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Kazum

chrome Chrome clipper new version is a major stepback in usability / function

Idea

Though I understand it's probably discouraging to say this considering all the hardwork behind this big upgrade, the new version is a major stepback in usability / function for collecting web articles, with disruptive user experience, slow performance, confusing UI, no article title editing, and very clumsy tag editing. Also the shadowed clip region highlight is far less user friendly than the simple highlight box in the older version.


 

I'd encourage the product manager at Evernote to spend more time understanding the user needs, before investing heavily on packing more stuff into this tool and making things look pretty. 

 

Also, it's always a good idea to give user a separate choice (i.e. introduce it as a new extension for such a disruptive upgrade, like Evernote did with Clearly). This tool totally replaced Clearly and some other screenshot tools, while basically making the old web article clipping function crippled. 

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I thought it was great for the first hour. I love to highlight and this was letting me do it as I read the article before sending it to Evernote. Then it just stopped working. Pretty frustrating to do lots of work on something and then have to do it all over again. Overall, I'm not thrilled with the new look and feel of the clipper and the desktop version. I'll give it more time to let them get the bugs out and see if I get used to it. But for it not to clip at all is not a good thing.

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New clipper is combination Toaster and Blender all-in-one.  We didn't ask for a swiss-army knife version of the web clipper.


 


The new clipper combines the capabilities of a screen capture and annotation tool with the old clipper.  The problem...I already have an excellent screen capture tool in Chrome, Awesome Screenshot:  Capture and Annotate, which is easier to use than the new clipper and allows saving to outside of Evernote as is useful when performing a screen capture for incorporating into a report, emailing to someone with annotations, etc.


 


This new clipper adds noise to what was an elegantly simple tool to clip content to Evernote for later reference.  Maybe this tool should be published as a screen capture tool but that space is crowded with great tools like the one I mentioned.  You had a great mousetrap, please bring it back.

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I'm distressed. I absolutely loved the old Evernote clipper, and am not getting on at all well with this one. I agree with comments below about article outline being unclear. I also don't like the pop-out drawer on the right. I found the old version much easier. Did what it needed to do. 

 

Any chance we can be offered the opportunity to reinstall the classic version?

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I agree with the general sentiment "looks awesome but missing lots." I now seem to have lost the ability to tab through my options. I used to be able to clip using entirely keyboard shortcuts and then tabbing through my selections, all the way to saving and moving on to the next clip. Now I have to use the mouse. Definitely slows the process down from what it was, therefore SIGNIFICANTLY lessening the attraction.

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I like the new clipper. It's a little bigger than I'd want to, but it can do practically everything I need. I hope it'll rid of the bugs, but generally I welcome the changes. Developers just responded to what we were asking them to do. 

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You can certainly do a full clipping workflow using only keyboard shortcuts in 6.0. As for some of the bugs reported we are certainly fixing them ASAP.

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I agree with Kazum as well as with author Ahlborne from another thread (Web clipper gets progressively worse) that although Evernote is awesome, the problem with Webclippers usability was tried to solve many times, but Evernote "just can't get it right). That's why I personally use more Pocket for WebClipping and Evernote for PDF, although I wish to use Evernote for everything (I am premium suscriber, allways thinking - is it real value to be one if it frustrates me everytime I use Webclipper) :)

 

I will make a follow up to the ideas expressed by Kazum and Ahlborne to which I agree and try to extend them.

 

Using OSX (10.8.4), Chrome (Version 29.0.1547.65) with Evernote Clipper (6.0). Use cases: a) Focused Web research on particular topic, for finding and aggregating information later (i.e. blogging, scientific research, preparation for making presentations)   B) Casual reading for leasure (i.e. just found by accident something interesting which is worth sharing)

 

Comments: 

 

1) Trying to make it "Easier to use" - Evernote sometimes makes it harder, going from simple and effective interface towards bloated with features (Kazum, Ahilborne). 

 

2) I share with Ahlborne the view "see it, clip it, forget it for now" and cycle/workflow so much, that I will switch to another app doing just that and tagging effectively, but with less features/functions

 

3) My workflow adds to Ahlbones's view in a way, that 70 % of time I want to tag it instantly, but only if I can easily identify and write a tag. If I need to think - then "forget it for now" comes into approach. It is marvelously implemented in Pocket extension to Chrome - you just click, the page is saved into Pocket database, a not distracting pop-up window shows up saying "Page saved. Do you want to "Add tags" or "View the list"). If I do not react quickly - it hides the pop-up window and get's into "forget it for now" mode. 

