Jump to content
Shane D.

Behind the Scenes: Creating a Better Button for Mobile Evernote

Recommended Posts

Hey All,

There are so many things you can put in a new note, it’s hard to know where to begin. We’re working to change that.

In this installment of Evernote Behind the Scenes, CEO Ian Small chats with Aiden, a product design manager, about upcoming changes to the all-important “New Note” button. This small adjustment will make note creation more consistent and intuitive across mobile platforms.

Subscribe to our channel to follow the journey, and join the conversation on the Evernote Forum!
 

 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Great, a bigger new note button  😊

I was ok with the long press but agree "hidden" option selections can be confusing

Thanks for the latest video

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

For iOS it looks like a nice improvement. At the moment, only 3 options show, only on a long / 3D Touch press, and sometimes you hide part of them with your hand.

Looks good to me !

As told there is more to expect on the mobile clients.

My favorite would be to be able to pick more than only one note at a time (maybe under the condition to have them downloaded as "offline" before), and do cool stuff like on the desktop clients:

  • joining notes together into one
  • tagging several of them in one go
  • move them as a group to their target notebook

etc.

This would be a real time saver !

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

More explicit about what can be done = good, use of more of the limited screen space = not so good. UI is often a balance that way. And it's often assumed that UI is less work than the underlying machinations required to get the job done, but it's often really not. Getting it "right" is not an objective process, hence the requirement for user feedback loops. . You need to offer enough access to what the user wants to do without overwhelming them with options or extraneous information. There's a real art that can go into a seemingly simple button.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
21 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

My favorite would be to be able to pick more than only one note at a time (maybe under the condition to have them downloaded as "offline" before), and do cool stuff like on the desktop clients:

You can select multiple notes in the Android application. It's not obvious, but if you long-press on a note in the note list, it switches to a view where you can select/deselect notes, and then use a menu to perform certain operations, tag and duplicate, to name a couple. No merge or mass delete at this time though, as far as I can tell.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post

In iOS I can pick more than one note as well, following basic iOS logic: Put one finger on one note and hold it, tap with another one at other notes. They group nicely together, count going up, and then ... nothing. There is nothing you can do with this group, and as soon as you lift the first finger, it will fall apart again.

So it is like getting a kiss from your sister/brother: Nice, but leading nowhere.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

This was a great video! Nice to see some of the changes happening there. I've stopped using Evernote consistently a while back but seeing what improvements are coming down the line really makes me excited about using it more. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post

It is a fine balance between simplicity and all the stuff it would be great to be able to do. When I am working on my mobile devices the most important thing for me is to be able to quickly add information and to be able to quickly retrieve information. Big buttons and easy access is always good. Hunt friction and continue to make Evernote a life-tool. 

A tip for my fellow Evernote users; The app "Say&Go" - one click and it records and send a 10-15 second voice note to Evernote. Great to use in the car. 

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Shane D. said:

upcoming changes to the all-important “New Note” button. This small adjustment will make note creation more consistent and intuitive across mobile platforms.

Well done guys!  👍

I really like the design you have so far.  I hope we will see it soon.

Keep up the good work, and, again, thanks for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, DTLow said:

بزرگ، یک دکمه یادداشت جدید بزرگتر   😊

من با مطبوعات طولانی موافق بودم اما موافق انتخاب گزینه "مخفی" می تواند گیج کننده باشد

با تشکر از آخرین ویدیو

 

Share this post


Link to post

This is great news. Great to see things being thought out and tested so well. I hope some of these changes will be coming to Android too. It would be great to have a more consistent experience across devices!

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, David Lumm said:

This is great news. Great to see things being thought out and tested so well. I hope some of these changes will be coming to Android too. It would be great to have a more consistent experience across devices!

The changes will be for both Android and iOS. I'm not familiar with exact launch dates and it's quite possible we'll stagger the initial release of the new clients for Android vs. iOS, but ultimately, changes will be consistent for both operating systems. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, John in Michigan USA said:

Should I re-post my feedback here, or are people able/willing to follow the link

Your call but one has to join the Facebook community to see your post.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, s2sailor said:

Your call but one has to join the Facebook community to see your post.

Not a place I'm going back to any time soon...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

@John in Michigan USA, I always thought Facebook was a waste of time, and now that we've seen how FB has abused our country and our citizens, many have withdrawn from it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, John in Michigan USA said:

I just made some feedback I'm quite proud of on the Facebook version of this announcement. Should I re-post my feedback here, or are people able/willing to follow the link and tell me what I got wrong over on Facebook?

