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How NOT to Create a User Interface

by Paul Strauss
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With more and more smart devices in our homes, the need to occasionally reset or troubleshoot them comes along with that. But how do you interact with a device that has no keyboard, mouse, or other input mechanism when it can’t connect to your network? Well, don’t do it like GE did with its C “smart” lightbulbs.

zoom in

This video which is designed to show how to reset your C by GE bulbs is like a textbook lesson in what not to do in user interface and usability design. I could explain it first, but it’s way funnier to watch the video for yourself:

Apparently, they couldn’t be bothered to include some kind of reset switch, or a simple on/off sequence, and instead, resetting your C by GE light bulb is more complicated than learning the Konami code. Seriously, these are the OFFICIAL directions posted on their YouTube channel:

Your bulbs are running on firmware version 2.8 or later (you can find your bulb firmware version by tapping on the device in your C by GE app).

We recommend counting with Mississippi (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, etc.).

Start with your bulb off for at least 5 seconds.
1. Turn on for 8 seconds
2. Turn off for 2 seconds
3. Turn on for 8 seconds
4. Turn off for 2 seconds
5. Turn on for 8 seconds
6. Turn off for 2 seconds
7. Turn on for 8 seconds
8. Turn off for 2 seconds
9. Turn on for 8 seconds
10. Turn off for 2 seconds
11. Turn on
Bulb will flash on and off 3 times if it has been successfully reset.

TIP: If the factory reset above was unsuccessful, you might have an older version of the C by GE bulb. Please follow the instructions below to reset.

Bulb Reset Sequence – for firmware version 2.7 or earlier:
We recommend counting with Mississippi (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, etc.).

Start with your bulb off for at least 5 seconds.
1. Turn on for 8 seconds
2. Turn off for 2 seconds
3. Turn on for 2 seconds
4. Power off for 2 seconds
5. Turn on for 2 seconds
6. Power off for 2 seconds
7. Turn on for 2 seconds
8. Power off for 2 seconds
9. Turn on for 8 seconds
10. Power off for 2 seconds
11. Turn on for 8 seconds
12. Power off for 2 seconds
13. Turn on
Bulb will flash on and off 3 times if it has been successfully reset.

They forgot to mention the part where you just toss the bulb in the trash and buy a Philips Hue bulb instead.

[via Reddit]



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