Question

Terrible User Interface

  • 15 November 2017
  • 71 replies
  • 1756 views

Userlevel 3
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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
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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
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! 😠
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!!
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.
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.
Sonos doesn't assign network addresses, to the best of my knowledge, so whatever it is I doubt it is that. But the rebooting of devices in an update can certainly cause IP addressing problems, best avoided if everything involved has fixed addresses.

I hope you get it resolved.
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 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
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.
@DWPx2 I haven't experienced any of those issues, some of which cannot be caused by the controller app. I suggest running a system diagnostic and posting the confirmation number on a new thread so that your system issues can be resolved.