Feedback here is good, because not everyone here is a member of the Facebook community.

Share this post


Link to post

I've watched a few of the videos in this series, and regardless of the content I really enjoy the style.  To me it's a refreshing change from many of the product videos I watch with regard to my profession.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

OK here's what I posted on FB re this video. First comment:

Quote

 

This neglected button is long overdue for improvement.

But, I fear I am seeing a trend in these videos: a focus on superficial UI improvements, when what I really care about is, will future releases be stable, quality software that *just works*. This means: no major new bugs introduced, no old bugs resurfacing, software smooth and responsive, no undocumented changes, no sudden changes, no changes just for the sake of change.

I don't think I'm alone in this.

 

I was very encouraged by @Ian Small's prompt reply:

Quote

HI John Hadjisky; thanks for your comment! Actually, a huge amount of work is going into plumbing and processes. It's not work that translates well into the visual medium of the videos, so it's not been the emphasis in the series so far. We had one video recently that focused on how we were improving the reliability of our User DB, which proved interesting to some of the community but attracted relatively fewer views than the others. Nonetheless, I expect there will be some upcoming episodes where we focus on other infrastructure improvements because it's all a part of what we are doing to make Evernote better. I should also observe that what you refer to as a superficial UI improvement is also a blending of two distinct interfaces (the Android new note button vs. the iOS new note button) into a single paradigm, which will mean more common code. A codebase with more shared code and more consistent UX paradigms is inherently more testable and easier to maintain. So even improvements in the UI can contribute to progress in exactly the areas that you really care about. All that being said, it's clear that we still have a long road ahead of us to get to the place that we - and you - all want Evernote to be. We are working on getting there.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, CalS said:

Not a place I'm going back to any time soon...

Facebook, not a place I ever went, or intend to go.  I'm putting it on my tombstone.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Second comment from FB:

Quote

 

Also, a specific button request. The button does different things in different contexts. In Android, for example, from the All Notes view it creates a new note; if viewing an existing note, it lets you edit the note. This is good so far. But, if you are looking at the results of a search, there's no green button at all!

The button should be a consistent feature of all viewing modes. I'd guess that, from a search results screen, the most common next step is to open the one you want. Well you don't need a button for that. So the 2nd-most common next step is either a) create a new note, because you didn't find what you wanted, or b) change the search parameters and repeat. IMO the button should do a) but of course testing with N>1 users is the way to go.

Also, in the Trash view, there is no green button. There should be. Most common next step is to empty trash, which will first display a warning/confirmation pop-up before doing my bidding.

In the settings view, there is no green button. I am sure testing would reveal the most common next step (maybe help, or perhaps it lets you search the settings like in the Android settings screen?), but, I could also see a rationale for this view being the exception and having no green button.

Far too many good EN features, like the green button, don't seem fully thought out. It was introduced years ago, but I see no reason why they didn't implement it across all viewing modes. Was this even a conscious decision :-} ? 

Edit: And yes, I did provide this very same feedback when the button first came out.

 

Anyplace else that the green button should appear?

Does the iOS app have the same problem?

Share this post


Link to post

iOS today has a button, that will create a note.

If you press hard (on 3D-touch-devices) or longer, 3 options will appear around it. Even if they wanted, it would be hard to place more options and still have that fast „I get what I want“-feeling. Because of that, I would not make it too context sensitive. It is a fast way of doing ONE important thing: Get a new note created and open, wherever you are at that moment.

For me as a heavy iOS user (about 70% is on my iPad Pro) I can do fine with the new button and a pop up menu. And if GUIs get more integrated, all the better.

P.S. And please DO NOT place this on Facebook !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, Scott T. said:

The changes will be for both Android and iOS. I'm not familiar with exact launch dates and it's quite possible we'll stagger the initial release of the new clients for Android vs. iOS, but ultimately, changes will be consistent for both operating systems. 

That's great. I'm so pleased to see the different interfaces slowly coming together! It would be great if you could do all the same things no matter where you accessed your Evernote account!

Dare I ask if there's ever a chance of a Linux app in these new and exciting times?

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, s2sailor said:

Facebook, not a place I ever went, or intend to go.  I'm putting it on my tombstone.

10? years ago a way to communicate with kids, not so any more.  😊

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, the kids are all now on Instagram ...

Who in the hell is owning Instagram ? Just look it up - and say hello to Mark !

So another thing for your tombstone, I suppose. You will need a large tombstone if you do not want to run out of space 📝

P.S. Maybe I should add to my profile "Not a FB user ..."

