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AlanDickey

mac (Archived) Horrible Black Side Bar Issue

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Hi All

I have Evernote on my Mac and have a horrible black sidebar and want it GREEN like the rest of Evernote. 

I contacted technical support with a screen shot and they thought it was an error and advised a deinstall and reinstall which i have done but now I have found out from another user they also have a black sidebar with white text which is also in their view not Evernotely. 

Does anyone have a GREEN sidebar? Or if no-one does, why did Technical Support suggest a reinstall? 

Thanks all.

A

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I'm guessing support misunderstood you for some reason.

 

The sidebar is black (or a very dark grey) and there isn't a user option to change it.

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Hi All

I have Evernote on my Mac and have a horrible black sidebar and want it GREEN like the rest of Evernote. 

I contacted technical support with a screen shot and they thought it was an error and advised a deinstall and reinstall which i have done but now I have found out from another user they also have a black sidebar with white text which is also in their view not Evernotely. 

Does anyone have a GREEN sidebar? Or if no-one does, why did Technical Support suggest a reinstall? 

Thanks all.

A

 

Hi. Welcome to the forums. Does the interface look like what you see in this video (http://evernote.com/evernote/guide/mac/)? If so, then that is the design of the app, and like Metrodon said, support probably just misunderstood. If you want to close the sidebar, you can go to View > Hide Sidebar. As far as I know, Evernote has never enabled users to change the color schemes or other UI elements on previous versions (there are some minor exceptions, including the Android widget, but generally speaking, what you see is what you get), so I doubt this is a feature that is likely to come in the future. 

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Thanks for that, guys.

Yes unfortunately I do see it like in that video link.

I had sent Customer Service a Screenshot in which i showed the black bar and after that they said that a reinstall would sort out the issue!
I guess I got a newbie in Customer Service who knew about as much as I did. 

I hope they give the option of a green in the future as I can hardly read the words in the sidebar. 

The odd thing is the the webversion is still green - so I will abandon the Mac App until they change it and use the Web based version only. 

 

 

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What is especially annoying about the black sidebar is that when you're in it there is no change in colour to indicate where you are - i.e. what notebook you're in. (And yes, you can look up in the nav area at the top but you SHOULDN'T HAVE TO). One of the most fundamental elements of user-friendly navigation is to be able to see what you've selected in a sidebar like that. As great as Evernote is, I simply can't fathom why they would format their interface with such a lack of care for customer-friendly use. Unbelievable.

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I agree with the criticism of this awful white-text-on-black in the sidebar.  It's a terrible design decision and looks extremely ugly.  It puts me off using the app.  The app is generally very "un-Mac like".

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The white on black text is an idiotic design decision. That, coupled with the inability to change the color and font size, makes Evernote unusable for those with sight issues. White on black is a major design mistake in user interface design. 

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The white on black text is an idiotic design decision. That, coupled with the inability to change the color and font size, makes Evernote unusable for those with sight issues. White on black is a major design mistake in user interface design. 

 

I'm not a big fan of white on black myself (actually, it is mainly gray on black), and I have written a lot on these forums about what I see as accessibility barriers in the app. Although I disagree with many of the design decisions, I wouldn't characterize them as idiotic, and I think very few make the app unusable for anyone. I'd say that giving users more control over their environment instead of forcing physicians to use the exact same interface as schoolchildren, people with accessibility issues to use the exact same interface as those who don't have them, is a poor decision. I would even go so far as to say it is a mistake. 

 

However, my complaint is not so much about the particular colors, fonts, or font sizes they have chosen. They can choose fuchsia on a periwinkle background for the default if they want. I want the option to choose the environment that works best for me. 

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The white on black text is an idiotic design decision. That, coupled with the inability to change the color and font size, makes Evernote unusable for those with sight issues. White on black is a major design mistake in user interface design. 

 

I'm not a big fan of white on black myself (actually, it is mainly gray on black), and I have written a lot on these forums about what I see as accessibility barriers in the app. Although I disagree with many of the design decisions, I wouldn't characterize them as idiotic, and I think very few make the app unusable for anyone. I'd say that giving users more control over their environment instead of forcing physicians to use the exact same interface as schoolchildren, people with accessibility issues to use the exact same interface as those who don't have them, is a poor decision. I would even go so far as to say it is a mistake. 

 

However, my complaint is not so much about the particular colors, fonts, or font sizes they have chosen. They can choose fuchsia on a periwinkle background for the default if they want. I want the option to choose the environment that works best for me. 

