Request for Optics RE display improvement

Discussion about the OutBack OpticsRE system monitor

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IT_Mike
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Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by IT_Mike »

On the main 'Dashboard' panel is a 'Power Flow' diagram.

It would be helpful to simply click the inverter, charge controller, etc., and go to that device (or at least device #1 of that type), rather than jumping to 'Device Map' and then individual devices.

The same type of functionality could be added to the 'Generator' icon on the diagram, allowing one to adjust the on/off/auto directly from the diagram.

It's more a menu than a Dashboard if its not functional.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by EA6LE-ONE »

I think is ok as it is. Dashboard is informational. I don't want my cat to play with the mouse while on dashboard and change settings to my system.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by EA6LE-ONE »

maybe will be good to add one security layer for changing settings to the system.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by IT_Mike »

There's already a layer of security; the confirmation pop-up after hitting apply. Any change is a three step process already, after getting to the right screen.

I'm suggesting we make it easier to get to the right screen.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

It would be helpful to simply click the inverter, charge controller, etc., and go to that device (or at least device #1 of that type), rather than jumping to 'Device Map' and then individual devices.
I don't think I'd be a fan of that user experience. When I'm on the status screen, I prefer the current behavior of clicking the icons and seeing detailed status information, rather than that click being a jump to an entirely different screen and activity.
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David LeBow
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by David LeBow »

Thanks for the suggestion, Mike. (See..? We are listening... :wink: )
When I'm on the status screen, I prefer the current behavior of clicking the icons and seeing detailed status information
@Raysun: What kind of device are you using? Tablet? On a PC, clicking the icons has no effect. Hovering over the icons brings a status display.

One possible point of confusion might be that some icons on the power flow don't have a "device" page to go to (e.g. Load, Solar Panels), so the "clicking of icons" may seem to be inconsistent. Also, in a multi-inverter or multi-charge controller environment, which device should be selected when the single icon is clicked?

Thoughts?
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

David LeBow wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:52 am Thanks for the suggestion, Mike. (See..? We are listening... :wink: )
When I'm on the status screen, I prefer the current behavior of clicking the icons and seeing detailed status information
@Raysun: What kind of device are you using? Tablet? On a PC, clicking the icons has no effect. Hovering over the icons brings a status display.

One possible point of confusion might be that some icons on the power flow don't have a "device" page to go to (e.g. Load, Solar Panels), so the "clicking of icons" may seem to be inconsistent. Also, in a multi-inverter or multi-charge controller environment, which device should be selected when the single icon is clicked?

Thoughts?
I use my mobile device exclusively.

I figured the "click" action would get a response. :wink:

A PC? How quaint! I think I have one of those laying around somewhere.
Scotty_uses_a_mouse.jpg
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by sbrownian »

Funny, they asked Commodore for an Amiga 1000 to do that scene because of the far superior graphics capabilities.

Comodore wanted $$..

Apple replied with "How many truck loads do you want, and where?"
The rest, sadly, is history.
(I still have my A1000 system in a box somewhere...)
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by fcwlp »

raysun wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:56 am A PC? How quaint! I think I have one of those laying around somewhere.
Gosh and I just bought two 34" monitors. I would be challenged to design a solar system on a tablet or my other job where I may have many PDFs, Excel and Word files open at once.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by sodamo »

Another vote to keep the Dashboard informational.
I use my iPad 98%, then IPhone, rarely my laptop.
I do like seeing the additional info when I tap on a component.

BUT....Would still really like being able to add local weather link to Dashboard, maybe Weather Underground if not PWS.

I’ve still got my TI99 in a box in garage. 😁
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

fcwlp wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:41 am
raysun wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:56 am A PC? How quaint! I think I have one of those laying around somewhere.
Gosh and I just bought two 34" monitors. I would be challenged to design a solar system on a tablet or my other job where I may have many PDFs, Excel and Word files open at once.
Heh!

Working Peoples' Problems.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by IT_Mike »

David,

For a multi-inverter or multi-charge controller environment, it could take you to the 'master' or first in line of each type.

My UI feedback would be the need to change pages, then select devices, particularly when I can then change devices in the top of the config screen. This is followed by "Apply" and "Are you sure?" That's at least five clicks, plus whatever change I'm making (one for the tab).

Sidebar:
Another minor peeve is that I can adjust the charge levels down and have them take immediate effect on the AGS, but adjusting them up does nothing until the next cycle (inconsistencies bug me :D ). For reference, I'll normally have the AGS set to carry us through until the sun hits the panels if needed, but one long, stormy, weeks I occasionally need to kick it up to full change.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by sodamo »

Mike I follow similar AGS, just carry thru til sun, but I don’t adjust if prolonged deficient. My installer said multiple runs wouldn’t be detrimental, so I’ll either allow that or do a manual run. I’m bad at changing something temporarily and forgetting to reset.

A change I would like is AGS voltage not locked to .4 increments given our lithium battery voltage profile. I think .1 or even .2 increments would be better.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by sbrownian »

The hardware may not allow that, depending on the A/D converter granularity in some of the gear.

It appears they use the same basic A/D conversion circuitry, but stick a voltage divider on the input for the higher voltage (than 12v) systems.

It also appears that the FNDC has more bits to work with, so it can resolve smaller increments.

All the above just a 'SWAG' of course..
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

One possible point of confusion might be that some icons on the power flow don't have a "device" page to go to (e.g. Load, Solar Panels), so the "clicking of icons" may seem to be inconsistent. Also, in a multi-inverter or multi-charge controller environment, which device should be selected when the single icon is clicked?
IME, its very poor UX design to have application screens jump context in response to "hidden" functionality. It's OK for old video games like Myst, but nettlesome for productivity software.

"WTF just happened?" isn't the display-of-confidence response one would care to elicit from the majority of one's users.

