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Shane D.

Behind the Scenes: Improving the Tag Experience for Evernote on Mobile

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A long awaited improvement. Looks reasonable, given the form factor constraints. That will be a nice addition to the mobile clients. I'll need to pick up the "Tag Kingdom" meme now. :) 

Note: I was a little surprised by the claim that Android client's Tags view doesn't show the tag hierarchy. I certainly see it on my device. If a tag has subtags, then on the right hand side, there is an indicator showing number of tags, with a right arrow. Tap on that, and you see the subtags.

Regardless, this looks like a nice step forward, with lots of nice usability stuff and improved consistency. I continue to enjoy this series. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, jefito said:

surprised by the claim that Android client's Tags view doesn't show the tag hierarchy.

You must be special Jeff - mine is just a flat view as advertised.

Thanks to Ian and Sahand (I hope you guys got your drinks after) for the explanation,  and the reassurance - I'd taken some fright at the thought raised in a previous session about 'rethinking tags' or some such,  but you guys are on the right wavelength.  It will be good to get to play with some of these new features in a (hopefully not too far) future beta... 

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I get the hierarchy as well

 

image.png.a988c924be8685e9f7cf3f7e3d33d195.png

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but the hierarchy disappears when selecting tags as filters

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5 hours ago, lisec said:

but the hierarchy disappears when selecting tags as filters

This also happens on my Mac (no hierarchy when selecting tags as filters)

My work-around is to prefix my tagnames so they sort correctly with/without hierarchy.  
For example in your @Who hierarchy all the tagnames would be prefixed with @

Even so, I'm looking forward to having access to tag hierarchy with my IOS devices

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Yeah, I do that too. Actually, I was sort of wrong.  When selecting multiple tags it actually works nice in android because after selecting tag 1, the resulting list is filtered so there is less scrolling. You don't have hierarchies, but you don't need them at that point. I'm trying to think of what the issue is... whatever it is, I get a pop-up screen of my tags and that one has all of them in a flat list. I just don't remember when that happens.

One feature that would be nice is the ability to keep filtering on a search result.  I don't bother using search on my phone because there is no way to narrow down the results.

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49 minutes ago, lisec said:

but the hierarchy disappears when selecting tags as filters

Yep, and I thought about adding that, but decided to stick to what they were showing.

Thanks for the screen cap, btw.

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Really enjoying this video series to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes.  I like knowing that a lot of care and attention goes into so many aspects of the service and apps.  Even the little things like what the button should look like to create new notes.  I also like Ian's comment about making Tags a "first class" feature of the mobile app.  I couldn't agree more.

Not sure if this is the best place to mention it, but are there any plans on being able to edit or update the dates on the mobile app?

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1 hour ago, righteousdork said:

Not sure if this is the best place to mention it, but are there any plans on being able to edit or update the dates on the mobile app?

It's not the sort of thing that Evernote normally comment on,  but if you don't ask...

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Hi.. when will Evernote allow photo and document annotations (just like Skitch) in the web version????

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1 hour ago, Erico F. said:

Hi.. when will Evernote allow photo and document annotations (just like Skitch) in the web version????

This isn't supposed to be a general requests discussion

Skitch is a Mac app; Photo/pdf annotation is an Evernote feature  (except for the web platform) https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209005587-How-to-annotate-images-and-PDFs-in-Evernote

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This sounds like a great step in the right direction for iOS and I am greatful for the focus put on improving the tag experience. I am however a bit concerned for Android.

As already mentioned above, you do get a hierarchy on Android when browsing the tags. One of the good things with how the hierarchy has been implemented today is that when you navigate to the child tags of a parent tag, all the screen estate is given to browsing the child tags. My concern with the implementation in the video is that it is unclear whether you can scroll horizontally in the hamburger menu/left panel, or what would happen when you have nested tags with longer names nested in several levels.

My other general concern is the "Unassign tag from all notes", which I pray for has a confirm box as I will most likely end up hitting that by mistake several times on a touch screen. I still wish for that confirm box to be implemented on Windows, as I even with a mouse have been through times where I have unassigned tags through a click misfire..

 

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The big thing for me is the ability to search and filter by multiple tags at once. For example search for: New York #Policy #Tax #Employment. Being able to start typing a tag, and have autofill suggest tags as I type, tap on a tag to select and type the next tag. It would make it super fast and easy to quickly type and select multiple tags.

