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windows New Windows app interface is awful

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To the designers of the new Windows Evernote app: the interface is awful. I will give it to you that it is no where as bad as Office 2013, but it is awful. Its grey, grey, grey and everything just merges with everything else.

 

In this day and age with modern screens that have pixels so small the naked eye cannot see them, why oh why, did you not make the most of that? 16 million colours and we get .... GREY. What about 3D icons or giving them colours to make it easier to find etc etc.

 

Thank you for an otherwise fantastic product and I hope you find the above to be constructive criticism

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Murraybarn - I couldn't agree more, the user interface change is awful!

 

I signed up to the forum purely to make the same comment, but pleased to see I'm not the only one.

 

Your comment about everything being grey and merging together is absolutely spot on. To me it's a case of over-engineering, the UI team have got too much time on their hands.

 

The previous UI attracted me to the application because the different elements of the application were clearly defined, the new interface turns me off.

 

Evernote be warned: even though the functionality is great, a UI like this could have a serious impact on new sign ups and customer retention... never mind my enjoyment of the app.

 

Come on other forum members, speak up and maybe we'll get some colour back in our lives!

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Not only the new UI is looking bad - it is rather difficult to work with. A rather long tim I searced for the tags.

ughq.png

It ist not hidden but its not easy to identify. And so with a lot of oter things.

 

I will try to go back to 4,xx

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I'm older than Bill's grandmother. I remember how we all welcomed the "shades of grey" monitors, rather than simple black/white.

 

We've gone back to shades of grey.

 

The next version of Evernote will be black/white.

 

That's "progress"  :)

 

Another forward step backwards is that there's no scroll bar in the notes. Actually, there might be, but the difference in colour is too faint for my rather elderly eyesight.

 

To balance things out, they've used the old scroll bar in the notes list   :)

 

Just like Windows 8, but worse.

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To the designers of the new Windows Evernote app: the interface is awful. I will give it to you that it is no where as bad as Office 2013, but it is awful. Its grey, grey, grey and everything just merges with everything else.

 

In this day and age with modern screens that have pixels so small the naked eye cannot see them, why oh why, did you not make the most of that? 16 million colours and we get .... GREY. What about 3D icons or giving them colours to make it easier to find etc etc.

 

Thank you for an otherwise fantastic product and I hope you find the above to be constructive criticism

 

Totally agree with you.  Hope Evernote will pay attention to our complaints. 

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this completely white new interface is a real eyesore. i know you guys like to worship apple but could you just take a tip from adobe for a second and notice how in photoshop you can pick varying shades of gray, so a large bright monitor with completely white software doesnt eat my eyeballs. like many others, if the windows 7 evernote interface doesn't aesthetically improve, i'm gona have to discontinue my premium account payments. ****WINDOWS SKINS PLEASE or i'll have to stop premium****

 

EDIT: i am delightfully back to 4.6.7 :) i suppose we will keep on eye on the forums until things are better.

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Totally agree, I think they tried to copy the iOS7 interface, that is pretty dull too. There's no need to follow Apple eveywhere!!!, in fact Microsoft brought the flat interface but in a much better way, and full of colors.

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Just dreadful! Designed by committee. Give us our old *useable* interface back!  Can't even list all the new clumsy "features." 

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While it did take me some getting used to, I'm warming up to it. It's taken a few weeks.

 

FWIW, I don't like most of the new car designs out there about half the time either...at first. But then they grow on me. 

 

That's more or less what's happened here.

 

Once I got over the initial change shock and found where some of the key features I use had gone, I'm feeling much better about it.

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I've been using the new interface (Windows 7 client, 20" very good monitor) for several weeks now.. and it is not only not growing on me, it has added a degree of difficulty to using Evernote that was not present before.

 

As I work in a room with windows and the ambient light changes in my office, the gray-on-grayish interface turns to visual mush at various times of day. As I can't get around using Evernote (I used to love this product) I have adjusted the contrast/brightness of my monitor to accomodate EN and that of course effects my use of other applications.