For those who have decided they have a finite number of mouse clicks before shuffling off this mortal coil, and are seeking to delay discovering the absolute value embedded in their beliefs, I'd suggest going back to the future and build some HID macros. Assuming, of course, something like a mouse/keyboard is extant in their computing environment.

As a usability exercise, I just emulated changing the Absorb voltage on the charger of the #2 inverter in my system.

From the Summary screen, the following touch path is required in the existing application:
(For those following along from 1990, a "touch" can be considered a "mouse click")

#1 Menu/Device Map icon
#2 Device Map/Inverter #2 icon
#3 Device Menu/Battery Charging
#4 Absorb Voltage Control/+
#5 Accept
#6 <Acknowledge>

Had the Summary Screen been configured with context sensitive icons:
#1 Inverter icon
#2 Inverter list /Inverter #2
#3 Device Menu/Battery Charging
#4 Absorb Voltage Control/+
#5 Accept
#6 <Acknowledge>

I'm not seeing a huge productivity increase in the second workflow.

In fact, for touch screen users, the "tool tip" display functionality, now activated by a touch, has been supplanted. I'd suggest a mouse click is not the proper action to jump from Summary screen to some device-related action.

Perhaps the latter action should be activated with something like CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-LEFT MOUSE CLICK.
Last edited by raysun on Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by David LeBow »

raysun wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:38 pm IME, its very poor UX design to have application screens jump context in response to "hidden" functionality. It's OK for old video games like Myst, but nettlesome for productivity software.

"WTF just happened?" isn't the display-of-confidence response one would care to elicit from the majority of one's users.
Not entirely sure if you're agreeing with me or flicking me in the forehead.

I'm entirely not a fan of hidden functionality or WTF-moments, so if we've overlooked some, do let me know.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

David LeBow wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:43 pm
raysun wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:38 pm IME, its very poor UX design to have application screens jump context in response to "hidden" functionality. It's OK for old video games like Myst, but nettlesome for productivity software.

"WTF just happened?" isn't the display-of-confidence response one would care to elicit from the majority of one's users.
Not entirely sure if you're agreeing with me or flicking me in the forehead.

I'm entirely not a fan of hidden functionality or WTF-moments, so if we've overlooked some, do let me know.
If you had, David, you'd know by now.

I'm suggesting, in my inimitable a-hole manner that has won me fans world-wide, that you not create any.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by IT_Mike »

raysun wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:38 pm As a usability exercise, I just emulated changing the Absorb voltage on the charger of the #2 inverter in my system.

From the Summary screen, the following touch path is required in the existing application:
(For those following along from 1990, a "touch" can be considered a "mouse click")

#1 Menu/Device Map icon
#2 Device Map/Inverter #2 icon
#3 Device Menu/Battery Charging
#4 Absorb Voltage Control/+
#5 Accept
#6 <Acknowledge>

Had the Summary Screen been configured with context sensitive icons:
#1 Inverter icon
#2 Inverter list /Inverter #2
#3 Device Menu/Battery Charging
#4 Absorb Voltage Control/+
#5 Accept
#6 <Acknowledge>

I'm not seeing a huge productivity increase in the second workflow.
Perhaps it's a question of simpler implementations, although I still suspect this flow might be more usable (using your example):

Notice an issue on mouse-over of the inverters:
#1 Inverter icon -> Takes you to the config page of the master inverter (or inverter #1, depending upon your model)
#2 Select the port/device at the top of the config if you're on the wrong one (many will be on the right one)
#3 Device Menu/Battery Charging
#4 Absorb Voltage Control/+
#5 Accept
#6 <Acknowledge>

For some it's not a big improvement; for others it's a quicker way to the config menus. Honestly, do you get any benefit out of the Device Menu, other than another dashboard from which to select a device for the config menu? A menu from which you can select any device?
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MATE3s, Radian GS8048A,
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by EA6LE-ONE »

If it works, why fix it?
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by IT_Mike »

EA6LE-ONE wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:00 pm If it works, why fix it?
Yep, should have stayed with the Model T
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4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by sodamo »

EA6LE-ONE wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:00 pm If it works, why fix it?
🤙🤙🤙

Put the extra effort into something new.... user weatherlink? 😁
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

IT_Mike wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:19 pm
EA6LE-ONE wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:00 pm If it works, why fix it?
Yep, should have stayed with the Model T
I was in a little store on Ocracoke Island. A place that looked like it could have had a Model T out front.

The folks in front of us were getting ice cream cones, and the young daughter wanted sprinkles on her's. The clerk was more than willing to oblige, went back to the Ultra-Modern Real-Time Data Processing Point of Sale Device, and spent the next four minutes keying in the Special Order Amendment to the Previous Order Change Request and Transaction Receipt to add sprinkles to an ice cream cone, took the slip and attached to to the original sales order slip.

Then she put sprinkles on the ice cream cone.

If there had been an actual Model T out front, all of us would have had 4 minutes and 11 seconds of our lives back.
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by sbrownian »

A smart clerk would have grabbed the dispensing spoon and poured some on, then telling her "Have a nice day."

That probably would have precipitated an International outrage, though, with all different kinds of idiots jumping up and down and shouting "favoritism" and "elitism" and whatever words of the day were popular at that moment..
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by raysun »

sbrownian wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:00 pm A smart clerk would have grabbed the dispensing spoon and poured some on, then telling her "Have a nice day."
Or, as the smart clerk apologized, "The Boss says we HAVE to do it this way now."
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Re: Request for Optics RE display improvement

Post by JRHill »

sodamo wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:40 pm
EA6LE-ONE wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:00 pm If it works, why fix it?
🤙🤙🤙

Put the extra effort into something new.... user weatherlink? 😁
x2++
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