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2 hours ago, Kruger2147 said:

The big thing for me is the ability to search and filter by multiple tags at once. For example search for: New York #Policy #Tax #Employment. Being able to start typing a tag, and have autofill suggest tags as I type, tap on a tag to select and type the next tag. It would make it super fast and easy to quickly type and select multiple tags.

This is the current process on my iPad.  Also, the taglist is filtered as I add tags to the filter

2AF63007-9048-44BF-8B35-8B599680D088.thumb.jpeg.1744b8f4f1a1b26e175c95dfb26a4961.jpeg

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This looks like a really well thought out feature. The implementation appears very solid. I can’t wait to use it. 

Kudos to everyone that worked on this. Also thanks for making the design process public, I really enjoy this series. 

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Very clever thoughts about how tagging should work, implementation mock up looks good as well.

I just hope that this will be combined with the ability to work on several notes at the same time under iPadOS, if not from release date then maybe later on. This would give the organizational work on an iPad a real boost.

Thanks to everybody for sharing !

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A big thanks to all of you who watched this video and have taken the time to give us your feedback – I've personally read every comment (and so has Ian). 

One big improvement we've made since the video, is deciding to actually show tags on the top of the note itself. We plan to show 1-2 tags to the right of the breadcrumb, so you don't have to tap on the tag icon to see them. If you don't have any tags on the note, it shouldn't take up any extra space. 

Hi @jefito I should clarify about nested tags on Android – currently Personal accounts can view nested tags, but Business users cannot, explaining why users are reporting different experiences. For Personal account users who have nested tags today, we hope seeing the nested tree structure you have on desktop will give you better context when viewing/managing your tags.

Good news  @lisec! We plan to allow filtering by tags (and notebooks) in our mobile search! In fact, when you select a tag and view a notelist associated with that tag, you can search within that list or apply more filters. @Kruger2147 You'll also be able apply multiple tags – simply start typing a tag and in the search field and we'll auto-suggest tags for you to add as filters.

Don't worry, @gustavgi the "Unassign tags from all notes" feature will definitely have a confirmation dialog! This is actually a desktop feature we're bringing to mobile. Your question about  tags with long names that are many levels deep is a good one. At some point, if you are 5 levels deep and have a long tag name, it will be cut off with an ellipses. That said, the designs do work well to accommodate any nested tags which are 3-5 levels deep, which is to our knowledge the majority of our use cases. 

So we can be better informed – I'd like to ask people on average how many levels of nested tags do you have? And how long are the titles?

💚Thanks again for being such loyal and active Evernote users.


p.s. @gazumped Ian still owes me that drink...

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** To further clarify nested tags on Android – currently when adding tags to a note, the list is completely flat (for Personal + Business). In our new design, we will show your nested tag structure here. 

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6 hours ago, Sahand said:

So we can be better informed – I'd like to ask people on average how many levels of nested tags do you have? And how long are the titles?

Tag Levels:   Average 3, Maximum 6
                       I only have 4 top level tags:  ?Who !What @Where .When

Tag Names: 10-40 characters
                       My tag names are longer because I prefix to reflect the hierarchy
                       for example:  !Budget-Entertainment-Lottery

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@Sahand Currently I have only 2 levels, using the first one only for the organizational aspect (not tagging with these). The reason is that I spend about 70% of my EN time on my iPad , where nesting is not shown. The heavy lifting like cleaning out my Inbox is done on my Mac or PC, and one of the steps is multi-tagging of several notes at a time.

When nesting gets available on mobile, I will probably shift to 3 layers, maybe 4 for some special uses. My tag names are short, mostly just 1 word. I do not reflect the layer(s) above in the nested tag.

2 more things:

- I like to have a notebook name on the note as tag. Reason is that sometimes I move notes in a group to other notebooks, mostly ones created for temporary use like sharing. By tagging with the notebook name, I can move them back easily once I do not need the new notebook any longer.