 

My opinion of the new interface: It wasn't broke, and didn't need fixing. The new user experience based on the UI and the notchy performance and changed process-flow is less pleasing than the prior version.

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I agree with all of you. New UI is just terrible, it makes it so much harder to work with Evernote. Grey on white, can't find the scroll bar half of the time... And especially making the notebooks feature indifferentiable from the favorites was a really bad decision.

 

I went back to the 4.6.7.8409 build and will not update my evernote again. Being able to work fast and efficient is one of the most important aspects when working with evernote for me.

 

 

Please listen to your users!

 

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Bravo! I couldn't agree more. I am so turned off by the UI change that I have drastically decreased my time with the app. Sad from EN's end and mine. I loved using the app. I want the green back. I want some gradiation/shadowing/3D back. This new UI has lost it's intuitiveness and makes poor use of space from a design perspective. I can't say that I hate the functionality as much as the look of the monster. Really, I can't get past how bad it looks to judge it otherwise. I just don't want to hang out there anymore like I used to. :(

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I've been using the new interface (Windows 7 client, 20" very good monitor) for several weeks now.. and it is not only not growing on me, it has added a degree of difficulty to using Evernote that was not present before.

 

Yep, I've got it on one spare computer I use fairly often just to see what it's like, and no, it doesn't grow on you, it just continues to suck.  Otherwise I run the last version of 4 on all my computers.

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I hate the new scrollbars. They're flat, they blend into the background, they're thin. What's wrong with using the default Windows ones?

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I agree with all of you. New UI is just terrible, it makes it so much harder to work with Evernote. Grey on white, can't find the scroll bar half of the time... And especially making the notebooks feature indifferentiable from the favorites was a really bad decision.

 

I went back to the 4.6.7.8409 build and will not update my evernote again. Being able to work fast and efficient is one of the most important aspects when working with evernote for me.

 

 

Please listen to your users!

I agree.  I had to revert to 4.6.7 because of a persistent bug in V5 (was eventually advised to do that by EN support), but having gone back (and having run the two versions side by side on 2 different machines for a few days)... I much prefer the UI of the older version.

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Some friends asked me to show them Evernote, as I had been recommending it to them. They called over, and while they took their coats off, I quickly upgraded from V4.6 to V5. I very much regret that!

I ended up really embarrassed in front of my friends. It was as if I had never used the app before.

This is an ergonomic disaster. The usabilty has decreased. Any interface expert should be able to point out that reducing contrast is not a good thing to do, and particularly where more computer users are reaching 'a certain age'.

I don't think my friends were too impressed, and I imagine they will think twice before investing time or money in a move to Evernote.

For my own part, at least I have an older version on my workplace PC. I will probably end up going back to the 4.xxx version at home.

I recommend the new version to nobody, and hope that Evernote shows a little more consideration for the fee-paying users in future.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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Some friends asked me to show them Evernote, as I had been recommending it to them. They called over, and while they took their coats off, I quickly upgraded from V4.6 to V5. I very much regret that!

I ended up really embarrassed in front of my friends. It was as if I had never used the app before.

This is an ergonomic disaster. The usabilty has decreased. Any interface expert should be able to point out that reducing contrast is not a good thing to do, and particularly where more computer users are reaching 'a certain age'.

I don't think my friends were too impressed, and I imagine they will think twice before investing time or money in a move to Evernote.

For my own part, at least I have an older version on my workplace PC. I will probably end up going back to the 4.xxx version at home.

I recommend the new version to nobody, and hope that Evernote shows a little more consideration for the fee-paying users in future.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

I agree with that v5 leaves a lot to be desired, bugs, missing previous functions etc. But the fact that a new version of a software behaves differently than the previous version and might take some time to get used to, much like when you started using the software in the first place, is not in it self something negative. How do you reinvent something if you are not allowed to require a new learning curve? Advanced software is rarely intuitive and intuitiveness is often confused with similarities with earlier experience. Your post suggests that you were disappointed partially because the software was somewhat redone at the time you wanted to show your friends how you have been using the software to meet your needs in the past. That is of course unfortunate. But my guess is that when Evernote has worked out the bugs that should have been absent at release, implemented natural language search etc., it will be a considerable improvement over v4.

