Do Integrators use skins other people write?


Senior Member
Just curious. I'm an end-user who has no desire to get into the business, but I've recently made my first two skins for my HA/HT software package of choice, and enjoyed it quite a bit.

It would obviously be more personally satisfying if folks started actually using them, and I was contemplating writing some more with different look&feels, hence the questions:
1) Would integrators get any value in using a skin?
2) Would they care that someone else wrote the skin, and that it's freeware that's freely distributable? [i.e., they don't have exclusivity on the look&feel]
3) What about the skin adds the most value? What isn't that important?
I have seen it happen in the CarPC world where installers will use freely available skins. Usually the only ones having problems with it are the people who designed or use the skin, and aren't happy that there are no credits.
I really like your skins as it brings the whole feel of home automation back to 'homey' and artful rather than techy and slick. I know from experience with web design, that the high tech, testosterone styles come out first, but if it's something that's going to be marketed to the home go for the simple and beautiful to influence the women and families! A lot more women would get on board and let their men go for it if it looked great, not just 'cool'.

If I can figure out how to get HA working in the home we are planning (break ground in April), then I would love to use your skins for personal use. Hopefully some integrators would be smart and contract out some skin design so they can market their products to all types.
Thanks for the compliments. I actually have been playing around to try some more options out. Still working through some button design/font/etc issues. I'm also seeing how to come up with some "wavy/irregular shaped" designs, but that's much easier said than done.

You're still more than welcome to the art stuff if that floats your boat more.
Darn, this stuff is hard.

This one is available now via (all screenshots can be seen here:



This one I just did last night, still not sure how I feel about it. I just did the one screen, so full skin won't be done for a while [if ever, i've started & stopped 3 others cuz they just weren't hanging together]:


The graphics are imported into a CQC format but they start out as simply JPGs and PNGs. So if you see one you like you can probably ask the author for the original files but you won't be able to use the CQC files. The reason they need to be imported (i am guessing here) is so that they are easily available for network distribution which CQC handles very well. Basically the graphics exist on the server machine and are available to every other machine running CQC which is on the network. Security is probably another reason.
Actually, I got the PSD files from which I gen'ed the PNG that I imported. Cool thing about that is that you can rearrange some of the stuff to meet your needs.

Don't worry - i'm not that good; i got both of them from Adobe's Studio Exchange portal, where folks put up freeware PSD files. I had to do a decent amount of cutting & rejiggering from that base, so if you want mine PM me with an email address and I"ll send it to you.
Man, how good do you think I am?

Interesting timing on the post - the navigation on my art-based ones pretty much failed the "moron usability test" today. My brother-in-law, and his wife, neither of whom have much ambition in the world and are generally totally confounded by technology, couldn't deciper my choice of words.

In the end, they didn't understand what the words "Control Rooms" meant on the button, they were looking for something that said "TV, DVD, CD" on it.

Can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Works for the immediate family, I suppose that's what counts.