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If their goal is to make the app acceptable to the greatest number of users, then the color of the side bar needs to not break long known typographical design parameters. White on black is horrible and everyone in user interface design knows or ought to know this. For an interface to default to white on black with no option to change it is indeed idiotic. A user interface is not artwork that has no established standards. IIRC, I started using Evernote in 2008 and liked the application until the so called "modern" redesign of the interface and the added bloat of the app.  
 
 
 
 

 

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If their goal is to make the app acceptable to the greatest number of users, then the color of the side bar needs to not break long known typographical design parameters. White on black is horrible and everyone in user interface design knows or ought to know this. For an interface to default to white on black with no option to change it is indeed idiotic. A user interface is not artwork that has no established standards. IIRC, I started using Evernote in 2008 and liked the application until the so called "modern" redesign of the interface and the added bloat of the app.

Idiotic, to me, suggests that they put little thought into the design. I doubt that was the case. I also think they know what they are doing. After all, they won an award for their design from Apple.

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/events/awards/

Although I strongly disagree with Apple about their designs (they love gray on gray and they might just be tempted to try that fuchsia on periwinkle thing for "fun"), I have to admit they are widely recognized as some of the best designers in the world today (I am certainly not), so I think the Evernote team is unlikely to be swayed by your argument that their design is idiotic. The evidence doesn't seem to be on your side.

I would suggest pointing out apps that achieve beautiful designs without sacrificing accessibility. Or, perhaps you can make an argument for why white on black is such poor design. In addition, "bloat" is kind of vague, and it would help to know what you mean by that. I'm not trying to be nit-picky here, but if you want to see them listen to your opinion and change the app, you'll have to be more specific.

Personally, as I said, I don't have any advice to offer them on design. I have tried, but I don't think my opinion carries much weight. I am not a designer by training or trade. That is why I keep recommending that they allow us to customize the app. They can do what they want to make the app win awards and I won't complain a bit if I can adjust the interface to meet my needs.

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If their goal is to make the app acceptable to the greatest number of users, then the color of the side bar needs to not break long known typographical design parameters. White on black is horrible and everyone in user interface design knows or ought to know this. For an interface to default to white on black with no option to change it is indeed idiotic. A user interface is not artwork that has no established standards. IIRC, I started using Evernote in 2008 and liked the application until the so called "modern" redesign of the interface and the added bloat of the app.

Idiotic, to me, suggests that they put little thought into the design. I doubt that was the case. I also think they know what they are doing. After all, they won an award for their design from Apple.

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/events/awards/

Although I strongly disagree with Apple about their designs (they love gray on gray and they might just be tempted to try that fuchsia on periwinkle thing for "fun"), I have to admit they are widely recognized as some of the best designers in the world today (I am certainly not), so I think the Evernote team is unlikely to be swayed by your argument that their design is idiotic. The evidence doesn't seem to be on your side.

I would suggest pointing out apps that achieve beautiful designs without sacrificing accessibility. Or, perhaps you can make an argument for why white on black is such poor design. In addition, "bloat" is kind of vague, and it would help to know what you mean by that. I'm not trying to be nit-picky here, but if you want to see them listen to your opinion and change the app, you'll have to be more specific.

Personally, as I said, I don't have any advice to offer them on design. I have tried, but I don't think my opinion carries much weight. I am not a designer by training or trade. That is why I keep recommending that they allow us to customize the app. They can do what they want to make the app win awards and I won't complain a bit if I can adjust the interface to meet my needs.

 

 

Considering Apple's Itunes 11 design, I'm no longer certain of the quality of their judgement. BTW, the reason that Apple's interfaces have been grey is because of the inherent readability, thus, the usability of the interface. IIRC, this goes back to some early IBM interface studies. Contrast the traditionally clean look of Apple programs to the distracting, almost cartoonish look, of a significant number of early Windows apps. Fortunately, I thought MS caught on to good interface design with Windows 7, but then they came up with Metro. 

 

Here's a paper discussing text color: 

 

"However, most studies have shown that dark characters on a light background

are superior to light characters on a dark background (when the refresh rate is

fairly high). For example, Bauer and Cavonius (1980) found that participants

were 26% more accurate in reading text when they read it with dark characters

on a light background."

 

Reference: Bauer, D., & Cavonius, C., R. (1980). Improving the legibility of visual

display units through contrast reversal. In E. Grandjean, E. Vigliani (Eds.),

Ergonomic Aspects of Visual Display Terminals (pp. 137-142).