 

4) SLOW clipping: in comparison just made the test - Pocket - 1 second, Evernote - about 10 seconds for the same page. (it's 10 times slower !!!). It might be that hardware is a problem (slow servers).  My friend Domas Mituzas (was on Wikipedia advisory board and responsible for hardware solutions) once told me a story, that one of the most important decissions Wikipedia made in the beginning was to improve the speed of servers (the quicker users will be able to add content, the less frustration, more content). That proved to be very good strategy - the content skyrocketed.

SOLUTION No. 1 - improve hardware/servers (might be problem only in some countries - do not know. From my perspective - web clipping synchronization is way TOO slow)

 

But the same result can be achieved with software - when I was on Windows, Evernote clipper had a function to clip to Evernote program, instead of WEB, and that later it synchronizes everything in spare time. That would be simple and HUGE improvement for user who hate to wait. And it's easier than to upgrade servers/connections.  

SOLUTION No. 2 - allow web clipping 2 Evernote Desktop.

 

SOLUTION No. 3 - allow to configure Web Clipper to synchronize in background (I do not see pop-up for 10 seconds, just continue to work, it synchronizes in background, poping up only if there is some problem with connection). Especially it will be usefull on notebooks, who sometimes do not have connection with internet, but you want to use to clip things from the intranets or have connected in Coffee Inn to the internet, opened up 100 windows, and sitting in a train just want to look over them and decide: "Close/Save to Evernote". 

 

5) MINIMALISM: the principle in startups and their apps is: have one core function, do it right, expand slowly later. The same principle was in heart of Evernote sucess. When the company expands and buys other companies there is a risk to become over sophisticated. Maybe it's time to introduce two versions of the Wev Clipper - a) Evernote Minimal B) Evernote standard. Evernote minimal can have only core functionality and can be developed even by some genius who knows how to work with Evernote API. Evernote standartd - can be what it is at the moment. 

 

6) DESIGN: I like the design of the new WebClipper. Although it's not very functional to my liking, but for most problems there is a workaround using Keyboard Shortcuts (THANKS !)

 

7) NUMBER OF CLICKS / USABILITY - that's where Evernote still has potential to improve. Just to ELIMINATE clicks which are not needed. But it might be that Evernote employees use different workflow and they need all those drawers and choices, but by usual workflow is such:

 

  • a) Reading article/web page I like
  • B) Deciding that I need it in Evernote saved for the future (CLICK-1: Evernote Icon in Browser or Keyboard shortcut)
  • c) Deciding on type of article (click is optional, because there is ability to choose "default article". If click is needed - Keyboard shortcut might be used (Thanks for that) )
  • d) Deciding on markup (optional, and can be accessed via keyboard shortcuts (Thanks) ). Usually if you decide to use markup - you have decided to spent more time on particular note, you are not in  a hurry of finding other Web pages and can play with markup, different tags, etc. - the number of clicks and fast saving becomes secondary thing.  
  • e) Deciding on type of Notebook (click is optional, because tere is ability to choose "default notebook". Most people do not change notebooks often - have one or two main notebooks, and more of them for archive or different projects. If they have too many notebooks - they have problem with work organization and technology will not help them. If there is a need to change notebook - there is a keyboard shortcut for that (Thanks), altghough it can be improved with NewFeatureRequest to have possibility to customize separate shorcut for 5 different notebooks (i.e. CTRL-1 1st notebook, CTRL-2 - 2nd, etc.). 1 click less (from "Open choice of Notebooks" + "Open the right Notebook" to "Open the right Notebook from the 1st time, but need to remember the shortcut")
  • f) Deciding on tags (Click-2). It seems that this Click2 (or keyboard shortcut) might be optional (because there is a possibility to have "default tag", but in reality tagging is one of the core functions of the functionality in Evernote (some companies like Bubble Browser build even commercial visualisation products for that) and if I imagine "default article" and "default notebook", I hardly imagine "default tag", except "need_to_tag_that_later_because_of_stupid_Evernote_web_clipper_implementation" which will allow you to tag everything later on desktop/web client.  
  • g) Deciding on particular tag (CLICK-3 (actually typing letters and tag) and CLICK-4 (actually pressing ENTER or NewFeatureRequest - DOUBLE ENTER). My workflow end there most of the time. Usualy I do not like to add many tags and wish to save the note and forget about it for a while (before comming back later, filtering messages according to tag and date and working with different notes on particular project). Therefore I would like to have NewFeatureRequest like "DOUBLE ENTER = SAVE" implementation - that if after adding the first tag I push ENTER/RETURN second time (i.e. "empty tag") then it saves the note and that's it. 
  • h) Deciding on do I need comments (optional, there is no keyboard shortcut, so probably nobody needs it, nobody uses it, but in some cases it might be handy, that's why it exists, but is hidden in notebook/tags section and nobody sees it on main web clipping menu. But if Evernote sees the future for comments, you can implement my proposal with Double ENTER/RETURN saves the message and from comments section)
  • i) And then comes unnecessary clicks, which slows down the workflow as mentioned in posts by Ahilnorne and Kazum: CLICK-5 (Saving the note - you can end it with DoubleEnter - see my comment in (g) and (h)). CLICK-6 - after 10 second of frustration "synchronizing with Evernote" - you get pop up window with the possibility to make CLICK-6 which is unnecessary (choose target date for action / click on related notes / close window). Date for action is good, but it's not part of the core Evernote functionality (saving notes). It's expansion into task manager /reminder field. While it may be useful to many people (including me) - the user should not be forced into additional clicking for that. The same goes with "related notes". It might be handy to see related notes while doing the tagging (like: "Look... you have similar notes. They are tagged: ....", then instead of thinking how to name the tag, I might want to use the ones which are on similar notes - for easier finding and categorization later). Both (add date, look similar notes) can be put in the main menu under the FIle: section and Saving might be done automatically (without informing "the page is saved") or with some pop up and short delay (like it's made in a Pocket client for Chrome).

