Sonar X1 User Interface… WHY?!?April 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
I will never understand why software companies feel the need to ruin the user interface that their userbase has come to know and love for years when they release new versions.
I installed Sonar X1 today and I almost had a nervous breakdown. Sonar 1-8 all followed pretty much the same UI; there were some simple things about the interface that made the experience intuitive and efficient… Take the hotkeys for example: When you’re drawing notes onto the sheet music, you’re constantly switching between drawing, erasing, selecting, and using the brush tool. So naturally, it made sense that the hotkeys were D, E, S, and B respectively. Not only were they intuitive because they’re the first letters of each of these words, but also because that’s where your hand naturally rests on the keyboard (just like WASD in FPS games). It makes sense… it allows you to compose faster (which is critical when you have an arrangement in your head that you’re hurriedly trying to notate before it leaves your mind). Randomly changing these hotkeys to F6-9 because you want to use D to represent docking (why the hell do you need a hotkey for that, seriously… I choose the draw tool probably 10,000x more than I choose to dock or undock something).
Also, I much preferred when all of the track information was inside of the track itself, not off to the side. I can’t for the life of me understand the reasoning behind this (besides wanting to add clutter because it looks more complicated). There’s a very distinct design-related justification behind putting the track information on the track: You can look at all of the track information at once! You don’t have to switch tracks in order to see it! Additionally, it takes up less space… there is ZERO reason for the input list to be a gigantic 3 inch tall bar. Again, unless you just want your UI to look more esoteric. I wasted hours today going through help documents, reading manuals, and searching forums just so that I could relearn how to control a program that I’ve used for almost 10 years. You know that the UI has not improved when it takes you an hour just to find an icon that was in plain sight in every previous version of the program.
I hate this. And I hate that they’ve discontinued all of the earlier versions of Sonar that had well-designed UI. And you know, while I’m at it, I hate Google instant search. It’s a gigantic piece of crap. I feel like I am going to cry.