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Amaigus

(Archived) Constant messing with the UI!

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Guys, this is getting annoying! You're constantly messing with my work flow.  I even sought out and tried Google Keep in my frustration! I already find it's annoying to have to go through drop downs and submenus to get to the few options I personally use. With the "select personal tag" button you've just added another level that is so completely unnecessary, it's dumbfounding! I wish you would go in the other direction of allowing me to get my notes out faster without constant navigation.  Suggestions:

  • Let me get the add audio button in the top bar instead of the photos. I don't use photos! You could even do this dynamically based on usage.
  • Do the same for tags. That needs to be faster.
  • When you pop out the tag entry/selection menu, put a couple of buttons in a corner so that I can sort by frequently used or alpha, and remember last sort order. Most of the time I repeatedly hitting on a few subject areas and scrolling for a tag starting with 'm' is a pain!  You now have space for this next to 'choose tags'.  Just a down arrow with a-z, plus a down arrow with a clock icon would be great!
  • Separate edit mode/view mode is clumsy in my view. How many users spend a lot of time using their phone do go through their notes? And when they do, they are more likely to be in a position to focus on not accidentally deleting stuff. At least allow an option to disable view mode.
  • When entering text with Speech-to-Text tech, also keep an audio file. The technology makes errors which are easy to miss and often occlude the basic idea behind my note. But I would like to use it to help me get these ideas down. Nuance is coming out with a high quality engine that integrates with the android keyboard recognizer, so please integrate with that fairly sophisticated and flexible method (It allows you to switch to keyboard easily). Even though Google Keep is very primitive, they thought to do this.

I think there is a serious problem with the UI design and user feedback at Evernote that will tank you when Google Keep really gets running.  Consider these basic UI design principles:

  1. Listen to your users! Don't necessarily follow their implementation suggestions or you'll get a spaghetti UI, but understand what their suggestions are telling you about their needs.
  2. Design the simplest UI that satisfied the myriad suggestions you're aggregating. This is hard, but that's what it takes. Nobody does this better than Google, so study their stuff.
  3. Don't break existing flows to piss off your user base.

Seems like you're doing all three of these poorly right now. I have 10 years of experience in UI and programming experience. Feel free to contact me.

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Um, which Evernote client are you talking about here?

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Amaigus,

Amen. I have had a love/hate relationship with EN desktop and now Android for a long time. But more especially Android. It seems they take work from different teams and mish-mash it together with no regard for "user experience".  "Workflow" is not something high on the EN list of importance.  EN is so darn useful at *some* things that I finally broke down and paid for premium even after swearing it off for a couple of years now. However, even (or especially) with the v5 "update" it looks like a step back to ...er, ... some other era or something I cant even define other than outdated, ugly, and work-flow smothering. I really just dont understand where they are getting their UI direction from. Whoever they are, STOP taking their advice, they will be your downfall. If it mostly comes down to one employee in charge of design, fire him/her yesterday. If a group is in charge, start drug testing. I have a feeling large amounts of sedatives are involved because the UI makes me tired.

 

You want an amazing UI experience from people that actually understand work flow? Take a few pointers from Catch. Unfortunately, although beautifully designed, Catch hasn't quite caught up to EN's features but is gaining ground. If Catch had the image and document search capabilities of EN, I'd be gone quicker than you can say "elephant".

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@gnologic: You seem to have very specific ideas about what to do with the employee(s) in charge of the Android UI. How about some specific ideas about how to improve it? How would you improve the workflows that you are interested in?

Re Catch: I'd usually prefer to use a clunky work-horse than a flashy but lacking alternatives, if I can use your viewpoint on the two programs. Like other Evernote competitors, Catch seems to be just an "if" away from taking over. But nobody seems to have gotten there yet.

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Clunky work horse! That is what I was looking for exactly. She works hard, but she aint pretty and missing a couple teeth.

 

Why don't I offer suggestions? Well that goes back to our long love/hate relationship (I started with the "ticker tape" style Evernote, old school). I still remember clearly when users were absolutely begging for Evernote (desktop version only at that time) to use the now- accepted Notebooks, but Devs were adamantly against it for a long time while trying to push a Tags-only UI because it was "for our own good", apparently. Users simply didn't understand that Tags were the future, Tags were superior, and you WILL use them. Well ... yeh we got Notebooks with a fight but that superior thinking has not changed much. I also saw other very good ideas from others shot down, so that turned me off with having a discussion, while constantly looking for new alternatives. But, like we know, they have the lock on image search so I just keep bearing with it, all the while crossing my fingers they hire some decent UI designers along the way, or some other company finally invests in image text recognition.

 

To be fair, I think the desktop is pretty good now.

 

For now, on Android, my lowly common-folk opinion is that Keep isnt much better, as it looks like a child designed it with crayons. Catch is designed right but under-featured. Gnotes is actually pretty good for what it is, but lacks a long-term goal and I think it's just a couple people working on it with terrible English support. Springpad seems to be in it's own universe and I`m not even sure it's a competitor. I find it awkwardly designed and hard to use as well.

 

So for now, yes, Evernote remains on top. But straighten your game Evernote or soon you will be dethrowned, probably by Keep because they have the cash, developers, and desire to have everyone's info stored on Google servers.

 

Love a good rant. But believe me this only has my attention for a few days and then I`ll go back to the silent majority, letting the loud minority do their part in messing it up, just like politics.

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@gnologic: I fully agree with you, EN is bringing new feature destroying the few old reliable working ones, and by doing this they introduce many, many bugs making everything worse. It looks they don't fully test new versions, and I'm talking about public versions not beta


@Jefito: It seems if somebody complains about the UI or bugs or anything else in EN you always ask to be more specific. Listen below is my post from few days ago, could you please respond to it, since EN just ignores difficult posts, and please be specific, otherwise forget it.


 


Why is even the feature there? The device's native camera application is for sure better than "Page Camera", which is out of focus, simply useless. EN wasted a lot of resources on that, instead they should dedicated the resources to fix long standing and ongoing basic problems/feature like: due date, reliable formatting, reliable integration of Evernote and Skich and many more.


Actually, maybe somebody here is able to show me the logic here. I used the "Page Camera" to take a picture of a text page on my Samsung S3. Besides that the picture was out of focus, I then opened the note in Chrome Web Client on my desktop running Windows XP, really didn't change anything but save it anyway and synced. Later I tried to open the note on my Samsung S3, and..... I couldn't open the note. What I see on my S3 is: Could not load the note. Retry. Moreover, if I try to open the image (by taping on it in the snippet view) I see Error Image cannot be loaded OK. Isn't it shameful that the photo was taken on the same device on which I cannot open/load it later. These are things EN should focus on, not on page camera or multishot camera because frankly I don't think EN will be better in that than native application.


Other frustrating bugs:


Some skitch notes created on the S3 and saved to EN remain purely skitch notes. I am not able to edit the title, tags nothing because whenever I try to open them on S3 I'm directed to Skitch. These notes are also not editable in Chrome Web Client. What a stupid, frustrating, annoying thing. However, some of the skitch notes are editable on S3 and Web Client, and I don't know why, and why not. It seems to be random. Where is here any logic, regularity or reliability. EN fix this first, and then do page camera or whatever!!!!!!!


Very frustrated user as you can see. Need to add, that I have the latest public release of the EN and Skitch for Android on my Samsung Galaxy S3.

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Jeff,

 

Sorry, I didn't notice you responded. Thanks. My comments were specific to Android. That's what i use most and where I see the most feature jostling. Thanks.

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