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bobthebob

android (Archived) Evernote 2.0 - *total* UI letdown - post your feedback here

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excuse me, whomever is moderating this board from Evernote please listen up:

the new interface is the ugliest least aesthetically pleasing UI I have seen in a long long time.

I hate it so much I have uninstalled it and reinstalled 1.5 until this is corrected.

please compare the UI with the iOS one - in the Android 1.5 version the UI was nearly identical - nice brushed metal, shading, large well crafted icons, an attractive widget... now - what do we have? a 4bit color interface (!!) with crappy one color icons that and the ugliest widget I've ever seen.

the UI looks like something from 1993 for chrissake - I'm not kidding.

I really can't understand what you all were thinking? who could've possibly imagined that this would appeal to Android users??

you have GHETTO-IZED us - and I'm NOT DIGGING IT.

do any of you feel the same?? or is it just me?

post here and let EN know how you feel.

this is enough to make me switch over to SpringPad. I'm serious.

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please also note that I was planning on purchasing a 'PRO' license - but am certainly NOT doing so now.

please fix this. PLEASE!

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Wow...and all these years I've ranked software as to how well it works, rather than how neat it looks.

(This sort of feels like deja vu all over again...)

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lol ... well, I suppose it's true that the current Springpad UI is prettier than Evernote's. But in this and most other aspects of life, it's what under the surface that matters. I moved all my Springpad content to Evernote the day I signed up here, and even with the boring old Android UI I couldn't be happier.

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how software looks IS part of how well it works - ask any UI/UX guy.

and this is a case of *backwards* regression. we had a decent interface - now we don't.

reasons?

I personally - and perhaps I'm unusual - feel that the way software looks is pretty crucial to whether I use it or not - especially if there are other competing products that provide much the same functionality...

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I'm not an Android user, but when SpringPad gives me what Evernote does on the Windows desktop, then that might have meaning to me. As it stands, SpringPad isn't even in the conversation. Of course, your mileage probably varies, and if you don't care for how Evernote looks,and SpringPad has enough functionality for you, then even the Evernote folks usually acknowledge that you should be using what works for you. And they'd thank you for your suggestions, too. Good luck.

~Jeff

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do any of you feel the same?? or is it just me?

I am starting to see a trend develop from the other users.

I mean, since you asked....

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Don't get me wrong ... I think it would be very cool to have a shinier-looking Android app, and one with a few more features. (A customizable start screen, for example.) But for me, the UI doesn't detract from the app's usefulness in the least.

And if I were the person who got to pick Evernote's development priorities, there are a number of things I'd rank higher than updating the Android UI. I'd give up the whole Android app in exchange for a decent rtf text editor. ;)

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well - my point is that someone decided that this redesign was important enough to spend time and money on.

and then THIS is what they came up with??

so, I'm not saying they *should* prioritize the app redesign - they *already* prioritized the redesign - I just can't believe they did it so badly.

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and I for one vote for them to just go back to the old UI. it wouldn't be that difficult, I'm sure these guys are doing good OOP, it's just a matter of replacing the V in MVC.

hear me Evernote?

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MVC

The Mesa Varmint Callers strike again!

Those Moose Vehicle Collisions are getting out of control.

Time to call in the Madras Veterinary College folks.

I'm heading over to the Monte Vista Chapel to pray.

http://www.acronymattic.com/MVC.html

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Well you've caused a minor shitstorm, which I guess was your intent.

how software looks IS part of how well it works

Could you expand on this? I'm not necessarily saying you're wrong, but neither do I really know what you mean. Are you saying the aesthetics are more than just window dressing? How?

ask any UI/UX guy.

Argument from authority ? (If so, a fallacy).

I personally - and perhaps I'm unusual - feel that the way software looks is pretty crucial to whether I use it or not

I suspect this is much more common than geeks think. There are probably millions who've never got beyond starting up Emacs because it's so ugly. Geeks probably don't notice (and that's not necessarily a good thing).

- especially if there are other competing products that provide much the same functionality...

Well there's the rub. There aren't. I've looked.

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Personally I like the new UI waaaaaay more than the previous one. I find it much nicer & like the widget a lot better as well. There are some things I'd like to see changed, like opening directly into the notes list for instance, but I'm very happy with the design.

