Tasker‘s scene system has a lot of uses, but creating a scene takes a bit of time. That’s why there are some actions that allow you to create a scene quickly, without having to manually create it. The two I use the most are Menu and Variable Query, which each let you set a few options and then a scene is created from those options, rather than having to create a separate scene. 

A feature that is often overlooked is the ability to change the template used for these quick-create scenes. The first time you use an action that creates a scene like that, the default template becomes available in the scene tab in the  home project tab. The first time you use Variable Query, for instance, you will notice a new Variable Query scene. This scene can be cloned and/or edited to look the way you want, and then be used in place of the default template when you use the related action. The basic elements need to be there (you can’t for instance delete the Text Edit field in a Variable Query scene), but as for colors, layout, and so on, you can do a lot.

You can also create scenes from scratch. In those cases you should take a look at the default templates and see which elements they use, and what they’re named. I created a Variable Query scene from scratch, and was actually able to get images to take the place of the buttons in the original template by naming them Accept and Cancel, and adding Destroy Scene actions to them. Making sure names match up is important, as some of the elements have to have specific names to work. The template system works by remotely manipulating the elements in the templates (similar to some of the actions available in the scene category), so without the proper references, it won’t work.

The look of the Tasker UI has been a topic of discussion many times, and since that’s what’s used for the default templates, a lot of people might want to switch them out. I’ve known about this possibility for ages, but I’ve done little but change some colors on the default templates until now. Yesterday I sat down and made black holo-themed templates for Variable Query and Menu, which are the two I use the most. I’m quite happy with the result, and the pop-up boxes fit in a bit better with the look of my phone now.