 

Amazon.com made their sucess story and patented 1-click technology for buying books easier. I am happy each time when I choose the book, hit "1-click buy" button and forget about buying - just enjoying the new book on my Kindle. There are lessons which Evernote can learn from Amazon. Also Evernote can listen more to users (like Ahilborn and Kazum suggests). Also Evernote can make different approach like getting user opinions, but not listening them (like author of Lean Startup movement suggests and like sometimes Apple is doing when they try to disrupt the market with new innovative products). In that case they have a team who makes the research, analyzes user input, rejects /approves it, makes something better, bigger). 

 

Hope that helps somebody and that some Evernote employee will forward that suggestions somewhere (my investment into the future of Evernote - 2 hours of writing that - and actually that investment is bigger than my premium subscription :) ). Have fun and continue to develop wonderful product. 

 

Edgaras Leichteris,

Innovation and productivity consultant

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I actually like the new version but just had to send a "thank you" to Edgaras Leichteris for pointing out how to add comments to a clip. I knew there had to be a way but never would have guessed I would have to click on the Notebook or Tag option to get to it. Rather unintuitive!

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I understand the need to remain competitive... and maybe even to be a bit flashy... 

but this new update for the Chrome web clipper is not helping at all. I find it confusing (of course any new thing has the potential for being confusing), but what was wrong with an easy, intuitive clipper as you had. Yes, periodically it didn't clip exactly what I wanted, but nobody saw it but me and I knew what parts to ignore. Now it seems you are trying to have it do everything, and lost the easy, intuitive factor. I've used it while gathering materials for a paper and found it so much more work that I actually began to just take physical notes with pen on paper. Definitely a major step backwards. 

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@jbignert: I have reviewed all of the keyboard options, and can't make it from start to finish in any clip without at least two mouseclicks. 

 

For example, I have a keyboard shortcut to open the clipper. However, can't edit the title (that I can tell anyways) using a keyboard shortcut. Must click. Then, looking to edit tags, ok, fine - 50% of the time if I'm lucky, the t key will get me to the tag window. Except now enter, which is the keyboard shortcut for save, actually selects whatever tag I'm in. Therefore, I'm unable to complete the process. For purposes of this example I didn't bother get into the notebook selection, etc. 

 

I'm all about innovation, and I applaud (as always) Evernote's efforts. But this is the second MAJOR release, at least on the Mac side, of a product which has taken a step backwards. Evernote 5.0 lost the ability to have nice tag structures and to drag them to my notes, thus nearly killing my GTD efforts (but as always, workarounds exist).  And now, the clipper has removed my ability to quickly clip, tab from option to option, and then hit enter to save, thereby significant slowing the workflow. 

