Dear Digital Security Controls (DSC),

I recently purchased your T-link extension (IP module) for two alarm systems that I wanted to be able to remotely manage. After a few hours of troubleshooting (read: having to install Windows XP), I am now able to connect to these alarm systems over a VPN connection, but that’s about it.

Please take a look at this screenshot:

DSC DLS alarm software

If it isn’t obvious what is wrong with this, let me spell this out for you.

  • Your software only runs on Windows XP. Nope, not even Windows 7. Forget about a modern web interface like most people have come to expect in this day and age from an ‘IP module’.
  • Your client software requires SQL Server Express (ehh WTF?!).
  • Throughout the entire app, you use the industry standard icon that means ‘refresh’ for ‘Restore all options as to original’. I just almost hit this icon when I was about to reload the values.
  • In a client software download means just that, down load (i.e. fetching to your local computer) and upload means to upload from the computer to whatever device/service you’re intereacting with. In your software, you’ve apparently decided to call them the other way around (which is very confusing).
  • The user interface is confusing to say the least. I’ve worked with a few different alarm systems in the past. They’ve all been ranging from crappy to less crappy, but this one takes the price. After spending a good 15 minutes, I still have no idea how to perform even basic tasks (like user management, set PIN codes, look at events etc).

I could go on and on about this, but really, I don’t have enough energy. Anyone with any UI/UX experience can show you. I’m just severely disappointed that some has the stomach to sell something this poorly designed in this day and age. It should barely be classified as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

If you want to be in the software space, please hire people who are actually qualified for the task.

Yours truly,
A one-time customer