Topic: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

Thanks a bunch for the skip/unskip function .. waited desperately for that.

But ... the button is really small .. so I have to get back to another complaint I had earlier. When I accidentaly miss one of those buttons (dark/skip) .. which happens all the time  .. I don't even get back to the control panel .. but my widget starts - I REALLY HATE THAT! I don't want anything to leave night mode except the top button.

Please make night mode so that the screen only reacts to "dark" and "skip/unskip" .. NOTHING else. Dark mode should not be left by tapping on the screen in any manner. And still the widget fires up every time I miss the buttons by pixels .. this is soooo stupid .. I had hoped that this would be gone with the update but it isn't. So I have to stop the widget in half sleep .. get back to the control panel and am awake before I managed to switch back to night. *ggrrrrrrr*

My dream workflow starting from dark mode:
tap on screen goes to night mode -> senstivity in night mode only "dark" and "skip/unskip" -> Top button leaves night or dark mode and shows control panel -> timer of about 15 seconds should run befor widgets start running -> when widget is running top button brings you back to control panel (timer again)

That would be  usable and convenient!

If it was up to me I'd even manage without any widgets so I'd only need night mode and the control panel.
If there's any way to facilitate this PLEASE let me know.

Again .. I am grateful for skip/unskip but only implementing that is like stopping half way.

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

The eternal conundrum of consumer electronics design! How to make one product that pleases everyone?
I see daniello's problem, and I sympathise - that would be annoying.
However, I really don't much care for the proposed solution at all. I like tapping the screen to exit Night Mode. To me, it is much more user-friendly and convenient than using the top button.
I do quite like the idea of the top button going from Night Mode to Control Panel rather than to the widgets, though.

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..


if you never use the "dark" button and you never want to skip/unskip alarms I perfectly agree.

- I don't like anything illuminated beside my bed when I sleep .. so I need "dark"
- I wake up during the night - and I want to see the time .. so I need to tap the screen.
- I am not Robin Hood and it's terribly hard to split the arrow when you're half asleep. So the hassle begins since I simply miss the onscreen buttons. Light and noise is what follows - until I get back to my "dark" mode. Ask my wife how much she likes MY Chumby.
- Last but not least I wake up before the alarm quite often .. so I will try to target "skip" quite often. Same problems follow.

I know .. you will never meet all user expectations. But everyone using Chumby for alarms and not for checking mails will probably agree that "noise and light" should only be "made" intentionally and not because the device requires such cautious handling.

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

There's another thread where someone wants the option to *remove* the new skip alarm button.


Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

Sounds like you need to introduce a "night mode user hook" smile

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

Well, what I think I need to do is create a Control Panel where every button is optional, with an optional screen that allows you to set the options with, of course, the option to optionally enable and disable the option settings.

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

Sorry .. but what may be needed is a survey .. maybe with people who don't know the device yet. Night mode is no where a design thing .. it's merely functional. IMO it makes absolutely no sense to complain about a small button at the right hand of the display. Nobody needs to use it.

My argumentation is merely from a usability/real life point of view and I do try anticipate what others may think about my suggestion. I don't really think steelpal would have complained about having to leave night mode by pressing the top button .. but he wouldn't have suggested it cause he has gotten used to tipping the screen.

I wouldn't write such long postings if I wouldn't expect others to empathize and realize that for example if someone wakes up early he has different needs than someone who always sleeps up to the alarm. Again some users might be single and couln't care less about noise but even they might understand that a partner that can sleep longer is not very amused if they get woken up just because their Chumby spouse can't sleep tight enough and gets up early (making noise and illumination the bedroom in exchange).

I don't buy the "eternal conondrum" thing - I do think it's possible to program very functional and safe workflow that will not bother "sensitive users" and will not be inconvenient for others.

Reading "steelpaw" maybe a first step (compromise) would be to not start up the widget but the control panel when you leave "night". Then I could get back to dark much faster and wouldn't have to use the top button to cancel the widget first. Less noise and less light. When in the Control Panel it wouldn't matter if there is a timer that starts the channel on amount of idle time or if you need to press something - since you are awake anyway.

How about that?

8 (edited by steelpaw 2010-11-14 12:22:55)

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

How about this for a workaround until Duane gets his multilayered optional option options happening:
Part of the problem seems to be that the widget you have running 'behind' Night Mode is both bright and noisy, so that when you accidentally bring it up it really disturbs your wife's sleep.
What if you set up a channel containing just one dark and quiet widget (eg Develephant's Moods: Snowflake is both dark and very pretty). Then run a silent alarm to change the Chumby to this channel sometime before you normally go to bed, and another silent alarm to change to Night Mode a minute or two later. This will mean that if you accidentally miss the button in Night Mode, your Chumby will silently display the dark Snowflake widget, and hopefully not disturb your wife so much.

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

> and hopefully not disturb your wife so much.

Hmm .. that's a compromise to the compromise until optional option options are happening.

Seriously .. having a dark channel is a good idea .. I thought about that but was too lazy to search for something adequate .. thanks for your heads up. I could basically run that all the time. Still quite some fiddling with the device before I can get back to sleep if I miss the button .. on the other hand .. now I have a skip button if that fiddling around makes me so awake that I might as well get up ;-)

Ultimately .. there is room for improvement and if no one shouts loud nothing will happen. I hope my points are clear and are understood as constructive input for next updates. IMO the workflow is key to a perfect Chumby (as an alarm clock).

I also promise I will never complain about features that are there and I don't need to use .. as long as I don't "hit" them by accident ;-)

10 (edited by dhl 2010-11-15 22:59:32)

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

I've also been annoyed with accidental blasts of full-brightness widgets from missing the nightmode dark button, as well as trouble hitting the snooze button for a long time. So I'm glad to see this thread.

My $.02 -- Workflow is subjective. We'll never reach consensus because everyone has a different idea of what works best for them.

The problem is simple - it's too easy to miss certain key buttons. Not all buttons, just a couple really important ones.

The solution is simple - make the button active area larger and easier to hit.

I've mocked up a couple examples:

Night Mode Screen - The red dashed line indicates the active area for the dark button. This is a transparent button over the button graphic. Touching anywhere inside the red will cause the button graphic to indicate an active state, giving the user feedback that they're activating the button.

Snooze/Alarm Screen - Same as above. Red dashed areas indicate transparent active areas for the target buttons in the UI. Touching anywhere inside red makes the button graphic indicate an active state so the user has feedback.

Good UX design tries to understand the user's intention and be as helpful as possible.

When I click the upper right corner of the screen in nightmode, it's obvious what my intention is. Please don't blast me with light just because my nail missed the little button graphic.

Maybe the digitizer picked up the wrong part of my nail or maybe my head was on my pillow and I saw the button from an angle. Doesn't matter. When I click the upper right corner, it means I want the dark button.

Same with the alarm/snooze screen. All you need to test for is above the timeline or below the timeline. These are very easy targets to hit when I'm groggy and very easy targets to test.

The Chumby UI is nicely designed and part of the device's graphic identity. But I feel too often, usability is sacrificed for strict adherence to the graphic UI. For a low resolution, fuzzy device like my ironforge, I think it's important to give more thought to making basic interactions - especially with things like these key buttons - more forgiving to the user.

I'm willing to bet that my suggestions above would address a large percentage of the complaints in this thread.

Duane your thoughts? And if you have an argument against, I'm all ears.


Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

I agree .. making the sensitive areas bigger is a good way to go in any case. Even if you ever add "leave night mode by pressing top button only" .. this will go along well.

Same counts for the new skip/unskip of course. A bigger sensitive area is helpful!

Another thought that came to my mind is the readability of skip/unskip. I wouldn't mind if an activated "skip" would be more legible. Maybe color the world "unskip" .. I don't know .. any suggestions? This is pure cosmetics anyway.
BTW .. I used it .. I love it :-)

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

I agree that trying to please all users is simply impossible. I like being able to touch the screen to exit night mode.  Never had a problem trying to hit Dark or the new Skip button.

What I really would like to see is a part of the screen, for instance the lower right corner, being a second way to do what the top button does. If I touched there or double touched there (to avoid interference with other apps that may use that same part), it would be just like clicking the button. Why? Because I find that button awkward, too big, not sensitive enough, etc., and I'm waiting for the day that it will stop working and then my chumby will be useless.

So, that is my suggestion: instead of removing functions from the touch screen, ADD a new one: an area that, in some way, can be used with touching instead of that big and clunky top button.

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..


Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

If you just want all these changes so badly, go make your own control panel or even add an extension to the Chumby's control panel

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

I think u063096 has the right idea - clearly we can't make someone that will make everyone happy without making something so complicated that it's no longer useable, so a pluggable Night Mode is probably the answer.  I'll put it on my list.

16 (edited by evanname 2011-03-21 00:50:41)

Re: Hurrah for skip/unskip .. BUT ..

For what it's worth, I agree with daniello.  I'm not sure about the whole timer idea, but using the top button to go back to the control panel from night mode would be better in my opinion.  I also really liked dhl's idea, not sure how easy that would be to implement.  However, those are just my opinions and maybe there are a bunch of people who disagree, so that is just something I'll live with.

On the other hand, exiting from night mode straight to a widget just plain doesn't make sense (and, for me personally, is the most insanely annoying trait of my Chumby).  With every other button on that control panel (like 'Settings', 'Alarm', 'Music', etc.), you go to that function and then return back to the control panel when you are finished.  Why would the 'Night' button act any differently?

If there are other users that disagree, I guess that's that.  If not, however, would you consider changing just that part?  It would make it a bit easier on us clumsy-fingered sleepers without changing very much for other users.