Share this post


Link to post
44 minutes ago, CalS said:

10? years ago a way to communicate with kids, not so any more.  😊

Yes, I was lucky, my kids were still at home when Facebook was real popular.  By the time they got out of college they were pretty much not using it any longer.  Now we just text and if I'm lucky I'll get a response within a couple of days 😉

Sorry for the off topic, now back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, David Lumm said:

Dare I ask if there's ever a chance of a Linux app in these new and exciting times?

Unclear. Official word is sparse, but there's this: https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208313748-Evernote-on-Linux. Not sure how old that is, but it's pretty similar to a post from the then CTO in 2009 (!): 

 

If the web version improves enough, that may be sufficient for many Linux users. Given the push towards greater conformity among the different Evernote applications, that may be the strategy for Linux. In any case, here's the main Linux client request topic; you should probably go there and add your vote:

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, jefito said:

If the web version improves enough, that may be sufficient for many Linux users. Given the push towards greater conformity among the different Evernote applications, that may be the strategy for Linux

Definitely, that would be a pretty good solution. It would be nice if we could do things like folder synchronisation etc through the web client.

I'll check, but I've probably already voted on it :-)

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, David Lumm said:

It would be great if you could do all the same things no matter where you accessed your Evernote account!

Like mouse support on our mobile devices  😊

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, David Lumm said:

It would be nice if we could do things like folder synchronisation etc through the web client.

"Folder synchronization" ???     edit: refers to Import Folders

fwiw    Our Evernote data is sync'd for all platforms

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, DTLow said:

"Folder synchronization" ???

Our Evernote data is sync'd for all platforms

Yes, this is a feature of the Windows client, presumably also present on the MacOS version. You select a folder and every time a file gets created a new note containing that file is created. I believe that when the file is updated the note get's updated too, but I might be wrong. I have used it quite a bit on Windows, but can't do it on Linux.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, David Lumm said:

Yes, this is a feature of the Windows client, presumably also present on the MacOS version. You select a folder and every time a file gets created a new note containing that file is created. I believe that when the file is updated the note get's updated too, but I might be wrong. I have used it quite a bit on Windows, but can't do it on Linux.

This is Import Folders on the Windows/Mac platforms

Only a one time import - updates are not kept sync'd

Share this post


Link to post

It is only on Windows, and it uses OS-resources to do it.

On Mac, you need 3rd parts SW to do something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, David Lumm said:

I believe that when the file is updated the note get's updated too, but I might be wrong. I have used it quite a bit on Windows, but can't do it on Linux.

This is not true. A file is never updated in when using import folders in the Windows or Mac Evernote applications: a new note is always created if a file in the import folder is updated.

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, jefito said:

This is not true. A file is never updated in when using import folders in the Windows or Mac Evernote applications: a new note is always created if a file in the import folder is updated.

That's very true! I've mostly only used it for files that don't get modified, but I have seen this behaviour with new notes being created for the same files, because I had to then deal with the duplicates. Good point!

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/21/2019 at 8:11 PM, DTLow said:

For the web platform, the import folder would need to be in the cloud

That's a fair assumption, but not necessarily true. Chrome (and presumably Firefox?) allows code running in the browser to access to the local filesystem.

For instance, it's possible with Google Play Music using Chrome to watch a folder on your laptop and automatically upload new music it finds there, to keep your Google Play account in sync with your local music directory. It's not impossible (although not likely) for Evernote to do something similar with the web interface.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, David Lumm said:

For instance, it's possible with Google Play Music using Chrome to watch a folder on your laptop and automatically upload new music it finds there, to keep your Google Play account in sync with your local music directory. It's not impossible (although not likely) for Evernote to do something similar with the web interface.

The ability to access a local file system would be great not only for auto import of content via watched folders, but also for import of arbitrary .enex files (for home-brew templates, perhaps), and export of same (for backup purposes).

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/21/2019 at 4:01 AM, David Lumm said:

Dare I ask if there's ever a chance of a Linux app in these new and exciting times?

I'm hopeful you will see an official Linux app sooner than later. 😉

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, Scott T. said:

I'm hopeful you will see an official Linux app sooner than later. 😉

Is that a leak? Is that a hint? Don't get me all excited if it's not true. Is it true?! Oh my goodness.... oh my goodness... This is epic and important news! Very!

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Bigger is better

My button needs to be the biggest. How can I overcompensate for other things by adjusting my button to be bigger than my co-workers??

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post

All I can say is: I really, really, really like this. A lot. 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...