 

Evernote has also recently responded to the general backlash of the new versions http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/01/04/on-software-quality/

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@gustavgi while it is nice that they finally see some issues now that they have been shamed by a high profile blogger, it is shame to see that Phil Libin seems to be focusing only on iOS7 as the only platform really worth mentioning the culprit for the perceived loss in quality. There is no comment about across the board issues.

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@gustavgi while it is nice that they finally see some issues now that they have been shamed by a high profile blogger, it is shame to see that Phil Libin seems to be focusing only on iOS7 as the only platform really worth mentioning the culprit for the perceived loss in quality. There is no comment about across the board issues.

My reading of Phil's article was that the problems with the rollout of the iOS7 client precipitated a movement inside the company to increase usability and reliability across all Evernote products, *before* the blogger let loose. The money quote is this: "All of our apps will be getting significant improvements and simplifications to the user experience starting in the next few weeks". That Phil actually responded in public with his article is actually pretty rare and a bit daring. My hope is that the stated focus on better quality carries through to what's been promised. We'll see as 2014 unfolds...
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@jefito Fingers-crossed. Let's see. I am sure he is a busy guy, but If he or a trusted right-hand poked a nose into the forums once in a while (not daily, weekly, maybe even monthly) they could have nipped it all in the bud.

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Oh, I so agree.  The only thing worse than the new Windows interface is the iPad interface which is almost unuseable.  Who decided that "flat" (ie, grey) was 'simple.'  It's not!  Simple is good contrast where all the elements stand out and you can find things quickly.

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I agree with that v5 leaves a lot to be desired, bugs, missing previous functions etc. But the fact that a new version of a software behaves differently than the previous version and might take some time to get used to, much like when you started using the software in the first place, is not in it self something negative. How do you reinvent something if you are not allowed to require a new learning curve?

 

Yours is the argument always used to respond to critism of software, and sometimes it's valid.  The problem is it's also now the standard excuse for bad software design.  Windows Vista sucked, the problem wasn't with users not liking the learning curve.  Windows 8 has been a disaster, the problem wasn't that it required a learning curve.   Similarly, EN V5 was supposedly a year in the making, and it sucks.  Of course that is my opinion (as well as that of a lot of others) :).  Personally if I owned or was involved in a company and software releases started being widely blasted instead of received with excitement, it would be a cause of concern for me.

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the fact that a new version of a software behaves differently than the previous version and might take some time to get used to, much like when you started using the software in the first place, is not in it self something negative.

 

 

This goes against one of the golden rules of UI, you know. If an interface behaves contrary to a user's educated expectations, then that interface is wrong and must be reworked. Subsequent updates to the same software should not break the things that the user learned before.

 

Even if a user is completely new to a piece of software, they still carry expectations from other software and from the operating system itself. This is why the same behaviours and motifs appear in almost all software: A floppy disk icon is used to indicate saving, Ctrl+N makes a new object, Ctrl+F always triggers the search tool, and F3 always advances the cursor to the next search result. I can drag items into a window to place them at the cursor location, and if I drag a scrollbar all the way to the bottom, I end up at the bottom of the page. Any software that behaves contrary to these expectations (where applicable) is rightly said to have a poor UI.

 

Evernote really needs to get on top of their interface/client/stability problems before some other competitor capitalises on it. Ars Technica posted an article yesterday about how QuarkXPress went from monopolising desktop publishing to being pretty much irrelevant within half a decade, and the main contributors were neglecting to add features that people really needed, instability and frequent crashing, and a lacking UI. A 5-year decline on professional software might seem glacial but modern users are highly mobile, and note-keeping is much simpler than page layout for print. If some serious competitor were to come along — if Devon Technologies made a foray into cloud notekeeping, for example — then it's not hard to imagine that decline taking place over six months or a year.