 

The beauty of Evernote was never its, well, beauty :). It was the power of indexing and tagging, and the speed at which it could do both of those with a few well-placed keyboard shortcuts. If the focus continues to be on aesthetics and new features, while shutting out what made it great, that to me represents a philosophy shift in the wrong direction. But I suppose that's also what makes me love Evernote - they try and keep trying. Just try to get my functionality back and I'll be happy :).

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I find the new interface baroque and annoying — but mostly, I just want to be able to select the notebook (with a drop down menu!) and add tags at the top of the clip window. And then "save" over "share" in terms of menu items. Many of us really do want to dump whatever we've found and move on to the next thing — I swear this update retards my workflow significantly. Also preferred the abbreviated window and the grey background — much easier to read and takes up less real estate on a small laptop. Would _love_ to have to the option of a more "classic" ui... Or least, make the bells and whistles complement the core functionality. At the moment they get in the way.

 

And another thing (sorry) — Clipper is now gunking up saved pages (or at least: one, repeatedly), with a "Tweet this" link on the source page streaking across the image near the top of the post.

Edited by Gungwe
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The value of EN lies in its elegantly simple and effective workflow.  When you published the original clipper, you increased the valued of EN by much more than the tools by themselves.  The clipper is as important as the repository itself.  You may not have realized this when the clipper was born, neither did I, but now that my workflow depends on it, I realize how integral the clipper has become.

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I just agree with most sentiments in this thread. While I like access to new features when appropriate (I'm thinking screen shot here), the layout and UI just blow any attempt at maintaining something unobtrusive. "see it, clip it, forget it for now" approach mentioned above let me collect what I needed to collect without taking me away from my main task or the research I was doing.

 

Now it just feels like something extra I have to do rather than a tool that made life easier and took extra steps away.

 

One thing that comes to mind is having to mouse down all the way to the bottom, and forcibly remember NOT TO click the "Share" button to save a clip (ugh).

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I too am a little frustrated with the new tool.

 

I process many websites a day for research and dump everything into a Triage Notebook. That being said, I always take the defaults to get it quickly into Evernote and will tag and process accordingly when time permits in Evernote. 

 

With the new Web Clipper, I now hit the button on the toolbar and have to scroll to the bottom of the page to hit save.

 

MOVE THE SAVE / SHARE BUTTONS TO THE TOP. :D 

 

This is a quick save and if we need to adjust the tagging, options, or whatever, we can. But if all we want to do is save to Evernote, allow us to do it QUICKLY.

 

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Although my use of the Web Clipper is simple and light, compared to that of advanced users, the lack of the option to capture solely the URL of a web page was a major disappointment for me in the new version.

 

That was, by far, the feature I used the most. It was also – as far as my limited knowledge of programming allows me to estimate – the simplest option among the four (previously available ones) to implement.

Still, it was let out of the update.

 

If it isn't going to be reimplemented, I'd like to at least learn if there is a good reason for this absence.  <_<

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The recent update has seriously hampered research for my book. I use NoScripts (Chrome) to control JavaScript execution on my browser. The Web Clipper worked without it until this last update; now I have to turn on JavaScript for every site I want to clip from. This isn't always a problem, but it does cause me some concerns. Still, the Web Clipper will hang forever on sync (I've had the Elephant Number up to 6, and it would just stay there until I quit the browser), or occasionally emit a "Cannot save clip" with no remedies in site.

 

I've become rather dependent on Evernote for this book, but the Web Clipper is now more of an obstacle than a help. Once upon a time, the Firefox Clipper would let me immediately drop the saved portion in the application rather than syncing through the web, and I miss that functionality, but that was long ago. These last couple of weeks, though, I would happily go back to that version, because this one is incredibly frustrating.

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I am on a Mac and the new clipper on Chrome is simply not working, at lots of situation. Cannot clip Gmail, may somehow clip and saves 3 or 4 duplicate copies, sometime image clip will not show up (instead, giving you an attachment look which you need to click in order to view the image). So basically what I do is to go back to safari and use the old clipper (though not work with email) and disable autoupdate. Hope Chrome has this feature.

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I think the new clipper UI has some good ideas but it sacrifices simplicity. I don't really need a full page height UI to roll in every time I want to clip a webpage. Extra options are great but I would love to have them through a single button on the old interface. I feel like it slows down the entire workflow, it even takes time for the UI to roll in and then you need to navigate to the bottom of the window to click Save. Might be over-thinking but it would be great to have an option to keep the old UI.

