(Warning?) Unexpected email

I just got the following email. I have a vague recollection of ‘joining’ the Home Assistant research group but it seems that was nearly two years ago.

Being the cautious type, especially where email are concerned, I found this one a little disconcerting given that it asks me to click a link.

I would have liked a plain text URL to help verify the authenticity.

Yes, I probably put this in the wrong category, but I didn’t know where else to put it.

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What can we tell you?

Doesn’t hovering the link gives you an indication of the actual URL, in whatever email client you’re using? If not, considering your cautiousness, I’d suggest to switch client :wink:

SPAM email

I wasn’t looking for advice. It was really more of an observation with the hope that if it were genuine the sender might confirm it. And if it were genuine they might adjust the content to be more reassuring.

And also I meant it as a possible warning to others. Admittedly without explicitly saying so.

I am well aware of hovering my mouse too.

I use Outlook which seems to send all links through some kind of checker:

EDIT to say:

I hope for your sake that you don’t think my cautiousness [about clicking on email links] is misplaced.

I very vaguely remember a legitimate invitation to join a research study like this. You give them control of your heat pump to prevent rolling blackouts when demand exceeds supply. They just set your thermostat a bit colder/hotter.

I wasn’t in the target geographic area and I would not have participated.

And as I said: “very vaguely”. I am not at all sure this is legitimate.

I’ve changed the title.

Tracking! (Only for the good of you obviously :see_no_evil:).

Btw. you are the first person I came across (working for decades in IT) who says is a “cautious type” but uses outlook (:warning:) for mails :joy:

You might want to hover “View this email in your browser”


and post the link? Might links to the home assistant site :speak_no_evil:

Nabu Casa isn’t listed as usabilityhub customer - still the mail (so far with the little information given) looks legit to me

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:rofl: (no sarcasm intended)

Just to reiterate, I am not looking for any advice or guidance on this.

I am hoping the sender might see this and realise what a mistake the wording of this is - if it is legitimate.

Thanking me for joining in 2021 is not a good start.

Missing the ‘a’ from, “As member” didn’t help either.

Still you drop it here like it is fraud/scam/spam/whatever while it might be just totally legit :man_shrugging:

Maybe @matthiasdebaat knows more as the mail is signed in his name? :thinking:

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It was nothing like that but just about UX like stated in the 2021.8 release notes: :point_down:

UX stands for “User Experience”, which is Matthias’ area of expertise and what he will be working on improving. His goal is to make Home Assistant easier to use and accessible for everyone. He will be setting up design processes and tooling, doing user research and making designs.

If you are interested in joining the Home Assistant user research group, you can show your interest by filling in this Google Form that Matthias has prepared.

The form is still active btw :point_up:


Oh then yes this is legit. It has been recently discussed on the Home Assistant UX Discord channel.

I only searched back to October 2021 in the blog before I gave up :roll_eyes:

EDIT: another possible invite method: Help us improve your Home Approval Factor!


Yes, I have sent this survey invitation to some of the people who have signed up for our user research group.


I’m missing your point to be honest.
What could have been done better? I receive dozens of legit emails with links everyday.

BTW, for those using Windows 10+, keep in mind there is this nice feature called “sandbox”, when you’re concerned about a link or an app.

TBH, I’m not sure why Klogg is getting any flack for simply posting in the HA forum about a concern they have about an unexpected email that claims to be from HA.

What’s the big deal?

If you have no info to provide then just move on. I see no reason to chastise Klogg for simply providing info on something that looked suspicious and might impact others here as well.

I can see the validity of this post and I consider it a PSA. So I say thanks for the heads up.

it’s hard to find info on something vague like this without posting here especially given the rule against tagging people especially HA staff.


He’s not getting any flack.
Just that the OP wasn’t looking for confirmation that the email was legit, it was asking for a “plain text URL”, which derailed the post.

To be honest, I also would have been very cautious with an email containing a link to “https://app.usabilityhub.com”, with a Nabu Casa signature (not everyone know HA = Nabu Casa), a Home Assistant look & feel and a “mailchimp” logo :smiley:

At least some small forewarning blog post that a test is being launched would have been a good start, especially considering those tests are far and between, and people might (do) not remember that this research group even exists :slight_smile:


I think it stands to reason that official comms or any other emails from NC/HA employees should come from the official domains and links should use the official domains (and not be obfuscated behind click trackers and shortened URLs, unless it’s your own shortening domain/service).


be aware that outlook on mac handles this kind of links different then outlook on windows.

for outlook on mac, the hover part can be manipulated where in windows this can’t be done at least the same way.

So if you are using outlook on mac, still if you think you see the url you can’t be certain.

Additionally many E-Mail providers themself like to track their users and therfor manipulate each and every link before it reaches the users mailbox :mailbox_with_mail:

Beside most people don’t even bother to hover (or are distracted by the huge tracking urls/parameter) and maybe just blindly trust a hyperlink present like this :point_down:

www.home-assistant.io :eyes: (doesn’t link to www•home-assistant•io :warning:)

and that’s why in my opinion a mail server add on in HA including web-client would be most welcome.

The biggest issue I think would be keeping your personal IP from all the spam filters

Self-hosting a mail server implies owning and managing an actual DNS domain.

A tad more complicated than DuckDNS and, sorry to say, a tad too complicated for 99% of those using HAOS and addons because they have difficulties self-hosting a MQTT broker :wink: