Feedback after going through Losant Walkthrough


#1

I just ran through the Losant Walkthrough and I have some first impressions and improvements.

  1. In adding a device, we set device attributes. These should autofill in other parts of the process that can use this data. I also wish there were a better way to enter these than typing them all out. Perhaps a way to send a JSON request to the service we want and then chose from the response what we want to turn into a attribute.
  2. What’s the point of a device ID? Can’t the website just remember the devices and refer to them by name?
  3. I love the idea of the flow chart-esqe workflow designer. The only issue I had with it is that the Debug & Error Stream is only shown when you click outside of any nodes. It took me too long to find this. Perhaps a console-style window along the bottom would be better? There’s actually a pretty good log function in the device window too. Maybe these can be combined?
  4. I also ran into the issue with Twitter rejecting tweets and the Debug node didn’t give me any information when hooked up to the Tweet node, although there was information in the Debug & Error Stream.
  5. It took me forever to understand why we want to add the “optional” response path, but it actually seems very important for viewing received data in other parts of the application. I feel that section should be changed to refer to that as a variable, or something, so that the user can access that data in other places.
  6. The Virtual Device State fields are where I believe there should be some sort of autofill (as described in #1) that automatically relates device attributes to device states. Also we should be able to pick the device by name here and not by ID.
  7. Again, creating a dashboard should be as easy as selecting sources that are already there. No need to type in ID’s and remember specific variables.
  8. Once the data is there, the dashboard is fantastic for re-sizing and rearranging data. Amazing for a web app.

Not being to sound like a jerk with all of the complaints. I think it’s just useful to find out how a new user feels on the first time. Also, no reason to change things just because I don’t like them. Just voicing my opinion.

Looking forward to seeing how this service evolves!


#2

This is awesome feedback and exactly what we’re looking for! We take this kind of feedback very seriously and will definitely continue iterating. Thanks!


#3

Thanks for the feedback. This great stuff. We’re already working on fixing a number of these.


#4

No big deal here, but just wanted to let you know that the “Upload using: Serial” setting from the environment setup guide no longer exists in Arduino IDE 1.6.9 for OSX. Works fine by default.

Also the Environment Setup link under “Flash the Firmware” on the Builder Kit instruction page is pointing to the wrong URL (door sensor instructions).

Here:
https://docs.losant.com/getting-started/losant-iot-dev-kits/builder-kit/#flash-the-firmware


#5

The Upload Using option is controlled by the ESP8266 board configuration, which it does look like they’ve updated and removed. That will actually affect all versions of Arduino. Good catch!

I fixed the link. Thanks!


#6

I’m a real noob at this. Is there a tutorial on the Dashboard? I can’t get anything to show up on the dashboard. It seems a bit complicated.

Thanks!
Zac


#7

Part of the weather walkthrough deals with creating a dashboard; that would be a good place to start. If you’re running into any specific questions or issues, I recommend opening a new topic and we’ll be happy to help!


#8

Thanks, Dylan!

I finally figured out the problem. I was supposed to click on “Add Block” but I don’t want to add a block, I want to save my new block settings. I wanted to see my data using the time series graph or chart but couldn’t find the “Save” button after I set it up. So I think a simple “Save” “Cancel” pair of buttons would be more intuitive for slow people like me.