 

Also, I must mention, not sure if it's just the way I use Evernote, but clipper UI (old or new) just seems incomplete without an "new notebook" button. I come across something completely different from everything else in my notebooks, want to create a new notebook, but no option to do so. Please let me know if I am missing something :)

 

Many thanks,

 

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those of you who have used old clipper just for the quick 1click save to Evernote (without all the tagging, etc. stuff) - you might want to try another Chrome's extension "Send to Evernote":

 

http://goo.gl/EAlQsD .

 

It's part of the http://www.klip.me/pushtophone/ initiative and can be used on other browsers as well (also allows you to save to kip.me cloud for reading on Kindle or Android/iOS). 

 

It does not solve all the usability issues i gone through in my earlier post in this thread, but it allows you to quickly save an article with pushing 1 or 2 buttons and it uses Evernote's "send to email" feature to do that. Hope that helps. 

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@evernote

 

Was looking at 6.03 just now (have reverted to the old clipper for productivity and usability reasons for the most part and going back right after this post).

 

Is there any plan to revert the UI or alter the UI with users and actual product use in mind

 

Thanks

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@atangel 

No we are generally seeing increased usage of the Web Clipper since version 6 came out. We do have several improvements in the pipeline but we are not going back to the previous version. 

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No we are generally seeing increased usage of the Web Clipper since version 6 came out.

 

@jbignert

Can your metrics discern which version of the clipper is being utilized to support your statement of increased usage?  I am using ver 5.9...I've tried the new one several times.  I want to like it but the UI is too intrusive and cumbersome for me and I don't need the mark-up features.

 

Have you considered publishing the old version as EN Web Clipper Lite?  Giving users the choice.  Since it already exists, would it require much development maintenance to keep up the lite version?

 

Thanks for chiming in on this board.  It's nice to know someone is listening.

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Yes we can see what versions are in use. I think we're being pretty transparent as we offer the legacy version of the clipper (5.9.20) for users who don't (yet) appreciate the new one. I see a risk of confusing light / novice users if we start having 2 versions maintained in parallel, additionally it would add some un welcome overhead.

 

we'll consider the idea and I appreciate your feedback.  

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I tried to introduce evernote to a group of 9th graders for the first time today and it was an epic fail thanks to the web clipper...they could not get it to work.  Any time they tried to screen shot it jumped on the page and they couldn't get back to the right spot.  When they tried to crop their page just turned grey.  So many problems....any suggestions?

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. I see a risk of confusing light / novice users if we start having 2 versions maintained in parallel, additionally it would add some un welcome overhead.

 

we'll consider the idea and I appreciate your feedback.  

 

How about the heavy pro users? Have you considered that your metrics are skewed? I've got them both installed. Think Evernote might be getting myopic... we like you! Don't drink the office Kool Aid! (lol) Maybe you can't go back to the old, but you can treat the new as a failure and start again.

 

There is just no way that the new clipper is more productive. It just isn't. In the middle of a new job search and I would clip every ad I replied to. Now I just copy and paste when not using the old clipper or forget that it's there (and I never used to forget it was there). 

 

 

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I appreciate the corporate response, even if it's discouraging to us disgruntled types. But to harp on my recurring issue — you could address my main concern by allowing users to customize the layout of the clipperspace. For me, the marking tools are totally gratuitous — if I'm going to mark things up, I'll use Skitch, and I'll do it later, when I am processing my clips. And while I appreciate the variety of ways to save a clip — that is a real improvement, don't get me wrong — the things that vary nearly every time I clip something are the Notebook and the Tags. And it would be great to have those at the top of the clipper window — in fact, it would amazing to be able to Tab into those two text boxes, eliminating the need to use the mouse, period.

 

(If there is a way to automate this with keyboard commands already, I am all ears.)

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One reason Firefox is my default browser is the use of the evernote icon in the ribbon. I click and am able to select the notebook I want the entry to be placed into.

On Chrome, I do like the right click evernote clipper but I see no way to select the target notebook.

If I navigate to Web clipper options I see only use smart filiing or last used.

Am I missing something? 

I use to love Chrome but due to overhead and lack of Evernote functionality I must use FF!

boblevy@storageman.com

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Thx storageman,

You can select notebook if you click on the notebook or tag icon in the sidebar under the 'File' header. We realize this design hasn't been totally intuitive and we have design improvements in the pipeline. 

 

A few more tips:

When Clipper is active you can use 'N' as keyboard shortcut to open Notebook selector and 'T' top open Tag dialog.

 

Even so we are working on design changes, if you are interested in participating in a brief design test please send me a PM. 

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