Question

Terrible User Interface

  • 15 November 2017
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71 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I think 8.3 is pretty terrific (except for the queue issues introduced in 6.x forward).
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
I think 8.3 is pretty terrific (except for the queue issues introduced in 6.x forward).

I think 8.3 on desktop is pretty terrific (except for rogue play buttons still screwing up the queue, obviously). 8.3 on mobile is a different story (eg. that navigation route to "My Sonos Others" AKA "favourite artists"). But we all have different priorities and wishlists. One day, Sonos may have controller apps that work well for all of us...
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
What is it you don't like about the My Sonos navigation. You can create your own customer categories and prioritize them within My Sonos.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
What is it you don't like about the My Sonos navigation. You can create your own customer categories and prioritize them within My Sonos.

OK, this is my understanding. Please correct me if I'm missing anything.

The "My Sonos" screen shows:
1. Favourites (ie. things you have marked as a favourite / "added to My Sonos"), split into various categories eg. "Songs" (songs), "Albums" (albums) and "Other" (artists) - there is no way to change this categorisation, and it differs from the desktop approach to showing a single list. As with the desktop app, Sonos caps the total number of "favourite" items you can have (think it's 32 max).
2. Playlists - Sonos playlists you have created for any reason but haven't flagged as favourites

Regardless of how your favourites are carved up into categories, the My Sonos screen shows, for each category:
1. A few items as large tiles (up to 5 on landscape tablet), scrolling horizontally to show the first 8 alphabetically
2. A "See All" link to show all items in a category as a vertically-scrolling list (which means more clicks to navigate to items at the end of the list)

Hitting "Edit" on the "My Sonos" screen lets you do the following:
1. Delete an item from the "My Sonos" list ie. "un-favourite" an item
2. Rename things (so you can hide your friend's "Slayer" collection behind a link marked "One Direction")
3. Delete Sonos playlists (as in really delete them, but hey, having a mix of "delete buttons that delete" and "delete buttons that don't delete" on the same screen is... OK, it's terrible design)

So what don't I like about the "My Sonos" navigation? While the intent may be fine (split favourite things into logical categories) and some of the terminology changes are OK, the current implementation is a mess.

I know all discussion about the new 8.3 UI is concerned with the mobile app, and not the Sonos user experience as the complete user experience (across official Sonos desktop and mobile apps), but many of us use multiple controllers while controlling our multi-room systems. The great thing is, Sonos are currently running a massive A/B test on their users, with the desktop app (basically "the old way") and the new desktop app design.

So anyone want to tell me, what's great about the current implementation of the My Sonos screen?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
My Sonos by default has your favorite marked Albums, Songs, Stations, and Playlsits

Seems correct to me. Hitting the show all on any category shows them in list form

If you click the edit button on the main page you can sort the order of these categories on screen

Now the more powerful part. Most of my listeningbright now I’m using Apple Music. I have playlists that I create in Apple Music like my Shazam track. So to get to those playlists I normally have to go browse appple music, my music, playlists. But when I am there in Apple Music I can hit the ... top right and add to My Sonos

I also explore a lot with appple music for you section. So I also did same thing and added it to my Sonos.

So then I went to my Sonos and on front page changed the order so My Apple Music playlists are first, My for you Second, My Sonos playlists 3rd, My Sonos albums 4th, My Sonos favorites songs 5th, and my Sonos favorite stations 6th.

I’m not sure what higher level of functionality I am missing here

You mentioned to many clicks to get to something. I find it saves a lot of clicks.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
Hitting the show all on any category shows them in list form

If you click the edit button on the main page you can sort the order of these categories on screen


No arguments there. On desktop (or mobile v7) you hit "Favourites" to list all your favourites then scroll, on V8 mobile, you hit "My Sonos->(category)See all" then scroll (that's an extra click, unless your favourite is early in the alphabet). And yes, I can re-order categories to show the "Others" first. That seems to be about it for local library stuff.

I have just noticed that the treatment of playlists is different (and not just the "delete means delete" bit). My list of "My Sonos" playlists has a mixed list of all my "non-favourited" Sonos playlists, and the Spotify playlists I actually added to My Sonos/favourites. Oh, and it helpfully scrolls through the list of 20-odd items without needing to click "See all". Which is nice, if a little inconsistent with the other categories on the screen.

I don't have an Apple Music subscription, so I'm missing out on all the other cool stuff you described.

As for the other stuff, I guess we'll have to disagree about whether the My Sonos screen is intuitive, well-designed, or otherwise the best way to provide quick access to the stuff you really want quick access to.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
It’s not just Apple Music. All the services have this ability. Get to your favorite view in the service then click the ...to add it as a favorite.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Example. I went in tune in and dig down about 5 screens to get to my local city radio stations. I can hit the ... then at top and create a tune in category in my Sonos that lists all my local stations.
Sonos seems slower to change tracks, my playlists appear, then disappear and then magically reappear, and then the icing on the cake, both of my sons kindles are no longer compatible. Great updates, but certainly hasn’t improved my user experience. How do you roll back to earlier versions?
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
It’s not just Apple Music. All the services have this ability. Get to your favorite view in the service then click the ...to add it as a favorite.

Got it, I think. Went to Spotify->Playlists on 8.3 mobile (this trick won't work on desktop), and did an "Add to My Sonos". Now I have two playlist categories on my "My Sonos" screen:
1. "Playlists" - all my Sonos playlists that I didn't flag as favourite, plus one Spotify playlist that I did favourite, no restriction on the number of items shown on the main My Sonos screen without going to "see all"
2. "Spotify Playlists" - all my Spotify playlists, including entries that I flagged as a favourite (so they appear on the other "My Sonos Playlists" category, only the first 8 items shown, hit "see all" to see the list

No option to name/rename categories (eg. to call artists "Artists" on every Sonos screen, instead of most of them). Only meaningful edit option is the "delete" options, which either do an "un-favourite" or a "delete Sonos playlist" as appropriate (need to go to Spotify to delete Spotify playlists.

