing what they can to cut labor costs, but shouldn't do it at the expense of degrading their products.

Captain

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5.9K Messages

@UncleFred​ Again, a downgrade to one is an upgrade to others. Given that SS refused or couldn't keep up with interface  capabilities across all 3 customer access points (Web dashboard, kepad and phone app) to avoid confusion from customers, clearly dropping the web access for device adds and removals makes sense. Ideally, all 3 would be supported but we don't live in an ideal world. There are many other enhancements and improvements I would like to see SS dev resources work on that I have detailed in other posts.  I can see your logic, agree with it, but still see the new GUI for the dashboard an overall improvement.

SS: matching the GUI by sensor groups that are the same os APP is good, removing adding sensors that wasn't kept current with the app and keypad is good, but Uncle and others make valid points, which means you can make the GUI for the dashboard better. Good start but you have a ways to go. Thanks!

(edited)

52 Messages

This sounds like you are admitting that the change was for SimpliSafe's benefit and not the user.

Captain

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5.9K Messages

@chuckgrasser​ If you were replying to my post 5 months ago, how did you interpret my post as saying it was only for SS's benefit?

6 Messages

10 months ago

I started a similar complaint about the change 23 days ago. “Do other people think the new web app Devices page is a poor design compared to previous version?”  A couple others found it and added their comments.

 

In this thread the excuse by one respondent that One user "downgrade" is another user's "upgrade". Is a dodge to avoid addressing the fact the change had nothing to do with Upgrading the end user’s experience and capabilities but a poor decision to lower software maintenance time, specialists, and costs. I don’t believe for a minute any Web App users were even interviewed or involved in the change. Now your software managers have an easier job and their users are given a more difficult and frustrating experience.

 

The new page is an attempt to emulate the phone app interface which is a poor user interface for a Web – PC app and significantly increases the difficulty of managing the system devices. I retired as a system program manager for a large BMC Software Help Desk System and understanding the difficulty of managing multi platform systems and the operation differences between phone apps and what and how information is displayed and interacted with on a web or computer app. Phones are good and Ok for simple and semi-complex interactions but can be a nightmare for complex and big picture operations.

 

I challenge the designers to find someone with a system of size or complexity that are using the PC Web app who consider the change an “Upgrade”.

Captain

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5.9K Messages

@Stew_C​ Your reference on the "dodge" was obviously directed towards me, and I still stand on point about one's perception.  I doubt my background will sway you on any thing remotely  "qualifying" so I won't try in the first place. Whether a software engineer, CIO or anything in between, every consumer of that interface, and those that created it, have their own interpretation of the effectiveness and utility of that GUI. So we agree to disagree. (In my book hardly a "dodge".

38 Messages

9 months ago

Agree, the new design sucks and is a huge step backwards. What idiot made this decision to change?

52 Messages

I complained about this (probably the second person) and while I don't follow this every day, the only person who seems to defend this aweful design is Captain11.  When I commented that he must be a defensive developer, he responded and said he was NOT.  I'd like to know if anyone else thinks this is a good USER interface.  To me, as a retired software & systems engineer, this appears to be a simplification made for SimpliSafe's convenience, not the user.

Advocate

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728 Messages

@chuckgrasser​ 

I find the design to be user-friendly. The fact that it is the same whether on the site or app allows me to make changes far more quickly than in the past. SimpliSafe gets things wrong; this is one thing/change I believe they got right.

 

(But they will most likely eventually alter it, and others will be satisfied while I will be dissatisfied – such is life presently)

 

Unfortunately, in our modern day, one size does not fit all. I have no professional background in this space, but it works better for me as a user.

39 Messages

5 months ago

I agree the website for management sucks! Best home security products online compared to other ones. But there concept of off loading everything to the cloud pisses me off. What happen if SHTF? They need to change the concepts for home use no data thieves 

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