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So happy to have found and reverted to v 4.6.7.8409. Have never been so disappointed with the new version of any software as to revert back to an older one. Ever. http://www.filehippo.com/download_evernote/15615/

 

You should see what Microsoft has done to Office 365 - I think its worse than what Evernote have done

 

 

Have you seen what they just did with Dynamics CRM?  It may be the WORST UI I've seen in years, it looks like a website out of the 90's.  Unfathonable that a major company could come up with such a design, EN looks like a crown jewel in comparison.

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this completely white new interface is a real eyesore. i know you guys like to worship apple but could you just take a tip from adobe for a second and notice how in photoshop you can pick varying shades of gray, so a large bright monitor with completely white software doesnt eat my eyeballs. like many others, if the windows 7 evernote interface doesn't aesthetically improve, i'm gona have to discontinue my premium account payments. ****WINDOWS SKINS PLEASE or i'll have to stop premium****

 

EDIT: i am delightfully back to 4.6.7 :) i suppose we will keep on eye on the forums until things are better.

 

I've gone back to 4.6.7.8 myself on my main machine. 5.x is just unusable in its current state, with tags being the biggest issue. I have a business account and 5x now comingles all of the personal and business tags. So the panel on the left is 34 screens long, and hundreds of customer tags are visible when I am in a personal notebook. The only thing I want to see are personal tags when in a personal notebook, just as 4.x does it. And on the business side, I only want to see the tags relevant to THAT notebook. I don't need to see customer tags, for example, when I am working in my Financial notebook. Nor do I need to see tax related tags when working in a customer notebook. Again, 4.x does all of this correctly, but with 5x, there was a decision to just take every single tag I have access to and put it in one big long unusable list.

 

I'll keep 5.x on this second PC and hope for the best, but right now, it looks like I'll be on 4.x for a long time.

 

And don't get me started on the utter lack of usability in the "shortcut" section vs the 4.x toolbar, which is far superior for productivity. I don't understand why it was either/or. It should have been both. Keep the toolbar, removing the ability to add notes to it, and use the new shortcut area for notes and such that sync. That would have been much preferred to the current method where usability in the toolbar was outright killed off in favor of something different.

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the fact that a new version of a software behaves differently than the previous version and might take some time to get used to, much like when you started using the software in the first place, is not in it self something negative.

 

 

This goes against one of the golden rules of UI, you know. If an interface behaves contrary to a user's educated expectations, then that interface is wrong and must be reworked. Subsequent updates to the same software should not break the things that the user learned before.

 

Even if a user is completely new to a piece of software, they still carry expectations from other software and from the operating system itself. This is why the same behaviours and motifs appear in almost all software: A floppy disk icon is used to indicate saving, Ctrl+N makes a new object, Ctrl+F always triggers the search tool, and F3 always advances the cursor to the next search result. I can drag items into a window to place them at the cursor location, and if I drag a scrollbar all the way to the bottom, I end up at the bottom of the page. Any software that behaves contrary to these expectations (where applicable) is rightly said to have a poor UI.

 

Evernote really needs to get on top of their interface/client/stability problems before some other competitor capitalises on it. Ars Technica posted an article yesterday about how QuarkXPress went from monopolising desktop publishing to being pretty much irrelevant within half a decade, and the main contributors were neglecting to add features that people really needed, instability and frequent crashing, and a lacking UI. A 5-year decline on professional software might seem glacial but modern users are highly mobile, and note-keeping is much simpler than page layout for print. If some serious competitor were to come along — if Devon Technologies made a foray into cloud notekeeping, for example — then it's not hard to imagine that decline taking place over six months or a year.

 

 

 

Very true, but there is a huge difference between behaving differently to prior experience and behaving contrary to prior experience. The latter would as a rule be illogical software behavior from the users point of view. So if executing an action executes a different action than expected, the UI is clearly wrong: However, if you can't execute the action in the same way as before because of a design choice, it's only wrong if the design choice had no valid purpose. 

