Question

Terrible User Interface

  • 15 November 2017
  • 71 replies
  • 2530 views

Userlevel 4
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First, I want to say I am fully invested in Sonos with speakers all throughout my house and surround sound around my TV. Please fix the UI on the app.

Why is the UI on the mobile app so counterintuitive?????

I've been using Sonos from the original play 5's and I have to say that the UI use to be great. Recently, it has progressively gotten worse, until it's finally unusable. The app actually suggests controlling Sonos from Pandora.

Keep this up and I'm sure you'll lose even more market share to Google and Apple.

Please listen to your users and fix this terrible or UI or put it back the way it used to be.

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71 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +4
Preaching to the choir, Brother. Just released an update to it today, and it's just as awful as the last update. I've lost faith in Sonos.
Userlevel 2
Agree wholeheartedly, it's steadily getting worse. Trying to switch music around rooms was so easy.
Anyone know if you can download old apps?

Love my sonos but for the first time now I wouldn't recommend it any more. Not good with all the competition appearing.
Userlevel 2
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 realize it's still possible, but it's counter intutive and makes no sense. Additionaly, everything takes more clicks/swipes/gestures and it's rarely obvious what those should be. Please just roll it back, I really don't think anything can be salvaged from this release.
Userlevel 2
It is truly ghastly and very difficult to navigate. What was wrong with the old app? Change the colours, fonts, whatever but don't make it more difficult to use. Change for change sake! 😠
Userlevel 2
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.
The latest app update is horrible
Userlevel 2
i cant even turn it to my LINE IN source?? it used to be easy, now it is impossible.
more than 11 years of happy Sonos experience here, I bought my first starter kit a month after the zp80 was released. I was very happy when the Iphone arrived and I dit not have to use the old CR100 controller any more. You looked at the interface an instantly knew what to do on Iphone, Ipod touch, android or even on the Mac. I have 6 rooms fitted with varying Sonos equipment.I have explored some other wireless systems (in search for wireless Hi-res music) during that time but all send them back to the store because I never liked the user interface of those other systems. I always recommended to everyone who asked that they should buy Sonos instead of other systems.
But now, Sonos has broken the only thing that set them above everyone else; I have been trying for a couple of weeks now to understand what Sonos thinks might be better with this new interface and I really cannot find a single thing.
Everything is counter-intuitive and inconvenient, everything requires more steps, extra slides, searching for where something is etc. Next to that the Icons/logo's which are designed to be small have been enlarged in such way that you can only see 3 things (sources or zones) at the same time on a high resolution screen.
So now those bad interfaces from the competition are not so bad anymore and instead of buying more Sonos stuff I will have sell it and move on...
I want to thank a previous commenter for the web link to his document on how to navigate and assign music to different speakers. I am not a "techy" person and have been very frustrated with the new updates the last few times. If I had not ran across this site I would still be in the dark. I had almost decided to go back to my little I pod dock and speakers. Please, if anyone from sonos reads these threads, go back to the simpler navigation, where I can pick one speaker and pick the music. This jungle we have to navigate now is cumbersome and time frustrating. thank you.
I appreciate the time you took to screenshot and post all of the many, extra steps that it now requires to accomplish what was once a simple, intuitive task. That's just part of my complaint. There is also the endless loop of the app "needing an update" and then telling you it's already updated. Or failing to save your selections on the grouping/ungrouping screen. Or turning your music/TV audio off in the middle of playback. Or moving to the next song before the current song completes. Or not allowing you to skip a song. Not only is this version NOT an improvement over the previous version, it is a GIANT step in the wrong direction - and this is, ultimately, what makes it counter-intuitive.
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I have been a Sonos user for several years and I have to agree this new UI is just crap. It is so horrible it makes not want to use it, and its so much slower. It used to be clean and so easy to use. If this is how they are evolving I am not sure I want to evolve with them. It is bad enough that the quality builds of their new speakers are poor very poor and so the price hikes are dire too. They seem to be just losing it and not being true to their pedigree anymore. Further bring back the controller or allow users who have them to still use them. What is going on with this company is just dire.
If you are not one of the developers, then forgive me for responding in frustration to you. In my perusal of this forum, I've read of others who are experiencing my same issues since the update, which lead me to believe it absolutely could be update-related. Since I'm new to this forum (haven't had a need to utilize it prior to this version), does SONOS not have an active presence here themselves? It would seem prudent to keep close tabs on the end-user's experience after the roll-out of a major update. If they do not, I'll try to contact them directly tomorrow during business hours.Sonos do have a presence on here, but this is a user forum. I can definitively say that some of your issues (I am not talking about the UI here) are not down to the app. I cannot say definitively that they are not caused by the update, which was not just a controller update. However, I also know that every time there is an update, there is a small rash of 'the update broke my system' posts, and this update is no different. It can be the case that an update, with its reboots of speakers, can end up with network problems such as IP address conflicts, in a small number of cases. Often this can be resolved by a complete reboot (power cycle) of router and networked devices, so that everything gets a new IP address.
I am not denying the reality of your issues, and they could be linked to the event of the update. But they are probably not the result of bugs in the software, and they can almost certainly be resolved if you work with Sonos Support.
Userlevel 2
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 realize it's still possible, but it's counter intutive and makes no sense. Additionaly, everything takes more clicks/swipes/gestures and it's rarely obvious what those should be. Please just roll it back, I really don't think anything can be salvaged from this release.
Userlevel 3
Badge +3
My two suggested changes:

