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I have a complicated iBeacon based mobile app. To get to the end of the “happy path” -app functional, the following has to be true:

  • Internet reachable
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Bluetooth permission granted
  • Location services enabled
  • Location permission granted
  • Success communicating with server
  • Being in proximity of iBeacon

In my mind, this creates the need for some UI element describing the state of the app (ready/ not ready- why). The end user has some limited technical knowledge and may receive an instructions print out to go with the app.

How do I convey the overall complicated connectivity status to the user?

Do I focus and display only the wrong elements that need to be corrected? (As in only the Bluetooth permission not granted)

-Or-

Do I always display some small set of indicators of all pre-requisites on screen ?

Eventually the app gets to a “happy state” and just works. The initial hurdle to get there may be high for some users.

Also, “pre-requisites” sounds too weird, so I’m torn between “requirements” and “status” for the name of this part of the app.

chain of events

  • You will probably need to consider whether this is going to be a barrier to the users being able to complete the happy path. If it is not absolutely necessary and critical to the task that they need to complete (as part of getting connectivity), it is most likely that they will abandon the task and find an alternative, in which case solving this problem won't help much. – Michael Lai Sep 16 '18 at 13:47
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I would seriously consider some type of onboarding tutorial that asks users to change settings. Just make sure it has a "skip" action for any users who are already familiar with how all this stuff works. This is an opportunity to add humor or storytelling that you wouldn't get from a label. It also lets you somewhat control the user's emotional response to a setup process.

After that tutorial, the user "should" be on or close to the happy path like you said. Then I think you need a messaging structure for normal use around issues that appear after initial setup.

I would suggest both an alert and indicators.

Potentially a persistent banner for settings based issues. eg "This won't work with location services turned off"

AND an indicator for other issues like proximity to a beacon. Essentially you need a different notification mechanism for problems that are global + user settable and problems that are temporal + not settable.

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