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well - my intent was not to cause a "minor shitstorm" actually.

my intent is to express my strong dislike of the new Android UI and ask EN how they could've thought that it was worth the time and the effort involved to make the UI so ugly.

then I invited anyone with an opinion to weigh in.

so rather than argue whether or not UI/UX is important (it is - that's why people pay me to do it) - I'd rather just hear whether anyone else feels this way, or not, and why.

@crispinb - I'll be happy to give you some links if you're curious about the importance of UI/UX...

as far as competing products - if SpringPad ever builds a desktop app they'd certainly be a contender.

as far as the mobile app (Android at least) it's way better than EN.

I *like* EN - I use it everyday. but I have some issues with this implementation... I guess I can just keep using 1.5 - but it's not very inspiring for me to go pro.

and ultimately it feels like the Android app is a 2nd class product to EN - just compare the iOS version side by side. it's *dramatic*.

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well - my intent was not to cause a "minor shitstorm" actually.

my intent is to express my strong dislike of the new Android UI and ask EN how they could've thought that it was worth the time and the effort involved to make the UI so ugly.

then I invited anyone with an opinion to weigh in.

Seems like your first statement and your last statement are a little contradictory -- what did you expect, everyone to agree with you? Maybe so, since your second statement asks us to assume that the Android app is ugly, and not everyone agrees with that premise.

Anyway...

Frankly, it does seem like you're talking about color scheme and eye candy, and that's pretty much in the eye of the beholder (some people like plaid, and some don't). But UI/UX is not just about pretty colors -- I'm sure you know that. If you were talking at the level of user interaction, then that would be another matter: is the app easy to use? Does the workflow actually flow? Are common operations easy to access? And so on.

So if you're serious in your criticism, and a serious UI designer, why don't you mock up what you think it should look like. Evernote is not unreceptive to suggestions, particularly when they're constructive. Just rolling in and flinging around "ugly" and "GHETTO-IZED" (?!?!?) aren't really helpful.

~Jeff

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so rather than argue whether or not UI/UX is important (it is - that's why people pay me to do it) - I'd rather just hear whether anyone else feels this way, or not, and why.

@crispinb - I'll be happy to give you some links if you're curious about the importance of UI/UX...

I doubt anyone really questions the importance of UI. The thing is, you only talked about aesthetics (as opposed to functional UI/workflow issues). I was interested to hear if that really was your main complaint, and, if so, what problem that caused. It was intended as a genuine question. I don't have any particular point to make here (haven't even seen the Android EN client).

as far as competing products - if SpringPad ever builds a desktop app they'd certainly be a contender.

as far as the mobile app (Android at least) it's way better than EN.

I *like* EN - I use it everyday. but I have some issues with this implementation....

I have quite a few issues with EN, but I keep coming back to it because there really isn't any competition to speak of. Springpad's web app feels and looks like a fussy toy to me, but .. eye of the beholder and all that.

Put the Springpad comparison in reverse: if Evernote dramatically cut back the number of platforms they supported, I'm sure they could do enough polishing, bug removal, and feature addition to please nearly everyone. But that would make EN a much riskier bet for substantial use. OneNote seems to me much more finished than, say, my OS X EN client, but then EN isn't just one client; it's a complete information repository platform. I don't know of anything that really competes (I wish there was, as software is one area where competition really pushes things forward: Chrome being a great example).

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I don't have any particular point to make here (haven't even seen the Android EN client).

well! no offense, but maybe have a look...

there's a strong argument to be made for consistency of interface across platforms for a 'information repository' like EN (good phrase!). if you look at the various UI's: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, the new Android stands out like a red-headed stepchild.

and not in a good way.

why intentionally ghetto-ize one platform?

and I am actually talking about aesthetics as opposed to actual UI - that is my issue is more UX than UI but it's still important.

I think your point about it being a multiple platform repository rather than a client is right on - but that just makes it even more important to maintain UI consistency.

I have some issues with EN also - and I don't really like Springpad's interface either - but as a *mobile* app, SpingPad's winning at the moment.

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and I am actually talking about aesthetics as opposed to actual UI - that is my issue is more UX than UI but it's still important.

The title of your post is asking for feedback. This issue is certainly very important to you because it is your specialty or issue. (I'm still trying to figure out what MVC really means.) Like me, the other responders are just everyday users of Evernote (to varying degrees) and this issue is just not resonating as hot a topic as you perceive it to be.

