Better interface to configure remote control triggers

The current interface makes it very complex to configure remote controls bought specifically to interface with HA actions. This hits the simple single/double/triple tap buttons like Aqara and Sonoff, actual remote controllers, and more different stuff like the “new” smart knobs which are Tuya-based or Ikea Symfonisk dial.
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The current method is:

  • you configure your device with HA as you would. Easy.
  • you go to Config > Automations > New. Somewhat hidden, since this is the next logical step…
  • find your device on the list, then try to figure out which triggers are the ones you want (since many are not button-related, like going offline or battery levels)
  • then you setup whatever else you need for that button/action; in the simplest model, an action like turning off the bedroom light.
  • rinse and repeat: for something with many actions, you have to duplicate that into a bunch of other automations… one… for… each… button… And you can’t even reuse the previous automation name :upside_down_face:

My proposal is to identify the device as a remote (something which you interact with physically, instead of commanding it from HA) and offer a better UI to configure all its triggers (separate from usual automation tasks, such as battery checks).

This reminds me of controller configuration screens in video-games, but of course that’s way too complex. However, taking that as initial inspiration and simplifying to a doable point, those remotes could have a special screen which lists all their “button-related” automations and allows us to easily configure an action for each of them, without needing to go through the complete automation flow, setting names, going back to the automation list, etc.
A “simple” screen which lists the triggers and includes a button besides each of them to configure a simpler automation (in a modal with only the conditions and actions?) would be enough.

Possible complications that can be left aside:

  • not possible to identify remote-like devices; if that’s so, I guess every device could have a set-automation-for-its-triggers button on the device screen. It wouldn’t hurt!
  • not possible to identify button/action-related triggers; then, I guess adding all triggers to that list wouldn’t hurt either, although it makes sense to go through the current automation flow to setup more complex stuff (which you would want a recognizable name, several settings and whatnot).

Or make a blueprint, or duplicate the automation using the duplicate button. There’s many options here to streamline the process, you just have to use them.

Duplicating the automation is still suboptimal since you have to manually name each one, and once it’s done you’re back to the automation list - find the one you just wrote, click the overflow menu, click the duplicate, change what you actually want to change, set a name, save… It’s a lengthy process for something you’ll be doing a bunch of times at once for such devices.

Not sure about blueprints, though. I’ll do some research and get back, but still… aren’t those device-specific? One can’t expect to create a new blueprint for every new device out there, a generic interface geared towards remotes makes much more sense.

No, it’s a blueprint for an automation. So you just fill out a few fields and it makes the automation for you.

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Here’s what Home Assistant presents to create an automation for a Philips Hue Dimmer Switch device (it’s a remote control). It’s quite convenient.

Oh well, I never saw that screen - I thought the (+) at the Automations block of the Device Screen wouldn’t do much more than bringing me to the usual automation form, which… I’m almost right. Once you click one of those buttons, you’re in the automation form, still needing to enter a name and select the action. It also navigates back to the device screen, which helps a lot… But manual naming is still a bit of a bummer, and not being able to identify which button does what from the Device Automations list (unless you get a somewhat short name for the automation to identify from the narrow list on that screen… but then it will be harder from the automation list to identify which device that’s for).

It’s not obvious that button would be any simpler than using the “empty” automation flow, but it kinda makes sense to be as well?

I guess my initial request can be severely reduced to:

  • streamline even more this popup shown above (thanks for the obvious pointer!)
  • facilitate automations with some sort of automatic naming (besides “automation 22” when you leave your work halfway)
  • allow filter/grouping of automations (by custom category, or by devices, etc) as seen at the pinned request
  • allow duplication of several automations at once, changing only the device (or maybe batch-editing automations, with simplified duplications like “first button knob 1” / “first button knob 2”?