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Forums Comments and Suggestions UI Feedback from a many-stream user

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Dec 15, 2012 11:39pm
2 posts

First off, I want to congratulate you on an excellent job done so far. You have a really nice toolset here and I can tell that much work and thought has gone into it.

I'd like to provide a range of feedback for areas of potential improvement to make the system more usable for those of us with many streams. (I presently have 88 - the standard complete set of outputs from a GEM)


-- General:

    Editing Widgets:

-    Streams can be added more than once. If a stream is already added, it should dissappear from the available streams column on the right.

-    Streams of the wrong type can be added. If a widget expects Watts, do not show me kwh streams as options to add.

-    Add an 'Add all' and 'Remove all' option for adding and removing streams.

    Display of widgets:

-    Widgets should have redefinable title bars. If I have two copies of a widget to monitor two different groups of streams, a distinguishing title would make things much clearer.

-    Widget component stream listing bars should be collapsable. I don't need to see that all of the time for many widgets in some views.

-    Widgets should be resizable. Some are way too large.

    Multiple Dashboards:

-    Should be able to move a configured widget between dashboards. Ideally by dragging it to the target dashboard tab.

    Defining Groups:

-    It would be nice to have groups of streams which can be added atomically.  I often want to monitor the same types of things in the same way with multiple widgets. It is tedious and error-prone to have to re-add them individually for every widget.

-- Realtime widget:
    Poor handling for large number of streams:
    - If there are more streams than some number, the key cuts of ungracefully. 
    Stream display is poor:
    - Specifically, If I mouseover the graph, i get a list. Each line has a node at that time. If I mouseover that node, the stream name for the stream I am mousing over should bold and get larger, and probably even jump to the top of the list. It is too difficult to determine which is the interesting stream that I'm mousing over right now with the existing display.
    Zoom is unimplemented or broken:
        shows half hour view (which is not even one of the selection options, but it is a reasonable granularity level) regardless of which zoom button is selected. In fact, the only zoom button which seems to do anything at all is the 'all' button, which resets the zoom-in adjustment window back to 30 minutes if it was changed.
-- All Stacked Up widget:
    Allow collapsing or disabling of the key. The mouseover is sufficient for some views, and I don't want to waste all that screen space with a list of my streams.
    Disabling items in the key by selecting them is a great concept, but the implementation needs work. The graph ends up re-scaling, but leaves big empty gaps in the stack.
-- Watts On widget:
    Barring making all widgets resizable, which I recognize is much more work,  this one in particular should have a setting for font size and number of columns. The default size is just way too big relative to other dashboard items. It could be expressed in a much more compact space, ie with status dots and a smaller font, which is better for some applications. With many streams, it just gets ridiculous and dominates the dashboard as-is.
-- Todays Cost widget:
    More advanced price modeling, please. At a minimum:
        Peak, Part-Peak, and Off-peak rates
        Peak, Part-Peak, and Off-peak time configuration
        Separate rate configuration for multiple seasons 'Summer' and 'Winter'
        Setting for when seasons start and end
        Allowance for special weekend rates or schedules.
Thanks for your commitment to excellence. I'm happy to discuss any of these further. Please feel free to look at my main dashboard for some examples of density issues.

Dec 17, 2012 12:13am
555 posts

Wow!  What an awesome list of things to think about.  

Some are easier than others, and some things, particularly when it comes to the charts are not possible as we use (and have used) a whole bunch of 3rd party libraries.

Just now, there have been some updates:

- to not list streams already linked to a gadget.

- to filter linkable streams by the gadgets's default unit type (there is a toggle to turn this on and off)

- to give a custom title to override the default title for the gadget.

Some of the other things you mentioned can be addressed by using the sytem a little differently, e.g. 

Add All - there is some alpha functionality that creates a whole dashboard from a template using a device.  This could also just create a default gadget as well, with pre-linked streams.

Remove All - this is achieved by just deleting the gadget

Collapsable gadgets - just create more dashboards with the special view you want, or drag the gadgets you don't need to the bottom.  Scrolling is pretty easy on some of today's modern computers ;)

Gadgets coud be moved from dash to dash, however this isn't the design and may or may not happen.

Groups of streams, I would like to start using the stream tags, this way you can tag your streams, and the tagged stream list could be then used to make a gadget - or other thigns.

Data Rates and Lots of Lots of streams

I notice you are running at a very very high data rate nearly a million records a day!  This is kinda insane, and you need to dial this back before I have to start throttling.  There are limitations to the amount of data that can be drawn up by your browsers Javascript engine (browser hangs etc) and the total will shrink.  You may have experienced this.

The system has primarily been designed around our SEGmeter, which has 16 channels max per device at the moment, a lot of the segregation and grouping of streams is done by device.  The GEM is introducing a lot of new use cases...

Gadgets are useless if more than 8 streams are linked, too much data!  And not enough colors... Link less streams and use more gadgets.  Or use calculated streams to aggregate stuff together.

The mouse over list is what you get - can't change this much.

Disabling streams - I really like this feature, though there are sometimes javascript issues.  These could be browser related - for example Internet Explorer has heaps of Javascript issues, and it's not really supported by SEG.  (if it works, it's just good luck...)

All the charts are vector drawn, meaning they are re-sizeable (zoom a modern browser in and out) however there are some implementation issues here, in terms of text, and real estate.

To do this cost requires a rating engine - I've built a few in my time, and not overly keen to build another one right now!

Thanks for your feedback and ideas, it's really appreciated. 

Sam, @samotage


Dec 17, 2012 10:15pm
2 posts

one more:

- rate of use gadget:

needs to scale below 0 on the dial for net production datapoints.

and re "collapsable gadgets", i'm only talking about the chrome for the gadgets where the components are listed.. those should be collapsable, still showing just the primary graph.

thanks for the additions. will check them out now.

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