Horrible UI - Still


Badge +5

I’ve been using Sonos for 16 years (one of their first users.) I’ve purchased close to 50 Sonos devices.

 

I’ve been complaining about the UI for 15 years. It’s horrible. Performing simple actions like opening the equalizer requires 5 minutes of discovery every time you want to use it.

 

Why don’t the navigation icons at the bottom of the app have labels.

 

Why does the screen for selecting rooms/devices have the title “System”.  Why is the icon in the navigation bar for this function totally unrelated to the function. Why is the setting for Alarms on the screen for selecting rooms.

 

Why are there three separate icons  (search, favorites and browse) in the NavBar for selecting Music.

 

Why are the playback controls hidden in the collapsed now playing screen.

 

Setting up a new AMP…...What kind of imbecile would require a user to input a code into the app when installing a new device that’s written in illegible characters (requires a magnifying glass) on the back of the device, and only let the user know that it’s needed after the unit has already been installed at the back of a rack, under a sofa, or on the bottom shelf of a bookshelf.

 

“How do you want to use Amp”   - It’s not “as stereo speakers”  ….. it’s “with stereo speakers.”  AMP is an amp. It’s not a speaker (or speakers.)

 

In addition, to being a Sonos user, I work as a product manager.  It makes me want to puke every time I use the Sonos app.

 

This has to be the worst UI I’ve ever seen on an app for a well established Comapany


50 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Have you never encountered a UI where you scroll side-to-side (carousel) as well as up-and-down? 

You are misunderstanding my post, I am talking about ease of use, good design and clarity.And that's not there when you have to do a lot off scrolling around with a screen with big icons an small icons etc. to find what you want to do.I can easily find my way around the app, but I definitely believe that it can be improved so that it appears more clear for new users.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Has the OP even shared what kind of device they are running the controller on? Or S1 or S2?

Badge +5

Maybe some people may struggle with simple tasks, and have to repeat the task many more times before something ‘clicks’ and they then understand how intuitive it is.

Others may get it a lot sooner, as its similar to something they have done before.

A few may never get it.

 

Intuitive just means familiar.  The goal in design is to use familiar elements so users know how to use them without any learning or discovery. Worst case, after a single use, the user should instinctively remember and be able to use them with zero cognitive overhead. For a big company like Sonos that has been around for a long time and has plenty of resources, anything less is a design fail.

 

Badge +5

Has the OP even shared what kind of device they are running the controller on? Or S1 or S2?

 

Primarily S2 on an iPhone, but I started with the CR100 and then CR200. In between I’ve used virtually every release on every device.

Badge +5

Have you never encountered a UI where you scroll side-to-side (carousel) as well as up-and-down? 

You are misunderstanding my post, I am talking about ease of use, good design and clarity.And that's not there when you have to do a lot off scrolling around with a screen with big icons an small icons etc. to find what you want to do.I can easily find my way around the app, but I definitely believe that it can be improved so that it appears more clear for new users.

 

Precisely. I always tell me designers that anytime a user has to scroll that it’s a design failure.

I have used Sonos via the Sonos phone app since 2011, and if I have anything in this area to be unhappy about, it is the far too frequent changes Sonos makes to the UI look and feel. Users can get used to anything in time, but having to cycle through this over and over is tiresome.

One unanticipated advantage of staying on S1 is an end to this.

I supposes this view speaks to my age, but this is just a UI for home audio at the end of the day, not for the latest fighter jet.

PS: on the other hand, there has been a constant issue in Sonos with the listening experience since 2011 that has not been fixed. In a mixed source playlist, sound levels changes from one track to the next can be even more tiresome. I suppose UI changes are easier to do.

I always tell me designers that anytime a user has to scroll that it’s a design failure.

 

It sounds like someone needs to brew up some coffee. Scrolling on a phone’s diminutive screen is a way of life. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +10

I am still on s1 where the text is displayed below the icons, which I have to say I like. Can't really see why it has gone on S2, it doesn't really free up much screen estate.

What does bug me is the fact that you cannot retrieve folder data or any other meta data that is contained in the file. I guess for the streaming services that is down to them, but does the app allow for more meta data?

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Has the OP even shared what kind of device they are running the controller on? Or S1 or S2?

 

Primarily S2 on an iPhone, but I started with the CR100 and then CR200. In between I’ve used virtually every release on every device.

Try SonoPhone then on iOS. You might hate that too, but it will make a change if nothing else.

Badge +5

I always tell me designers that anytime a user has to scroll that it’s a design failure.

 

It sounds like someone needs to brew up some coffee. Scrolling on a phone’s diminutive screen is a way of life. 

IME there are two types of users. Ones who are productive and like to get things done efficiently, and ones who are happy to spend their whole day scrolling through TikTok and YouTube videos.

 

Some of the general guidelines I use in design are.

  1. Every additional action required reduces usage by 10x
  2. Scrolling/swiping/selecting from menus requires 10x the cognitive overhead of tapping.
  3. Parsing/finding unlabelled, unfamiliar, and/or monotone icons is a total waste of user time and completely unnecessary.

IME there are two types of users. Ones who are productive and like to get things done efficiently, and ones who are happy to spend their whole day scrolling through TikTok and YouTube videos.

 

Some of the general guidelines I use in design are.

  1. Every additional action required reduces usage by 10x
  2. Scrolling/swiping/selecting from menus requires 10x the cognitive overhead of tapping.
  3. Parsing/finding unlabelled, unfamiliar, and/or monotone icons is a total waste of user time and completely unnecessary.