London: Taylor & Francis

 

In using the term "boated," I was referring to the memory resource footprint of the later Evernote versions compared to earlier versions. On my machine it doubled in memory usage compared to earlier versions albeit with, for me, only a marginal increase in functionality.

 

My current solution is to move back to Evernote 3.3 and Devonthink for most of my research. It is a joy to see the speed and easily read user interface of the old version. If and when someone writes a better Evernote client or Evernote give its users the option to change the sidebar color,  I'll move back to a newer version.

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If their goal is to make the app acceptable to the greatest number of users, then the color of the side bar needs to not break long known typographical design parameters. White on black is horrible and everyone in user interface design knows or ought to know this. For an interface to default to white on black with no option to change it is indeed idiotic. A user interface is not artwork that has no established standards. IIRC, I started using Evernote in 2008 and liked the application until the so called "modern" redesign of the interface and the added bloat of the app.

Idiotic, to me, suggests that they put little thought into the design. I doubt that was the case. I also think they know what they are doing. After all, they won an award for their design from Apple.

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/events/awards/

Although I strongly disagree with Apple about their designs (they love gray on gray and they might just be tempted to try that fuchsia on periwinkle thing for "fun"), I have to admit they are widely recognized as some of the best designers in the world today (I am certainly not), so I think the Evernote team is unlikely to be swayed by your argument that their design is idiotic. The evidence doesn't seem to be on your side.

I would suggest pointing out apps that achieve beautiful designs without sacrificing accessibility. Or, perhaps you can make an argument for why white on black is such poor design. In addition, "bloat" is kind of vague, and it would help to know what you mean by that. I'm not trying to be nit-picky here, but if you want to see them listen to your opinion and change the app, you'll have to be more specific.

Personally, as I said, I don't have any advice to offer them on design. I have tried, but I don't think my opinion carries much weight. I am not a designer by training or trade. That is why I keep recommending that they allow us to customize the app. They can do what they want to make the app win awards and I won't complain a bit if I can adjust the interface to meet my needs.

 

Considering Apple's Itunes 11 design, I'm no longer certain of the quality of their judgement. BTW, the reason that Apple's interfaces have been grey is because of the inherent readability, thus, the usability of the interface. IIRC, this goes back to some early IBM interface studies. Contrast the traditionally clean look of Apple programs to the distracting, almost cartoonish look, of a significant number of early Windows apps. Fortunately, I thought MS caught on to good interface design with Windows 7, but then they came up with Metro. 

 

Here's a paper discussing text color: 

 

"However, most studies have shown that dark characters on a light background

are superior to light characters on a dark background (when the refresh rate is

fairly high). For example, Bauer and Cavonius (1980) found that participants

were 26% more accurate in reading text when they read it with dark characters

on a light background."

 

Reference: Bauer, D., & Cavonius, C., R. (1980). Improving the legibility of visual

display units through contrast reversal. In E. Grandjean, E. Vigliani (Eds.),

Ergonomic Aspects of Visual Display Terminals (pp. 137-142).

London: Taylor & Francis

 

In using the term "boated," I was referring to the memory resource footprint of the later Evernote versions compared to earlier versions. On my machine it doubled in memory usage compared to earlier versions albeit with, for me, only a marginal increase in functionality.

 

My current solution is to move back to Evernote 3.3 and Devonthink for most of my research. It is a joy to see the speed and easily read user interface of the old version. If and when someone writes a better Evernote client or Evernote give its users the option to change the sidebar color,  I'll move back to a newer version.

Thanks for the details.

1. I find the gray on gray almost unreadable at the bottom of the iTunes store. I feel the same about sections of the Evernote app. Maybe, if Apple gives me a retina display on my 11" MBA, then I'll be able to read it.

2. I much prefer black on white (actually black on light gray is nice as well). However, some people prefer black on white. Perhaps the study you cited will help sway the designers. I'm still hoping that they will be persuaded to add customizability.

3. I've always found Evernote (and to some extent, DevonThink) to be a little bloated in terms of space consumption, so I haven't noticed a difference these days. If anything, it might actually be consuming a little less disk space, but it is difficult to tell at the moment. If (when?) we get selective sync, then I think I will stop worrying about the space consumption.

4. Evernote 3.3. It was a great app, but I had plenty of suggestions for improvement to it as well :)

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