- When I share, I like to tag the notes with the temporary notebooks information to make the share reproducable. Example: I collect tax related stuff during the year in several notebooks, tagged with „Taxes“. When time comes to do the tax declaration, I identify them by search, and move them to a new notebook. This I share with my tax accountant. Everything in there gets tagged like „Tax2019“. When I dissolve the shared notebook later, the notes keep that additional tag. These tags would currently be the only ones to form my 4th level of nesting.

For my workflow it would be very positive if I could assign tags to several notes at once on the iPad as well.

Thanks again for sharing, and your feedback.

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7 hours ago, Sahand said:

how many levels of nested tags do you have? And how long are the titles?

My longest top-level tag is 60 characters,  but that looks like a typo: it's a tag plus a comment.  Excluding that one,  average is around 15 chars with a spread from 3 to 25.   Nested tags go to max 3 levels.

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8 hours ago, Sahand said:

how many levels of nested tags do you have? And how long are the titles?

I don’t us compound tags.  Tag hierarchy is used for tag organization only, mostly 2nd or 3rd level to the “real” tag.  Tag names typically less than 15 characters.  400 or so tags for 43k notes. 

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8 hours ago, Sahand said:

So we can be better informed – I'd like to ask people on average how many levels of nested tags do you have? And how long are the titles?

I do some nesting for organizational purposes, but I'm not too rigorous about it, and don't spend much time organizing them. Some tags are used in different contexts but can only exist in one spot in the tree, a true hierarchy isn't possible. I don't often use the tag tree for note navigation/browsing. I prefer iterative tag filtering when I can get it: type in a tag name (with as-you-type suggestions), select it, and further tag suggestions are based on the note set that has all of any previous tags.

In any case, max # levels in my personal is 4, and in my work account, 5.

Tags typically have shortish names (no compound names), probably averaging 7 letters.

If all tags are not going to be shown, it would be very nice to have a way of forcing certain tags to the front of a note's tag list (possibly via a special prefix character?, e.g. '#' '@', '!', etc?). Also, it would be nice if the same collating sequence was used across all platforms, so that tags order identically.

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15 hours ago, Sahand said:

Your question about  tags with long names that are many levels deep is a good one. At some point, if you are 5 levels deep and have a long tag name, it will be cut off with an ellipses. That said, the designs do work well to accommodate any nested tags which are 3-5 levels deep, which is to our knowledge the majority of our use cases.

Would that limit apply to the "Tag Kingdom" as well?

While I am most likely a unique user case (I use the tag hierarchy as a combined tag + mind mapping-system, with 45000+ tags with long names and 30+ levels) and I respect that the product development can't take such rare user cases into consideration, I still want to voice my concerns when a new version messes with my current work flow like the changes to the Android version might. :)

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15 hours ago, Sahand said:

@Kruger2147 You'll also be able apply multiple tags – simply start typing a tag and in the search field and we'll auto-suggest tags for you to add as filters.

I use EN for School, so some of my Tags have long names, like "MPM357: Project Performance and Quality Assurance", will I be able to search for "quality" and have it bring up the tag for that class?

15 hours ago, Sahand said:

So we can be better informed – I'd like to ask people on average how many levels of nested tags do you have? And how long are the titles?

I have a 2 layer parent/child hierarchy for my tags. I have !School, !Tasks, #Dates, @People @Places and Topics, then the child tags that fits under each parent.

 

Side request, the ability to batch edit/move tags. Currently food and food related tags are under Topic, having to move all of those tags to a new Food parent is a pain, which is why I haven't done it yet. Being able to select multiple tags, drag and drop into a new nest would be amazing. This would also help for archiving tags after completing a research project or work project. 

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On 7/24/2019 at 1:52 PM, Shane D. said:

In this video, CEO Ian Small chats with Sahand, a product designer, about how tagging is becoming more consistent across devices.

@Ian Small, thank's for another great video.  In general, I love the direction you are headed in with respect to tags.

However, I do have one UI request:  Please don't waste so much vertical space on the listing of tags.  This would apply to all devices, but especially to mobile devices.
It is far, far more important to those of us who have lots of tags (> 1,000) to see as many tags on the screen at one time as possible, and still be readable and touchable.