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We'd certainly appreciate specific feedback about parts of any of our interfaces that are confusing, or suggestions about proposed improvements. This thread seems to be a little light on specifics (other than "not using enough colors"), however.

One design goal for version 2.0 is better compliance with the UI guidelines for the Android OS. The new Evernote "home screen" is laid out specifically according to how Google says applications should be laid out. (That's why it looks a bit similar to Android Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

It's much more important to be a consistent Android application than to try to make all of our mobile applications in exactly the same way (violating UI guidelines for each platform in the process).

For example, the iPhone has no "menu" or "back" keys, so the usage metaphors for the iPhone platform are consistently different from those of Android applications, which place some operations under a menu system, and revert navigation through the "back" key.

While I definitely agree that all of our applications could continue to improve in their appearance and polish, I'm actually pretty happy with where the Android application is today compared to 6 months ago.

Thanks

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I thought the old interface was terrible actually.

And like the new one much better.

It's all a matter of opinion, and I haven't seen too many people agreeing with the OP.

So let him go to Springpad if he likes - choice is a wonderful thing!

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I'm actually pretty happy with where the Android application is today compared to 6 months ago.

I can hardly be happier. EN Android app is excellent in terms of functionality and I like the UI too. I like it very much. Is is clean and simple, exactly as it should be in my opinion.

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well - it's hard for me to believe - but I guess I'm all alone on this issue.

perhaps it's representative of the Android demographic - more interested in utility than aesthetics...

I'll just keep using 1.5 in order to keep from throwing up in my mouth.

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well - it's hard for me to believe - but I guess I'm all alone on this issue.

perhaps it's representative of the Android demographic - more interested in utility than aesthetics...

Could be. Or it could be that most Android users do care about aesthetics, but just happen to share a different opinion than you.

But no, you're right & everybody else is wrong.

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Yes. I knew that already.

Or, could be that the EN forum isn't exactly the most neutral place I could be posting criticism. Its not just my opinion BTW. But what's the point ? Clearly no one here agrees with me. So be it.

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how software looks IS part of how well it works

Ummm...not really.

I totally disagree. User interface is an essential part of an application's functionality. Not just how it works, but how it looks as well. Take Reeder and Sparrow - two recently developed Mac apps by very small teams. They're very functional, and very beautiful to look at, making them a pleasure to use. Does NetNewsWire have some features that Reeder doesn't currently? Yes, but I've already switched to Reeder because I prefer looking at it all day. Arguably, this is why Things by CulturedCode is a success at all - they've lacked essential functionality for years now, but the app has such a gorgeous UI that they still have a rabid following.

I've always found Evernote a slightly ugly app, across all platforms. Not just ugly, but not a terribly functional UI either. The great exception was the iPad version launched this year. It was head and shoulders above the rest of Evernote's clients - the difference was marked. Not just the look of the app (which is beautiful), but the way the it was organized, making a user's data logical and easy to retrieve in ways other than search. Interestingly enough, Evernote CEO Phil Libin mentioned in a recent podcast that it was the first UI that a professional designer was brought in to work on. Not terribly surprising.

Now, I'm not an Android user, so I can't comment in detail on the UI. But at first glance, it seems to me that the redesigned home screen is a big step forward, and I was really hoping to see the iPhone splash updated to match in the last release. To me, it makes tremendous sense to make notebooks and tags directly accessible from the home screen. The Android home screen to me looks like great progress, and the rest of the UI elements look superior to the iPhone interface as well. It may not be the prettiest (the iPhone version's graphics look better), but it seems like the functionality is significantly improved.

So, I hope that Evernote with its new funding can seriously consider investing in good design for future versions of all clients. Because how it looks IS part of the overall visceral reaction to the software. I use Evernote for its functionality - web-clippers, e-mail integration, and syncing all work well - but I can't say it's a pleasurable experience interacting with the software itself. Certainly on the iPhone, it's downright frustrating. Its UI is one of my least favorite of major iOS apps that I use, because it makes it so difficult to get to what I need. It looks like Android users have the edge for the moment.

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From a functional perspective, yes. I find having to dig into advanced search on iOS to get to criteria like notebooks and tags (and even then the implementation is strange) very, very frustrating. I would much prefer having those options directly accessible from the home screen, even if the icons aren't as pretty (though there's no reason not to have both).

