Engine check notification does not provide any value!

Engine check notification does not provide any value!

In the midst of my journey to another city with my kids, a sudden and cryptic “Engine check” notification flashed on the car’s dashboard. To my dismay, no further information or details were provided, leaving me clueless about the severity of the issue.

Faced with a situation, I had three choices:

  • Ignore that notification and proceed,
  • Stop and call for assistance,
  • Turn back home.

Unaware of the seriousness of the issue, I drove to my hometown and visited a car service. The mechanic connected a laptop to the car’s diagnostic port and, after a few moments, informed me that the vehicle was reporting an E082xB error. Noticing my confusion, he promptly explained the implications and significance of this error code.

What is the point of this story and how does it relate to the Internet of Things domain?

First of all, as the end user, I expect clear notifications. I would like to know what is happening with my device. In case of any issues, I want to know how severe they are and if any action is required from my side.

The device should clearly indicate whether the issue is transient or if the fault is severe enough to cause damage if it continues operating. Displaying the “E082xB error” would not help, as that message does not provide any value to the end user.

It’s frustrating when a notification simply states “there’s an issue” without offering any guidance on how to resolve it. This lack of clarity adds unnecessary stress and diminishes the overall user experience. While I comprehend that glitches happen, I become annoyed when developers fail to handle them gracefully.

As an architect and developer of IoT solutions, please:

  • Implement well-structured exception handling with clear notifications to the end user to ensure a seamless user experience.
  • Please adjust the communication verbosity to meet the needs of both the end-user and support personnel, ensuring everyone receives the necessary information.
  • In the event of a significant breakdown, provide the user with a comprehensive guide to help them understand the issue and the steps required to resolve it.

What was your worst experience with an IoT-enabled device?

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