Not going to offer any further comment on whether I think the "My Sonos" screen (or "My Sonos" and "favourites" screens if you have Sonos running on a PC) is sufficiently well designed.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Just a feature I like about that is improvement over old favorites.... not to say there isn’t room for improvement
I totally agree.
SONOS
Worst UX ever!

SONOS PLAY 1 was a Christmas gift from my company. It's two months ago.
I've attempted to configure a speaker to work with my Windows laptop.
Everything about configuring the speaker, which really should be a plug and play experience for a user, has been so counter-intuitive.

The over-all user experience of this "smart speaker" is the worst of any electronics devices I've used at work or home. At home recently I installed network of security CAMS to a LINUX set-top box. At work I configure servers and develop various software applications, including embedded wearable medical device. So this whole user experience of setting up an account and downloading "Manager", and let user select options, because the device is not smart enough to deduce what a user wants to do. After all it's not a smart phone, it's a speaker.

Most likely, I will not purchase additional units from SONOS, but would buy something else to setup smart speaker system.
Agreed. The new usability is worse than horrible, and difficult to navigate. I've used sonos since 2009, and every major UI update since then has been going the wrong direction. I have no idea why sonos suddenly wants us to control the system from apps like spotify and tidal. I'm a HiFi-guy, most of the music I play are flac files stored on my server. And one thing that has always been great about sonos is that you can combine music from many sources, search and play across then, without context switching. Please don't move away from that.Hi. I know many are having problems with the new app, but I play a lot from my own library too, and I am not finding it any more difficult than before, Here is my sequence:
1. If I am on the Now Playing screen, swipe it down
2, Tap Rooms button, tap room I want to play music to (this step is unnecessary if the required room is already 'active'.)
3.Tap Browse, Music Library. Then exactly as always

I hope that helps. I have to say it doesn't seem problematic to me. I am genuinely keen to understand what sort of things you are finding difficult to navigate through.
I am not trying to argue it is better. But from some comments (not yours) one would think it was impossible. I can get three streams playing in different rooms from different sources in seconds. Rooms button. Tap room, Browse or Search for music. Rooms button. Tap next room. Browse or Search for music. Etc

Let's just agree to differ.
Userlevel 6
Badge +12
Just to add balance to the criticisms, I thought I'd say how much I actually like this new version.
It's really not that bad at all. Just a very different way of working than previously.
The key is to forget everything you've got used to from the previous version, and relearn the new interface.
Once you find your way around, its actually quite efficient, or at least I find it to be.
It's definitely not a reason to shop elsewhere, considering how good Sonos' hardware is.
I'd say give it time -- it'll grow on you.


In a way I agree it's not that different but it's not better either so I feel the devise "If it ain't broke don't fix it!" is an important lesson. Especially if you go back a year or two I see no point at all why the UI has changed.

But more importantly, no real issues with the interface has been improved. Most importantly artwork update is still extremely slow compared to other applications. There are also no improvments for us classical listeners.

I also believe there's a bug introduced in the laptop version, where browse position is forgotten. I wrote a thread about it. Anyone else seen it?
https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/mac-controller-sleep-controller-forgets-browse-position-6794348
I agree. The new release is very counter intuitive. I am constantly frustrated.I respect everyone's right to their opinion of the app. I know many are genuinely struggling. But I have given up trying to understand what is counterintuitive about 'select a room, select music to go in it', when the buttons for doing all that are in one place, on the tab bar. Having asked that question a few times, I am yet to get a convincing answer. I will link this document for the last time in an attempt to help, but I don't suppose it will.
Good luck all
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mI9AOixsZpxDrxVnsnzYQbPZ23bSV-EG
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
I agree. The new release is very counter intuitive. I am constantly frustrated.I respect everyone's right to their opinion of the app. I know many are genuinely struggling. But I have given up trying to understand what is counterintuitive about 'select a room, select music to go in it', when the buttons for doing all that are in one place, on the tab bar. Having asked that question a few times, I am yet to get a convincing answer. I will link this document for the last time in an attempt to help, but I don't suppose it will.
Good luck all
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mI9AOixsZpxDrxVnsnzYQbPZ23bSV-EG


It’s just different, John. I doubt that any of the vitriol is coming from people who started their Sonos experience with the 8.x apps.
Interface could be worse........who I'm I kidding. It couldn't be any worse!! What idiot designed this? It's literally impossible to play music with this new interface. I've been thinking of switching to Linn because of the high resolution playback, but convenience kept me using my Sonos. Not any more!!Impossible? Then I have achieved the impossible! Have you clicked the link I supplied? Please tell me what is impossible there?
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Interface could be worse........who I'm I kidding. It couldn't be any worse!! What idiot designed this? It's literally impossible to play music with this new interface. I've been thinking of switching to Linn because of the high resolution playback, but convenience kept me using my Sonos. Not any more!!

I’m happy to learn that I’ve been doing something that’s ‘literally impossible’, with ease, many times a day!
Interface could be worse........who I'm I kidding. It couldn't be any worse!! What idiot designed this? It's literally impossible to play music with this new interface. I've been thinking of switching to Linn because of the high resolution playback, but convenience kept me using my Sonos. Not any more!!Impossible? Then I have achieved the impossible! Have you clicked the link I supplied? Please tell me what is impossible there?

I can only acces the last 20 (or so) songs I've played. Rest of my music is not visible.
Now that is a different matter. What sources are you playing? Where can you only access the last 20 songs? I am genuinely trying to understand and help.