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I agree with that v5 leaves a lot to be desired, bugs, missing previous functions etc. But the fact that a new version of a software behaves differently than the previous version and might take some time to get used to, much like when you started using the software in the first place, is not in it self something negative. How do you reinvent something if you are not allowed to require a new learning curve?

 

Yours is the argument always used to respond to critism of software, and sometimes it's valid.  The problem is it's also now the standard excuse for bad software design.  Windows Vista sucked, the problem wasn't with users not liking the learning curve.  Windows 8 has been a disaster, the problem wasn't that it required a learning curve.   Similarly, EN V5 was supposedly a year in the making, and it sucks.  Of course that is my opinion (as well as that of a lot of others) :).  Personally if I owned or was involved in a company and software releases started being widely blasted instead of received with excitement, it would be a cause of concern for me.

 

 

The problem with Vista wasn't really design-related. It had mainly to do with compability problems with Windows XP and the stability with semi-compatible software, and it never recovered from the bad exposure. I have yet to hear a person give a good answer to why XP was better than Vista. Windows 7 is also basically Windows Vista with a 4 year time frame to catch up on the third party front. Hence why Vista is Windows 6.0 and Windows 7 is early Windows 6.1.

 

What people don't get is that Vista, whether bad or good, was a necessary jump. If the code to Windows 7 would have existed at the launch of Windows Vista, Windows 7 would have had just as much of a backlash as Vista. For any software, it is sometimes necessary that the people must take an initial hit, for the software developers to be able to further develop the software without being limited to earlier products. But of course this is a risk on the developers part if the overall product at the same time is worse that the previous version.

 

When Windows 8 launched, you had several videos on the internet showing how people struggled to get pass the lock screen, and saying that Windows 8 is terrible. You even have people to this day which still complain about the lack of functionality in Metro apps on a desktop computer.. Any sane person who understands the software would understand that if you don't want or need Metro-apps, don't install Metro apps.. Use 8 as 7.

 

I for one, also defend the functionality of the start screen fully. It may be ugly, but it's immensely more productive. Very important shortcuts can be placed on the desktop or as a quick launch if you want to keep the desktop as clean as possible. The rest of the important ones are placed on the start screen which allows for you to have 20+ shortcuts which in short time will have it's screen position memorized by you. The rest of your applications are found by a mouseclick or by just typing the name.

 

So yes the problem with Windows 8 is mainly that it requires a new learning curve, as well as some peoples problem with the pure aesthetics design choices, which is of course is subjective. No one can you that you are wrong in saying that V5 is ugly or that the start screen in Windows 8 is ugly. But altering the function of certain features or moving certain features to other places is not a bad design choice if there is some benefit to it.

 

But back on topic; as I said before, the problem with V5 is bugs, missing features and of course to some/many the aesthetics. But I have yet to see anything illogical or bad about the UI changes.

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But back on topic; as I said before, the problem with V5 is bugs, missing features and of course to some/many the aesthetics. But I have yet to see anything illogical or bad about the UI changes.

 

 

 

Oh I've got one. The new custom scrollbar in v5 is 2/3rds the width of the default WIndows scrollbar. Whyyyyyyyyyyy

 

post-162402-0-76025500-1389998335_thumb.

 

Much smaller target to hit when using touch input, especially since the Windows 8 client is still not mature enough to really use.

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I have poor eyesight and cannot use the new Evernote because I can't distinguish between the panes, or find the scrollbar. I have to stick with 4.6.7.

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Oh I've got one. The new custom scrollbar in v5 is 2/3rds the width of the default WIndows scrollbar. Whyyyyyyyyyyy

Something I just noticed -- the toolbar in Evernote v5 is exactly the same width as in Google Chrome. Guess it's the coming thing (though Firefox appears to use the Windows default)...

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I still run 4.6 on Win7 because I was horrified when I upgraded. A real step down.

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I still run 4.6 on Win7 because I was horrified when I upgraded. A real step down.

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