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(Archived) Just a comment on asthetics


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I just wanted to drop a comment here. I doubt everyone will agree with me but I wanted to give the developers something to think about.


I've used the new Evernote 5 now since the day it rolled out and I just have to say that I think it is ugly. I know there is a trend towards a "cleaner" look but a cleaner look isn't necessarily more useful. Used to, things were nicely separated with some color. Color helps to guide the eyes and helps you find things faster. Now everything is just a couple different shades of the same blugh grey/silver/blue and it finding things just isn't as natural. On the left navigation, the headings, subheadings, notebook entries and everything else are all the same font, color, etc and only a slight deviation in size. The names of notes don't stand out from the notes themselves. Words have replaced buttons at the top as well unless you hover over them.


Call me "old fashioned" but it seems to me that there have been a lot of changes made to a very efficient interface in the name of keeping up with fashion. Anyone who's been around a while knows that occasionally what is fashionable is rather inferior and stupid. (crocs anyone? Snuggie?) Google's gmail is very popular and is also the ugliest interface available. And yet because the functionality is popular, everyone seems to want to copy it. Yahoo's latest move to uglify their email is just one recent example.


So am I the only one who thinks this? Am I the only one who thinks that the desktop client could use some more color? Maybe some green? How tough would it be to provide for something like "themes" or maybe even provide for custom css?  


This is what I'm talking about. I know this is sloppy and I chose some poor color combinations. I didn't put a lot of time into it. But one thing that you'll notice is that you can easily move from point to point taking only big color blocks as your visual clues. I don't have to read down the list on the left to know I'm on the "work" notebook. It's just the 4th green block. The notebook names are the same color in all three places they appear as are the note names themselves in both the highlighted note name and the note name on the actual note. It reduces the amount of material that you need to read. The previous version actually did this OK but the new version has eliminated this kind of visual queuing.




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You are correct. Not everyone agrees with this. I find that the new color scheme is fine as is, and even if Evernote were to allow for user-modification of the colors of various UI elements, it's unlikely that I'd bother.

For a number of common operations, I don't need special colors to guide my eye to a particular button / icon; I can just use the even more convenient shortcut keys. New Note, that's Ctrl+N. Start a new search? F6. Sync? Well, I don't use it; Evernote does it for me, automatically. Further, a lot of UI elements are always in the same place: the elements of the note panel, the search panel, note title is bolded and enlarged, easy to spot. And the headers of the left panel stand out enough to make it easy to scan for them.

It's all horses for courses, of course, and the folks who don't like it are vocal about it, and that's fine; those of us who either like it, or don't care, just keep chugging along (and many don't bother to post about it). That's not to say that I think that the UI is perfect; there are a number of things that ought to be fixed / cleaned up (the tag list in the left panel desperately needs other filtering / viewing options, and the Ctrl + Shift + T functionality isn't quite there yet). But not one of those fixes require any different coloration in my view, just functional changes...

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