Also, please greatly improve the contrast of the text.  The light shade of grey used for the Tag Names make it very hard to read.

image.thumb.png.9f59d89be2f3fca864c5fdb73023514e.png

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@Sahand Thanks for all that you are doing to improve Evernote and Tags in particular.  One issue that has plagued me and other Evernote users for many years is the inability to add/manage tags in a Shared notebook ("Only tags that are already in this notebook can be added to this note").  This seems like a fairly straightforward fix by adding a setting in a Shared notebook to "Allow Members to Manage Tags in This Notebook".  Is this something that is being considered as a new feature?  Thank you.

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2 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

@Ian Small, thank's for another great video.  In general, I love the direction you are headed in with respect to tags.

However, I do have one UI request:  Please don't waste so much vertical space on the listing of tags.  This would apply to all devices, but especially to mobile devices.
It is far, far more important to those of us who have lots of tags (> 1,000) to see as many tags on the screen at one time as possible, and still be readable and touchable.

Also, please greatly improve the contrast of the text.  The light shade of grey used for the Tag Names make it very hard to read.

 

+1 to all of this

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1 hour ago, BrandonG said:

@Sahand Thanks for all that you are doing to improve Evernote and Tags in particular.  One issue that has plagued me and other Evernote users for many years is the inability to add/manage tags in a Shared notebook ("Only tags that are already in this notebook can be added to this note").  This seems like a fairly straightforward fix by adding a setting in a Shared notebook to "Allow Members to Manage Tags in This Notebook".  Is this something that is being considered as a new feature?  Thank you.

Unfortunately, it's an architectural problem due to constraints in the underlying infrastructure, not a simple matter of adding a setting.  One of the things we are working on this year is reworking a significant part of the infrastructure to give us more reliability, more scalability and - what matters in this case - more flexibility.  Once we have that flexibility, we will start to explore what to do with it. -- ian

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3 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

However, I do have one UI request:  Please don't waste so much vertical space on the listing of tags.  This would apply to all devices, but especially to mobile devices.
It is far, far more important to those of us who have lots of tags (> 1,000) to see as many tags on the screen at one time as possible, and still be readable and touchable.

Also, please greatly improve the contrast of the text.  The light shade of grey used for the Tag Names make it very hard to read.

image.thumb.png.9f59d89be2f3fca864c5fdb73023514e.png

Thanks for the feedback.  I suspect a part of the vertical spacing on mobile is driven by a desire for each item in the list to be easily selectable, and the reality that some people (like me) have relatively - um - broader fingers than others.  (Otherwise known as the "fat finger problem".) . That being said, completely understand the underlying impact on information density and will make sure that the point gets raised and considered.

Re the grey, I'm assuming you are reacting to what you saw in the video, not to an actual build or similar screen you saw somewhere.  I say this because the relative contrast that gets picked up and displayed when we make printouts, stick them on a surface, and then shoot them again with an HD camera is not all that representative of what it actually looks like on a mobile screen.  (Limitations of the quick-and-dirty production process for the Behind the Scenes videos.) . If you're reacting to a screen in your current mobile app that you think is representative of the contrast problem, please let us know which screen it is so we can assess if it's similar to what we are currently building!  Thanks.

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On 8/2/2019 at 3:57 PM, Ian Small said:

I suspect a part of the vertical spacing on mobile is driven by a desire for each item in the list to be easily selectable, and the reality that some people (like me) have relatively - um - broader fingers than others.  (Otherwise known as the "fat finger problem".) .

In addition to simply the fat finger problem 😂, I think it's important to recognize/point out that Evernote needs to work for people with common mental/physical limitations (like essential tremor)...that spacing allows for greater accuracy for these individuals with limited dexterity. As the family member of someone who suffers with tremors, I am conscious of making sure that links and buttons on mobile are well-spaced. So, for WCAG 2.0 mobile accessibility compliance and to appeal to users (like @JMichaelTX) perhaps an option such as several Google products provides of preferred (default, compact and comfortable) spacing could be useful in this instance.

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It's really great to see that consistency of user experience has become a focus of Evernote. Well done with the new tagging system.

I wonder why you would need a way for creating a new tag when you can create one after an unsuccessful search, anyway. The first option is obsolete, imho. Just start typing and the tag will be found or created.

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On 8/2/2019 at 3:57 PM, Ian Small said:

(Otherwise known as the "fat finger problem".)

I use my pinky often on mobile devices, though a stylus works best.

My rather crowded link bar works ok with this.  

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