I’m building a “home monitoring and automation” system. Not just the hardware “nodes”, but also the software side of things, i.e. a server running permanently. Web-based, so that it can be accessed from anywhere if needed.
I’ve got a lot of code lying around here, ready to be put to use for just that. It’s not that hard to create a website (although truly dynamic displays are perhaps a little harder).
One thing I’ve been struggling with for a long time, though, is the overall design. Not so much the look & feel, but the structure and behavior of it all.
I’m not too keen on systems with elaborate menu structures, tons of
hoops dialogs to jump through, even scrolling messes with our innate sense of location. Been there, done that. Modes suck – they just create labyrinths.
What I’ve come up with is probably not for everyone (heh, nothing new here). An entire system, organized as nine pages. No more, no less. Instant navigation with a keyboard (digits, function keys, whatever), and trivial navigation with a mouse or touch screen:
Even a laptop screen with 3+3 buttons (or a joystick) could navigate to any page with just two clicks.
Here is a first exploration of what these pages could be for (vaporware, yeay!):
One of the things I’d like to do with this, is make the system automatically return to the main Status Overview page when idle for a minute or so. With the option to “pin” one of the other pages to prevent this from happening.
This might all seem very basic, inconsequential, and even arbitrary, but for me it’s a major step forward. I’ve been running around in circles for ages, because there was no structure in place to start assembling the different parts of the site. It’s all nice and well to develop stuff and tinker endlessly behind the scenes, but in the end this still needs to lead to a practical setup.
So now there’s a plan!