Secret ingredients to quality software

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Rules to Better Control4 - 6 Rules

More info at Smart Office & Smart Home consulting page. While running a Control4 showroom in Sydney, our customers and SSW consultants have come across some issues that you can see on Suggestions to Control4.

  1. Do you use the Control4 app?

    Check in on your home or office from your smartphone using the Control4 App - The Control4 App turns your iOS or Android mobile device into the smart home/office command center. It connects directly to your system and allows you to control and manage all of your system’s features, such as lights, temperature, cameras, audio/video equipment, smart door locks and more.

    Throw away your remote controls and move on to technological freedom!

    Bad example C4
    Figure: Bad example, using any pysical remote control instead of the Control4 app

    boardroomac
    Good Example: Turning on the air conditioner using Control4

    Installing Control4 on your phone

    To use Control4 on your phone and remotely control all services, you will need to follow these simple steps:

    1. Download the app from:
    2. App Store or
    3. Google Play

    control4iosappstore
    Figure: Download App

    2.Select "Add System" button

    control4start
    Figure: Add system button

    1. Contact your SysAdmin to set you up with an account for logging in
    2. Make sure you are on the same WiFi network as your Control4 System and that you have an internet connection.
    3. Use your credentials to sign into Control4

    Tip: The System Name you enter is what the system will be called on your device. It can be anything.

    control4add
    Figure: Add system details

    Using Control4

    Once logged in, you will have access to your site's controls. These apps are customisable, but the ones we have at SSW are:

    control4reception notes
    Figure: SSW reception controls

    Changing Users

    If you need to change the user or sign in with new credentials, you can use the following steps to do so:

    1. Tap the Control4 logo to open the menu

    control4receptionLogo
    Figure: Tap logo

    1. Scroll to the bottom and select the settings button

    control4menusettings
    Figure: Select "settings"

    1. Select your System

    control4settings
    Figure: Select your system

    1. Select "Delete". This will reset the account and allow you to enter new credentials.

    control4delete
    Figure: Select "remove"

  2. Some companies incorrectly share a user account and many people use it. This is easy initially but creates problems later on.

    Each user should use their own account. If users share a single account, and you need to remove their access, you would then have to change the password and inform all other users.

    If everyone is using an individual account, it is as simple as disabling (or deleting) their account.

    ManageUser

    Figure: Use the Customer Portal to add accounts for all users

  3. Do you know who is entering your premises, when, and how? Keys or key-cards can be expensive, they can be lost, and people can loan them to one another without any restriction.

    There are all kinds of ways to monitor access to your building and more secure areas. While fingerprint scanners are a good way of monitoring and restricting access, they are difficult to use in practice. Not everyone has great fingerprints, and access can be sketchy and frustrating when it doesn't work.

    The best way to do control your buildings' access is to use an automated NFC (an acronym for Near Field Communication) Access System like Unifi by Ubiquiti.

    • You only need your phone, so there are no keys to lose or replace
    • It is easy to add or remove access for staff & visitors
    • You can see who is coming and going and when
    • It can connect to your security cameras for additional security

    To see more about how the system works, watch this cool 4min video from Ubiquiti UniFi Access:

    invixium
    Figure: Bad Example - Invixium Fingerprint Scanners often give an inconsistent User Experience, not fun for your guests

    unifi grace
    Figure: Good Example - Access Systems like UniFi Access allow you to use NFC devices like your mobile phone to access the building - easy!

  4. If your project gets corrupted or if the changes you made caused unexpected issues, do you have a backup of your Control4 project to rollback to?

    You should configure Control4 to automatically backup your changes to the cloud. You configure this in composer under Agents | Backup.

    control4 backup Figure: Configure backups in Composer under Agents | Backup

  5. If your Control4 system is running slowly, there's a System Diagnostics tool that you can use to check CPU and Memory usage, and other details on the Control4 Director box.

    To access Control4 System Diagnostics, open Composer.

    Composer Tools System Dianostics

    Select Tools > System Diagnostics.

    Composer System Dianostics

  6. Do you use emojis to help text context?

    It's usually easier for users to remember where given information is when it is associated with an image/icon. This is especially true for non-technical people or the ones that are not very familiar with digital workspaces.

    An easy and fun way to alleviate this issue and boost user adoption to Microsoft Teams is to use Emojis in your channel names (using Windows Key + .)!

    Teams Emojis Bad
    Figure: Bad example - Teams Channel names without emojis

    Teams Emojis Good
    Figure: Good example - Teams Channel names have emojis

    control4 emojis
    Figure: Good example - Control4 automation Mobile UI is more friendly with emojis

    calendar emoji
    Figure: Good example - Some appointments can benefit from an emoji too, like a Sprint meeting in Scrum

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