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I appreciate the reasoned response.

it should already be obvious that I agree with you that

User interface is an essential part of an application's functionality. Not just how it works, but how it looks as well.

I do agree that the functional organization of the new app is superior - I prefer to have all the elements laid out on the 'home' view - it's just the aesthetics totally turn me off. 4-bit color apps? seriously?

additionally what I'm also saying is that EN spent time and money turning a good looking interface into an ugly one:

http://cl.ly/3l3n0q1J1M2Y10063O1c

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Seriously folks, let's get to the main issue here. Has anybody figured out what MVC is?

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Seriously folks, let's get to the main issue here. Has anybody figured out what MVC is?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model%E2%8 ... Controller

The idea is that all of your UI code is separate from the code that manages data storage, networking, etc.

Separating your space program into "propulsion", "life support", and "navigation" would keep the engineering tasks for each separate. But that doesn't necessarily mean that replacing your entire "propulsion" system on the rocket is a small task.

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Actually, I like the new Android UI much, much better than either the old Android UI or the current iOS UI (I use both). I love the clean, sharp look and everything is right where I want it to be. My only complaint is the size of the buttons on the top green bar, but the lack of fancy graphics is a huge plus to me.

This is a matter of "eye of the beholder", so coming in with guns blazing making the assumption that the UI is "obviously" less aesthetically pleasing seems a bit odd. Sure, place your vote for "hate the UI look and feel", but don't state objective conclusions about a subjective matter.

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned catch (FAK 3bananas) on this thread. Switched to that since my evernote stopped uploading images.

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I would like to add 2 things:

the very look of UI elements (not only what they do for the user and which functions they give access to and how quickly) is part of how well software works. People track eye movements just to find out if the user does actually use the software the way the engineers figured they would. Any UI element should afford its usage. A button must say "click me", handles of drag&drop elements should suggest grabbing that thing and pulling it around. In that way, yes, how well software looks is an integral part of how well it works.

The new UI works like a charm. It is clear, minimal, quick and manages to stay out of the way. I love it.

The side by side comparison clearly shows the problem of the iPhone UI. Eye candy which has me interpret images instead of offering all the options at a quick glance. I find it hard to read. That's just me maybe.

Instead of adding shiny icons/graphics a slight accentuation of clickable areas would be nice (a little 3D gap which says: press this area!).

The biggest letdown is the lack of tooltips an inline help. I want them everywhere. I want to maybe click/hold an area and learn how to use stuff by pointing at it. I want to be able to explore everyhthing instead of guessing. But that is rather for when beyond the home screen. Some of the stuff in there I did not even realize from the beginning, like the link back to the home screen. I thought it was just the logo.

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Wow...and all these years I've ranked software as to how well it works, rather than how neat it looks.

(This sort of feels like deja vu all over again...)

The way software "looks" has a lot to do with how it "works". Just look at Apple vs. Microsoft! The GUI has EVERYTHING to do with how the software works for the user in my mind.

And yes..the new GUI sux bigtime!

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Wow...and all these years I've ranked software as to how well it works, rather than how neat it looks.

(This sort of feels like deja vu all over again...)

The way software "looks" has a lot to do with how it "works". Just look at Apple vs. Microsoft! The GUI has EVERYTHING to do with how the software works for the user in my mind.

And yes..the new GUI sux bigtime!

Sorry, but I've used software that looks gorgeous but didn't do jack. Give me software that does what I need it to do & I can overlook cosmetic shortcomings. No point in having gorgeous software that just sits there & burns up CPU cycles & takes up disk space.

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I still don't see why the question is assumed to be one of function v. form. That is assuming that everyone agrees the UI is not as nice.

Again, I think the UI is MUCH nicer now, more pleasing to the eye, more "modern" and cool. I sure hope the design guys don't get it into their head that they should change it back!!

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@BurgerandFries - it's not a zero-sum game, you CAN have both.

IMHO the older 1.5 version had both. IMHO the new 1.6 does not.

I realize now tho that this POV is not going to get a lot of traction here - too biased.

that's ok, I guess it's not going back.

perhaps next version we'll get **8bit** graphics!

256 colors! just think of the possibilities!

meanwhile the Android versions of apps continue to be red-headed stepchildren.

if you doubt it spend 10 minutes playing with an iPad.

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Ok, thanks for the feedback, but it doesn't look like anyone's exchanging new information here, so I'm going to close the thread to reduce the temperature.

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