SONOS REDESIGN

Personal Design Exercise

2017

UI / UX Design 

Visual Design

BACKGROUND

Sonos is the wireless Home Sound System that fills as many rooms as you want with great-sounding music, movies, and TV. Stream via WiFi. Play whatever you’re craving, and amp up every moment with intense, pulse-pounding sound. For this project, I am going to redesign the Sonos mobile app to address some usability problems I found and envision a delightful experience.

CURRENT EXPERIENCE

Sonos is unique of modern product design and robust device management system, Sonos attracts young people with its high-quality entertainment experience. I am a loyal customer that builds my music system at home. However, through the accumulation of my frequent usages, I am having some issues with user experience in Sonos mobile app. I spent some time and analyzed the problems, please see the list below.

PROBLEMS

  • It's a further-reached experience to listen to music from a third-party music service in Sonos app. People usually have a variety of music apps on their phone. Sonos app applies a very traditional model that have users navigate music categories across music services in its app. For example, after I connect my Spotify account to Sonos, I still have to click a few times to navigate to a specific saved song in Spotify.

 

  • The room selection function is not precise to use. My family lives in a four-bedroom house, we switch rooms a lot through the day, the current room management UX is not straight-forward and easy to use.

 

  • There are a lot of complicated features aggregated in the app; sometimes people feel difficult to understand the app entirely. We know having verity functions is one of the advantages of Sonos. However, sometimes when the user wants to do a particular task, they might have multiple ways to do it and usually have to complete it across different pages. 

 

  • The overall of the product is not very delightful and well-designed comparing to its hardware devices. As a world-class home-music product, I do not see many highlights from the design. Sometimes, the user experience could be awkward, especially when I try to select good music to start the day or manage my playlist.

 

All in all, the Sonos app is powerful and functional, and it helps people do many different things. However, the app UX brings confusion and frustration to people, especially for the new users without strong tech knowledge. These problems will become obstacles to excellent and smooth user experience.

WHAT-IF

Sonos can 

  • Have a straightforward user interface for the majority of daily usages and operations.

  • Automatically import user playlists from third-party music software

  • Use the user database (usage data/usage habits/location/weather) and context to smartly push personalized recommendations to people for the delightful experience.

  • Be simple, friendly and easy-to-use!

THE REDESIGN

I approached this redesign by focusing on creating a convenient and personalized user experience. I set most of the primary functions on one single page (My Sonos page) with music recommendation & selection, room management, and music control. This redesign could improve the operational efficiency and also avoid the problem of the new user unfamiliar with the function located in the app. When a user wants to switch the room or music, they will no longer need to jump or open another page to operate. All the standard functions collect on a folding menu hiding in the header.

 

The music recommendation feature is another new feature compared to the existing app. Based on the music database, historical music listening behavior and current context of use, the Sonos app can recommend personalized music collections to users. Specifically to the 'context of use,' the app can understand the location, weather, time, date, mood and many other objective factors to generate appropriate music list. With this feature, Sonos can build some emotional connections with the family and self-improve its music recommendation service.

OTHER EXPLORATIONS

I also had other explorations while designing, like different ways to control the devices or manage the music play, different visuals for dashboard background based on the context, etc.  By comparing the pros & cons of each solution, I can deliver a better solution. 

Thanks for watching!