1. Have a shortcut on the now playing screen to change music. Maybe just a magnifying glass icon to let me search right from there. I know I could do it with a swipe down and then 2 clicks. But then I feel like I left my place. I want to spin music like a home DJ right from now playing.

2. Combine the browse and search tabs. I get flustered when I have so many places to go to pick music. You could combine the two (you could even put My Sonos as a source, and combine all three) and make it feel more like music central.

Those two changes would result in a lot of peace for upset users.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
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


A 3.5 page guide to accomplish what used to be intuitive and needed no guide at all.:D:D:D
Thanks for proving that all of us who hate 8.00 are correct.
You are right of course, and I shall take your advice. I shall get back to my Sonos and enjoying my music, and leave those unwilling to adapt to an app that is simple to use to do as they wish. Rant on here, sell their systems, whatever. More fool them if they do, but Not My Problem.
They probably have a meltdown with every new version of Microsoft office. :DVery true. Can you imagine the reaction to Office 2007 and the introduction of the ribbon in Excel and Word? Actually I seem to remember complaining myself that it had given me no new functionality but I couldn't find anything. I may even have said it was counterintuitive 🙂
Seems more steps to oprate than before. I cant seem to shut down a zone and move to another zone without first grouping the 2 zones and then removing the zone I am leaving from the group. Our house has 18 zones and 5 users 8-45yrs old who all wish we hadnt “upgraded” to v8. And what is with needing an acct to add a new device?
I’m going to get rid of All my $3k plus worth of Sonos if they do not update this user interface by end of December! It is HORRIBLE! can’t group/ungroup easily. Hard to decipher which rooms r playing music easily. Totally confusing and crowded UI. Can’t choose music before choosing room. Just sucks. I used to rave about Sonos. Now my wife hates it. She thought it was so easy before. That is why I got it. Just Terrible, Terrible. I hope u r listening Sonos!
THIS!! ^^
Not a fan of the new interface at all... It seems like a backwards step.
If you want to give us a new UI, please at least provide the option to switch between old and new UI's as we like...
I purchased a product - was happy with it - happy no longer since you changed it...
It is truly ghastly and very difficult to navigate. What was wrong with the old app? Change the colours, fonts, whatever but don't make it more difficult to use. Change for change sake! :@Here is all the navigation you need to play what you want where you want. I am genuinely interested to know what you find difficult about this.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mI9AOixsZpxDrxVnsnzYQbPZ23bSV-EG
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.
I agree. The new release is very counter intuitive. I am constantly frustrated.
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!!
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.

And I appreciate that. Thanks.

I'm using a Synopsis ds213 into a Sonos Connect (v8.2)

I think I found the problem. Somewhere in the updating process the Sonos assigned a new ip address to my Nas. That's not going to work. My Nas has a fixed address. I'll see if I can hook them up again tomorrow.