CE spams display with "Covenant Eyes has detected a problem with your internet connection" alertbox multiple times daily.

  • 11
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • (Edited)
The fundamental of the problem is in the title.  I have previously contacted CE about this problem and got a promise it'd get forwarded to a dev, but never heard anything and the problem persists, so to recap:

Request: Add a simple toggle-able boolean checkbox to user prefs, "show alert when Covenant Eyes detects a weak or lost connection"

I work in places with normal-to-shaky wifi signal-to-noise (e.g., office building, cinderblock walls, hundreds of users nearby with smartphones, tablets, and/or laptops; sometimes all of the above).

Every time the connection drops or is interrupted, the CE client overlays this on everything I'm focused upon and busy with:

By doing this, the CE client drops me out of my work up to multiple times an hour.  It makes flames creep up the sides of my face, dear CE support rep.  Flames.  

After the first several hundred times seeing this across months and years, I get it.  There's a problem with the WIFI that will shortly self-correct.

Another fail is that the alert does not self-dismiss, as far as I can tell, once WIFI gets back to normal.  Most of the time, everything's up and running before I can dismiss the alert, but I still have to stop what I'm doing and dismiss it no matter what.  Does that seem right to you?

The problem with CE being so distracting is neurobiological in its basis, and focus recovery is slow.  It costs all of our employers real money.  Please forgive me for referencing Wikipedia just now; I will get prayer for it...I digress.  

The fix is so profoundly simple: a little opt-out checkbox buried in user preferences.  Thus, the blood-soaked appetite of Jakob Nielsen (prophet of software usability) for alertboxes is slaked.  The alert "is a blunt instrument that hits users over the head and causes them to stop everything they're doing. Don't use them for low-priority items or background information."  

Put another way, using principles of Emotional Design to make users fall in love with CE and use it for a lifetime doesn't work when the emotions triggered are: 
  • irritation at being distracted and 
  • frustration at not being able to address it.

Make the alert opt-out so the non-power users still have to deal with it instead of jamming up customer support.  That's fine.  Spend their time, but for users like me who understand that CE is not the source of the problem, this is a clear failure of User Experience design.

Give it to a dev, and they can fix this in a matter of minutes.  Minutes!

// C#, because why not?
using System;
using System.UI.Annoying;

public class ImproveCustomerRetention {  
// Alerts opt-out, not in, by default public bool NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts = false;  private bool ShowingDroppedWifiConnectionAlert = false; public bool PreventLoyalCustomersCommittingHaraKiri = false; void CheckWifiDecibelLevel () { if( CE.HardwareUtils.Network.Wifi.Strength < 10f ) { if( ! NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts ) { ShowingDroppedWifiConnectionAlert = true; SpamAlertBoxRightInFrontOfEverything(); } else { ChillTheHeckOut (); IncrementUsability (); EmailPatOnBackToSelf (); VirtualBrofist (); } } } void ToggleDistractingAlerts () { NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts = ! NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts; } // It is possible that other code may be required, YMMV... // I'm pretty sure this code is, like, super optimized. }
In conclusion, I'd like to point out that Dropbox, Google Drive, Bittorrent Sync, and almighty OSX itself avoid this hassle/headache by silently allowing wifi connections to self-repair.  
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  • Distracted and irritated

Posted 6 years ago

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John, Official Rep

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Official Response
Alright Everyone, 

The day has arrived! Thanks so much for your patience on this matter. Please visit this thread here to check out the newest open beta which should fix the issue. I would also request that we put any future feedback in that thread instead of this one.

Thanks so much for your patience as we worked this through.