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Critique of the Web Beta interface - Usability concerns


I'll try to be short but the list is long. Rephrasing: I will try to be concise.


In summary:  This Beta suffers from "cleanliness" over practicality. Seems to have been designed by a visual designer with little care for actual use of the tool.


I hope that the developers in charge pay attention and revel against the designer driven interface.


It seems to have been optimized for use on a tablet screen browser. Whatever happened to true responsive design?


I will try to get time to do a video to show these and other observations.


Before you discard my comments as reaction to change, please consider that I am a developer and architect who is rarely OK with the status quo. I thrive under change and understand the need for change:

Keeps things fresh and current

Allows trying new ideas

Challenges previous assumptions

Helps you adapt to new circumstances

And many others


These aren't pet peeves just because I am "used" to the current interface. These are actual usability concerns


The current production version has a responsive interface that adapts to the available browser space. If I am on my Laptop screen it looks good. If I am on my 24" or 32" monitors it looks good. I can see my notebooks, my notes and my tags on the same page.


On the beta version, I don't see the notebooks or notes when I am editing. Now I need to click several times to go from Notebook to notebook.


When using a large screen the note is just in the middle of the screen with plenty of white space around. If I resize the browser, the note area resizes but the list of notes do not resize correspondingly. By the way, in a big monitor is clear that even the notes area resizes only up to a point, after that, it leaves the white bands at both sides. To make matters worst, the  icons area at the top of the note, resize to the full with and makes it look as it is not part of the note. The non beta version resizes nicely as a really responsive application.


I wish there was a word for wost than wost (worster?) As I start typing a note, the list of notebooks disappear. Sometimes notes are reminders of other notes and I want to see them while editing.


Clicking "Done" takes me out of my note and notebook and I need to do several clicks to go back to editing my note.


When editing a note, There is a top drop down to select "notebook", Given that the list of notebooks do not appear elsewhere in that page, it seems it is to select a notebook not to assign the note to a notebook.


When editing the editing tools are hidden (Bullet, Indentation, etc), Probably for a hard core Evernoter it is obvious, but many new users will not realize all the tools available when editing.


The interface does not align to accepted browser conventions. For example:

  • The icons do not have "hints". One has to click on the icons to figure out what they do, e.g. the "attachments" clip doesn't say what it does, when clicking, it opens what appears is another page, Same when clicking on the "i" to get information.
  • if you click "back" on the browser it takes you out of your note, instead of back to your note. 
  • If you refresh the page while working on a note, it it takes you out of your note, instead of back to your note


Icons break the conventions. e.g. the "Share" icon uses the icon usually associated with Upload. Organization of icons also breaks conventions. If notebooks are a higher level of abstraction than notes, then Notebooks should show above the notes. This is, you normally go to a notebook to go to a note. Rarely if ever you want to see all the notes regardless of organization.


Sometimes it is unclear what the action icons apply to. For example, given that the "i" (information) icon on the note editing, goes all the way to the right when resizing on a big monitor, it seems that it applies to the application, not to the note.


There is plenty of wasted white space, While it appears to make the interface cleaner, it also has the effect of showing less information. For example, the "Notes" list inside a notebook

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Excellent, well-written critique.  One can only hope that Evernote will give it a serious read and seriously consider your very valid points.

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agreed; Excellent critique.  


I can normally cope OK with upgrades to software interface; I'll perservere or look it up or youtube a tutorial or whatever to get the answers I need... but I think this particular 'improvement' has taken away the basic functionality of the product.


 Looks like it's been designed by someone who has never actually used Evernote or has no idea of the myriad ways in which users add to their notebooks. It seems to assume that we go in and type a note and file it in a notebook.  Nope. Mostly,  I use clipper and I clip stuff of interest as I go along, it goes to a default notebook  and then at some point I open evernote and refile items from my default notebook in the relevant notebooks.  Surely that's how many people work???.  Yet the functionality of simply moving notes from one notebook to another is now a complete pain... 


Absolutely HATE the new look.  Not at all user friendly on a PC; haven't tried it on my tablet yet but I can't see how it will be much different;

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Mostly,  I use clipper and I clip stuff of interest as I go along, it goes to a default notebook  and then at some point I open evernote and refile items from my default notebook in the relevant notebooks.


Same for me! 

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