Hi everyone -
Dropping back out of lurking mode to provide some additional insight and to reflect on some of the threads above…. There is lots of valuable feedback in this discussion - thank you!
I’m sorry if we have disappointed some of you with a perceived lack of responsiveness in the comment threads on these videos. As you would probably expect, our top priority is listening for input and watching for new insights that emerge from these forums and also from all the other community and social mechanisms through which these videos are distributed.
During initial design, we focus on talking to and learning from individual users. When we move into preview releases, we engage one-on-one with tens and hundreds of users. As we ramp tests to thousands, tens of thousands and ultimately into millions of users, we start looking increasingly to quantitative data to inform how successful we are being because the conversation doesn't scale otherwise. That’s just the simple mechanics of how things need to work at the scale of Evernote.
Concretely, the new note editor has been out in preview release with select Evernote web users for the last 75 days, ramping from a few hundred users trialing very early builds to now thousands of users kicking the tires in a larger-scale (but still early) beta. In the private discussion attached to that original preview program, the conversation around some of the same topics raised here has been intense, resulting not just in bug fixes but also in changes in design and implementation that we are still continuing to work on as I type this. Understandably, we have focussed our energy on going back and forth with and supporting users who are evaluating this build for us in the wild. (Some of you on this discussion are also involved in the private preview program discussion; thank you for your feedback and contributions there!)
This is not to say that we don’t value your responses to these videos. As I said above, we read every one to look for new insights and observations. In general, I think that the early response to the first few Behind the Scenes videos has proven that our decision to start communicating with the community through this video mechanism has been a good one. However, I recognize that as we increase this style of communication out to you, it naturally bumps up your expectation of our ability to be able to engage both interactively and on a lot of fronts at the same time.
We’ll do our best to engage as we are able, but our priorities internally are clear:
First and foremost, we need to focus on shipping quality software that delivers the more coherent and consistent Evernote experience that I blogged about earlier this year. We are still relatively early in that process; we have a long way to go.
When we are able to engage, we try to prioritize interactions that inform us of how to refine the software in flight, or to identify and eliminate bugs. That means we won’t necessarily be able to circle around to catch everyone up across all the different communication channels and all the threads. Apologies.
And finally, I want to get us out of the habit of making promises we don’t meet. I am not a fan of making commitments we're not 100% sure we can deliver on. So unfortunately that means most of your questions about additional feature X, anticipated delivery date Y, and what about Z - no matter how reasonable! - are likely going to go unanswered until we can back up an answer with facts, or better yet, software.
I truly appreciate your ongoing patience with us while we focus as much energy as we are able to muster on building a better Evernote for you. We are trying to test everything we are doing early and often. And we continue to listen to the feedback from those tests and to evolve in response to that feedback.
Finally, for those of you who have stuck with this post this far… we know tags are super important to a significant percentage of our user base. (As an aside, we’re trying to improve support for them on Evernote implementations where tags are currently and inexplicably somewhat second-class citizens.). Tags in the modern Evernote web environment aren’t hidden behind a click. They have always been shown at the bottom of the note editor screen (a particularly observant s2sailor noticed this in the video - full points!), which is different than where they are on the Windows build or on the Mac build. There are advantages to this, and as has been observed in this thread, there are also clearly some disadvantages as well. This continues to be a source of ongoing discussion internally.
Going back to lurking now. And probably shooting another video in my copious spare time...