Background and question
There's been a few discussions around clearly showing to users on/off and auto states. However, I'd like to focus on automated controls in the context of machinery with moving parts as it adds an interesting layer to consider and would love to get your folks' thoughts on it, so here's the question first:
If you switch something off do you expect automation to stay on? Would you still expect the same if you were working with machinery?
I'm working with the team to create a UI to be able to control a fuel/solar/mains powered water pump (commonly used by farmers). Functionality included: turning it on/off as well as automating it based on the water tank levels that it's attached to (i.e If the water tank reached a low level like 10 cm, the pump will automatically switch on).
- Currently divided on approaching the 2 states (given a user has set up automation):
- When turning it on, the pump turns on and automation is on
- However when turning it off, the pump turns off but should automation turn off as well?
- Reason for this is, a 45 year old farmer could want to turn it off for maintenance and not realise automation is still on and the pump could suddenly turn on.
- Logically these are two separate actions and states (pump: on/off, automation: on/off). Therefore, one would assume they should be treated separately, so if I turn off the pump, automation should stay on.
Recap and potential solution
Should we reduce the potential states from 4 to 3 to be: Pump: On & Auto: On / Pump: On & Auto: Off / Pump: Off & Auto: Off? (leaving out Pump: Off & Auto: On).
An option is we can have a toggle next to automation, so users can easily control that setting as well as the pump on/off.