 

Do you have any actual data to back up these guidelines, or did you just make them up on the fly?

Badge +5

Has the OP even shared what kind of device they are running the controller on? Or S1 or S2?

 

Primarily S2 on an iPhone, but I started with the CR100 and then CR200. In between I’ve used virtually every release on every device.

Try SonoPhone then on iOS. You might hate that too, but it will make a change if nothing else.

I might. Any reason they don’t offer a free trial. If the app is decent, a trial would have a very high conversion rate and might even support a subscription model.

Badge +5

IME there are two types of users. Ones who are productive and like to get things done efficiently, and ones who are happy to spend their whole day scrolling through TikTok and YouTube videos.

 

Some of the general guidelines I use in design are.

  1. Every additional action required reduces usage by 10x
  2. Scrolling/swiping/selecting from menus requires 10x the cognitive overhead of tapping.
  3. Parsing/finding unlabelled, unfamiliar, and/or monotone icons is a total waste of user time and completely unnecessary.

 

Do you have any actual data to back these guidelines, or did you just make them up on the fly?

I don’t know. Does watching 1000 video hours of user testing count as data?

I might. Any reason they don’t offer a free trial. If the app is decent, a trial would have a very high conversion rate and might even support a subscription model.

 

It's not "they", it's "you".  The guy shilling the app is the author, and the beneficiary of any sales. 

I don’t know. Does watching 1000 video hours of user testing count as data?

No. It does not.

Badge +5

I might. Any reason they don’t offer a free trial. If the app is decent, a trial would have a very high conversion rate and might even support a subscription model.

 

It's not "they", it's "you".  The guy shilling the app is the author, and the beneficiary of any sales. 

 

Obviously.  Good for him that’s he promoting his app as long as he’s not violating forum rules.

 

Obviously.  Good for him that’s he promoting his app as long as he’s not violating forum rules.

 

He is violating forum rules, he just doesn't care.

IME there are two types of users. Ones who are productive and like to get things done efficiently, and ones who are happy to spend their whole day scrolling through TikTok and YouTube videos.

 

Some of the general guidelines I use in design are.

  1. Every additional action required reduces usage by 10x
  2. Scrolling/swiping/selecting from menus requires 10x the cognitive overhead of tapping.
  3. Parsing/finding unlabelled, unfamiliar, and/or monotone icons is a total waste of user time and completely unnecessary.

I’m in the productivity bin, but I notice throngs of young users who are looking for excuses to stroke their phone/pad. These individuals will look at a screen that we would classify as “productive” and cry “too complicated”. As a market reality they are much more likely to purchase “easy”.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I might. Any reason they don’t offer a free trial. If the app is decent, a trial would have a very high conversion rate and might even support a subscription model.

 

It's not "they", it's "you".  The guy shilling the app is the author, and the beneficiary of any sales. 

Um no, I have nothing to do with that app, I just happen to think its a solid alternative on iOS. 888888888888888888888888888888

 

MODERATOR EDIT: unnecessary comment about another user.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I might. Any reason they don’t offer a free trial. If the app is decent, a trial would have a very high conversion rate and might even support a subscription model.

 

It's not "they", it's "you".  The guy shilling the app is the author, and the beneficiary of any sales. 

 

Obviously.  Good for him that’s he promoting his app as long as he’s not violating forum rules.

Its not my *** app, ok?

 

MODERATOR EDIT: language

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

 

Obviously.  Good for him that’s he promoting his app as long as he’s not violating forum rules.

 

He is violating forum rules, he just doesn't care.

You are violating forum rules by making s-t up about me, and personally attacking me. And have done for a very long time as I recall.

Badge +5

IME there are two types of users. Ones who are productive and like to get things done efficiently, and ones who are happy to spend their whole day scrolling through TikTok and YouTube videos.

 

Some of the general guidelines I use in design are.

  1. Every additional action required reduces usage by 10x
  2. Scrolling/swiping/selecting from menus requires 10x the cognitive overhead of tapping.
  3. Parsing/finding unlabelled, unfamiliar, and/or monotone icons is a total waste of user time and completely unnecessary.

I’m in the productivity bin, but I notice throngs of young users who are looking for excuses to stroke their phone/pad. These individuals will look at a screen that we would classify as “productive” and cry “too complicated”. As a market reality they are much more likely to purchase “easy”.

 

Totally agree. It’s one of the big challenges in creating good software apps. If you read App Store reviews, you will see thousands of apps where the reviews are initially dominated by “beautiful” and “simple.” Inevitably the tide changes after a few months and the comments are all “doesn’t work” or “can’t do xyz.”  It’s hard to acquire users, but it’s even harder to retain them.

Its not my *** app, ok?

 

MODERATOR EDIT: language

 

I apologize.  You've been shilling your own apps against forum rules for years, forgive me if I don't bother to check who authors what any more.

Has Sonos been making app changes to exploit advances in smart phone tech over the years, or has it, as I suspect, been doing this to just keep up with the joneses, when nothing new can be offered that year?

And the changes tend to be revolutionary rather than evolutionary to attract attention, losing the advantages an evolutionary approach can bring - ask mother nature about that.

Userlevel 2
Badge +3

Back on topic, one of the original issues the OP raised was about the word “System” on the room selection page. Forgive me if I misunderstood your point but the “System” name can be changed by the user and that name is what appears on that screen.

Ross.


 

 

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