Quick fixes for user complaints.


Userlevel 4
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I previously posted this in the 8.0 announcement thread, but I think these comments are important enough to merit their own thread. Most of it is copied, but I have made a few changes. After rolling back to v7.4 on Android via sideloading, my initial rage and frustration have subsided a bit, and hopefully my criticism is much more constructive.

I read a comment from Ryan S. that there is no way to roll back the UI, but the team would work to fix any issues that impact user satisfaction. Here are the main issues and some suggestions for quick fixes. Ideally the team would really take the time to do their own research and remodel the interface from the ground up, however these items need to be triaged immediately.

1. Switching rooms
Issue: The most obvious way to switch rooms from the now playing screen would be to click on the room name in red. Unfortunately this interface element only allows you to group rooms together. In order to even see the "Rooms" tab, you have to click on a small arrow at the top left. To make matters worse, when you click the arrow, the interface element jumps to the bottom of the screen.
Quick fix: Never hide the bottom tabs. (My Sonos, Browse, etc.,.)

2. Changing music
Issue: As many community members have observed, this is more time consuming. Favorites and playlists are on a different tab than my music library and music services.
Quick fix: Add the favorites back to the list on the Browse tab.

3. Selecting favorites/stations or playlists
Issue: If you have more than a certain number of favorites or playlists, you will not be able to view them on the "My Sonos" tab. The max number of stations or favorites is 4 in landscape mode on an iPad. Usually I only see 2, since I primarily control Sonos on a phone. If you are lucky you can swipe to see the favorite or playlist you want to navigate to. If you are unlucky, you will have to click "See All".
Quick fix: Allow two ways to access stations and favorites. A.) From the Browse tab with the traditional list view. B.) With the large icons on the "My Sonos" screen.

There are really many more issues that need to be addressed to achieve a friendly consistent interface, but these are probably my three main issues. Again I would strongly recommend some design meetings and A/B tests against the old software. I think just one side by side test, where an upper level exec attempts to change the music in two different rooms, would demonstrate the frustration your users are feeling.

The old interface was much more intuitive, and I think that's why many community members, recent reviewers on the Apple Store, and recent reviewers on the Google Play Store are asking for Sonos to rollback this release.

One more thing: Favorites are now called Stations in the "My Sonos" tab. However on the PC app they are still called favorites. This inconsistency is bewildering and drives me crazy.

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14 replies

Well said, and very well constructed polar bear. I’m shocked by the changes which make the software and therefore the system difficult to use. v7.4.1 was intuitive and easy enough for my whole family to use. Not so now. For the first time I’m getting complaints from them and I have to admit even I am finding it awkward, difficult to justify the changes, and to get what I want out of the software. And I’m only an IT professional with 25 years experience!! Let’s hope the quick fixes you mention DO happen and soon, as it will make a vast improvement. Please listen Sonos!
Userlevel 2
I can't get out of my location screen. Period.
Userlevel 1
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Thank you to polarbearmusic for the thoughtful and spot-on diagnosis & (hopefully) helpful suggestions.

I have been a Sonos customer and fan for a few years now, and I must agree with many of those who wrote in here. My $.02:

***
The recent interface changes are horrible.
The added complication of tasks that used to be simple, without significant addition of features is inexcuseable.
Who signed off on this mess?
***

Thanks for fixing this,
-T
I just want to be able to play music in one woommthat is different from music in another and can not seem to do this anymore! Help!!
Not sure why you can't do this. What source is the music from? What error are you getting? Which version of the software are you using? What kind of machine is the controller on?
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The recent interface changes are horrible.
The added complication of tasks that used to be simple, without significant addition of features is inexcuseable.
Who signed off on this mess?


Couldn't have said it better. The recent interface changes have made my $4,000 Sonos system a clay tablet. Instead, I find myself listening to music on a cell phone stuffed in my pocket. For a product that was once world-class, this UI change is pathetic.

Why mess with a good thing? It used to be that I could hand off the app to any friend...even the most tech-challenged of them loved the Sonos app for it's simplicity and ease of navigation. But now, no one can seem to navigate around it...they all hand it back to me and say "play X"...

I have recommended your products to friends for years...altogether they have spent upwards of almost a hundred thousand dollars and ALL of them are disappointed in this new interface.

We had faith in Sonos that this issue would be promptly solved, but it has been nearly 4 months...
..sad to say that I can no longer recommend your product.

On behalf of all of us: please, PLEASE bring back the old interface. It was truly the gem of Sonos—it was what made Sonos so enchanting.

p.s., I'm a web marketing professional for one of the top children's hospitals in the US-- over 15 years experience in UI design/development
Userlevel 7
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Blurped, have you updated to 8.3? It is quite a bit better, although I am puzzled at anyone finding 8.2 that bad. Yes it was annoying but I could still easily play music.
You are entitled to your opinion, but could you say what you are having difficulty doing, as many seem to be finding 8.3 perfectly usable?
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I've updated to 8.3. It's usable...but not an enjoyable interface like it once used to be.
Userlevel 7
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I've updated to 8.3. It's usable...but not an enjoyable interface like it once used to be.

Well they have said more changes will come but wanted to get feedback on 8.3 first. Let's hope it continues to move in the right direction.
@blurped. Out of curiosity, do you generally use a tablet or a phone as controller? My feeling is that there was a bigger adjustment required between v7 and v8 for those used to the tablet app.
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It was almost perfect. Why they decided to completely reconfigure it is beyond me...
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Oh yes, to clarify, my complaint is only in regards to the android mobile phone app, v8.3
Oh yes, to clarify, my complaint is only in regards to the android mobile phone app, v8.3OK. That slightly surprises me, as I find the navigation bar a positive addition, and most of the app unchanged from v7.4 in other respects.

If you could say what actions you are finding more difficult than before it would help, because clearly our experiences of 8.3 are different.