Companion Suggestion

I have a suggestion that I think will greatly increase the speed of inputting data in the companion.

This might take a bit of explaining so I am going to break it up into a few posts.

How we do it now. I will refer to these steps in my next post as the **original **steps.

Step 1: choose the item tab to start or edit a comment.
Step 2: click on the instruction screen
Step 3: choose from a menu of option
Step 4: add, edit or arrange your comment(s)

IMO, that is to many steps.

By adding a menu as seen in the edited images below one could eliminate 2 steps
when adding your first comment for each inspection item.

Additional itemized comments for each inspection item would have 1 step

Step 1 below could have a SINGLE button or one ADD button and one EDIT button. Choosing the ADD button for your first comment in a section would jump you to a new comment and skip original steps 2 and 3.

If you have already added your first comment for an inspection item then step 1 selection would take you to your first comment ready to edit.

The options originally available in step 3 are always available in the new top menu. That means the original step 3 goes away completely.

I have reserved this spot of additional pictures if needed.

Thanks Kelly. What about the cameras, videos, filmstrip icons?

Some inspectors want to click the tab, then click camera and not add their comments until they cloud down to their desktop.


The camera icons are fine and I understand that some, including myself sometimes only use the camera feature. That said I think more inspectors, myself include, would use comments if we did not have to drill down so deep to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I love the software and these comments are meant to be constructive in nature.

I would love to here form other users on this. Am I missing something and doing it wrong?

Simply combining original screen 2 and 3 would reduce the drill down affect drastically. Could that be done? What is the purpose of screen 2 besides the camera icons at the bottom?

I have been using the Companion for about a year and agree that it is possible to reduce the number of steps or “clicks” required to record an issue.

One possibility is to have an option that if you choose “RR” for example you would go directly to Comments, eliminating one step. Similar to what was mentioned above.

Also, in my opinion, having Styles & Materials on a separate tab is cumbersome.

Overall Homegauge is an excellent product with great support.

However I strongly feel there is a need to simplify the Companion by reducing the steps and/or creating shortcuts to speed up the process in the field.

We are doing an update on the HGC at present. I appreciate your ideas. One thing is that its assuming that everyone wants to edit the comment when many do not. Some users want to place a picture at the item and not a comment, or some want to add an auto comment. To immediately go to “edit comment” would not work for the other users that want to go to add auto-comment or a picture.

Many inspectors will use the HGC to go to that item in their template, add a picture and then continue on inspecting. When they are finished inspecting then they use the magnifying glass icon to launch First unanswered “Styles and Materials” and swipe their way through the styles and materials. Then send to the cloud and finish on their desktop.

I love the companion software, but I agree there are too many steps. (One of the huge downsides of HIP too!)

I would recommend leaving the initial (section) screen alone.

but when choosing the orange arrow at the right, get presented with the following screen.

This takes the functions intact from other areas of the app and lands them all on one screen, toggled by the selection processes on the screen.

The image/video/recording functions would be aligned to the comment that is being added/edited.

A new comment could be typed directly into the entry box, or the plus sign at the right to add a new auto-comment. The auto-comment filter (existing function) would overlay the radio button choices onto the spare space above the comment entry box.

any Existing entries would show up in a scroll box below the entry only if the drop down arrow to the left of the entry box is pressed. Selecting the radio button on the drop down would automatically switch the app to that comment and media selection.

All the other functions would stay intact and on their own screens.

This way all the functions you need for a selection would all be presented without having to screen hop unnecessarily.

This would save a lot of back-and-forth with the edit, new, itemised selection process. There no need to have a move item up/down in this section, because everything is in plain view, and any juggling can be done once the system is back on the desktop and being prepared for print/upload.

My suggestion would have to be done as an option to create a shortcut so that if you choose a rating you could go to the next step in your preferred sequence. The option would be at the users choice. For example if you click on a rating you would go directly to “Add Auto Comment Here” or possibly another screen at the users choice. I understand that everyone has their own methods and making a change in the software has to be done carefully because it might not suit the majority of users.

Another suggestion I have is to have an option to eliminate the “Retry” and “OK” requirement after each photo. I understand that this is done to confirm that you want to keep the photo but it takes another step, so eliminating it could perhaps be an option. There are camera features built into most devices to require confirmation of an image so it might not be necessary to have it in HG.

One other small item is reducing the row height of the “Select Action” window so the entire menu fits on the screen at once reducing the need to scroll ( I am using a Samsung Note 5).

Homegauge is a great product and my goal here is to brainstorm with other users to see if there is a way to be more efficient and reduce the number of steps required in the field.