Question

Terrible User Interface

  • 15 November 2017
  • 71 replies
  • 1756 views


Show first post
This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

71 replies

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...
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...
All these issues have been raised repeatedly and Sonos have said they are listening to feedback and will be making changes. But I hope you find what you are looking for.
Sonos, are you listening? As one of the first Sonos dealers ever (Soundings in Denver - from late 2002 before the product was even shipping) I have watched Sonos grow up and mature and improve over the years. Each turn was for the better and well calculated from feedback from dealers and clients alike. This feels like their rebellious teen years, they've gone and colored their hair and got a nose ring and all the parents can do is sit back dumbfounded watching this happen...

Seriously though, the interface is not good. I do not have a single client who likes the new interface, No one likes it. It is difficult to move through, even for my family. Please go back.
The vast majority of posters really like the 8.3 version, and it has basically ceased all the furor from 8.0. I'm afraid you have either not seen the newest version, or you are in a very small minority.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
The vast majority of posters really like the 8.3 version, and it has basically ceased all the furor from 8.0. I'm afraid you have either not seen the newest version, or you are in a very small minority.

Except there is no "8.3 version". The current state of v8.3 is basically v8.0 with some welcome tweaks (colour scheme and fixed navigation bar) and outstanding issues ("My Sonos" screen layout and terminology, playback/queue inconsistencies from v7, differing mobile and desktop UIs). And it's not that the software is terrible, but sometimes it's the stupid little things that drive users mad.

Look, Sonos deserve some credit for pushing out improvements, but they still have work to do. Users are going to continue screaming into the void of these forums until the user experience improves.
The vast majority of posters really like the 8.3 version, and it has basically ceased all the furor from 8.0. I'm afraid you have either not seen the newest version, or you are in a very small minority.

Except there is no "8.3 version". The current state of v8.3 is basically v8.0 with some welcome tweaks (colour scheme and fixed navigation bar) and outstanding issues ("My Sonos" screen layout and terminology, playback/queue inconsistencies from v7, differing mobile and desktop UIs). And it's not that the software is terrible, but sometimes it's the stupid little things that drive users mad.

Look, Sonos deserve some credit for pushing out improvements, but they still have work to do. Users are going to continue screaming into the void of these forums until the user experience improves.
I agree with most of your comments, Alan, but Sonos have said they are working on other aspects so we'll have to wait and see. Given so many other things happening, I'm not surprised at the slow pace of progress. I should give up on the queue thing. I have, although I share your view.

It seems to me the screaming has stopped.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
Given so many other things happening, I'm not surprised at the slow pace of progress.

Yep. None of this is really surprising. Sonos have their own priorities. Doesn't stop some of us wishing they placed "truly great user experience" and "favouring core product and existing users over new features" higher on their list though. And every new release is a potential improvement...
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
Given so many other things happening, I'm not surprised at the slow pace of progress.

Yep. None of this is really surprising. Sonos have their own priorities. Doesn't stop some of us wishing they placed "truly great user experience" and "favouring core product and existing users over new features" higher on their list though. And every new release is a potential improvement...


Just hope their priorities are mine
GUI is just fine
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.