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Evernote Team -- Please Don't Use Low Contrast Text

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Evernote Team -- Please Don't Use Low Contrast Text

 

Dear Evernote UI designers, web masters, and email broadcasters, could you please not use small, low contrast text in the main text body of your products and documents?

 

I know you may think the color scheme looks really cool, and complies with your corporate branding, but what is the point of your cool communications if they can't be read, or, are so hard to read that people ignore them?

 

Isn't the FIRST objective of an email, web page, or app to communicate well, and be readable to the viewer?

 

Below is a screen shot of an email that I just received.  What is the benefit of using very light gray text on a white background?

 

Compare these two lines:

  • I know you may think the color scheme looks really cool, and complies with your corporate branding, but what is the point of your cool communications if they can't be read, or, are so hard to read that people ignore them?
  • I know you may think the color scheme looks really cool, and complies with your corporate branding, but what is the point of your cool communications if they can't be read, or, are so hard to read that people ignore them?

Do you see the clear difference?  Do you see how much easier it is to read the first line than the second line?

Yes, I can read the second line if I get close to my monitor, and study the text carefully.

But is being cool worth the loss of readability?

 

SNAPSHOT OF EMAIL FROM EVERNOTE

 

Hard-to-read-email.gif

 

EDIT:  I'm not sure what happened to the above link, but it will no longer display.

 

Here's the link:

 

Hard-to-read-email-Compare.gif

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To provide an example of how much better dark (black) text is on a white background, I edited the Evernote email, and simply changes the text color to black in the second paragraph.

 

Isn't the improvement very obvious?  And, IMO, looks just as good!  ;)

Hard-to-read-email-Compare.gif

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EDIT: In product documents, I meant. Still, my objections stand.

Agreed. That contrast is totally ridiculous. Yes, obviously there's a "workaround" to make the text show up in a crisp easy to read contrast, as JMichael has cleary demonstrated here. But come on, really, in a Company tech support email?

It looks like something straight out of an old DOS system with a monochrome screen. It doesn't look at all professional and makes Evernote as a Tech Company, look like amatures.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be mean or disrespectful. It's just that I found the below screenshots of EN's Support emails to JMichael, actually shocking.

Evernote Team -- Please Don't Use Low Contrast Text

Dear Evernote UI designers, web masters, and email broadcasters, could you please not use small, low contrast text in the main text body of your products and documents?

I know you may think the color scheme looks really cool, and complies with your corporate branding, but what is the point of your cool communications if they can't be read, or, are so hard to read that people ignore them?

Isn't the FIRST objective of an email, web page, or app to communicate well, and be readable to the viewer?

Below is a screen shot of an email that I just received. What is the benefit of using very light gray text on a white background?

Compare these two lines:

  • I know you may think the color scheme looks really cool, and complies with your corporate branding, but what is the point of your cool communications if they can't be read, or, are so hard to read that people ignore them?
  • I know you may think the color scheme looks really cool, and complies with your corporate branding, but what is the point of your cool communications if they can't be read, or, are so hard to read that people ignore them?
Do you see the clear difference? Do you see how much easier it is to read the first line than the second line?

Yes, I can read the second line if I get close to my monitor, and study the text carefully.

But is being cool worth the loss of readability?

SNAPSHOT OF EMAIL FROM EVERNOTE

Hard-to-read-email.gif

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Totally agreed. I cannot stand the light green text that note links (notes linking to other notes) are displayed in. I get the need for a non-black color to indicate that it's a note link as opposed to unlinked or hyperlinked, but dark green text would have served that functional purpose while maintaining easy readability.

 

I don't understand the point of using a low contrast color like light green on a white background, other than perhaps color coordinating/matching with the EN logo. Is that a purpose that trumps easy readability? Is this a productivity app or not?

 

Screenshot2014-04-24075120.png

 

Not sure how to make this screen capture bigger (suggestions?), but you can see the point - dark colors on a white background show up much better than light green on white. 

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Another example of low contrast text: The numbers next to Notebooks and Tags indicating the number of notes in each. They are light gray and all but invisible unless you are looking straight on. If you are standing up and looking down at your monitor, forget about seeing it.

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Here are some more examples of POOR Evernote readability:

 

1.  Poor readability in the EN Mac TAG VIEW

 

EN_Mac_5_Tag_Low_Contrast.jpg

 

 

 

2.  EN Forum Poor Readability

 

Readability-Example.gif

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Here's another current example of POOR readability, of the EN Mac Note Header:

 

EN%20Mac%20Note%20Header%20Reability.gif

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Whilst I agree with the principle that black text gives better readability than grey text, I believe that this is a relatively minor issue in comparison with some of the feature requests that have been made. A lot of feature requests have been made over the years so the EN have plenty to work on from that point of view. Implementing some of those will add more value & a professional appearance than this one.

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I just ran across the below post in another thread that makes a strong argument for higher contrast text, use of colors, and "3D" icons.

I have highlighted the parts I would like to emphasize.

 

 

While we are on the subject of color, want to encourage you to seriously consider the suggestion of different colors for notebook icons to distinguish between:

  • Owned unshared notebooks
  • Owned shared notebooks
  • Subscribed shared notebooks (owned by a different user)
  • I do not use local notebooks but people who do might like those to be a different color too.

Note: I am not suggesting that users can necessary choose and set their own colors (though that would be very cool). I am just suggesting that Evernote uses 4 different colors.

 

I also want to strongly add my vote to significantly more contrast and clearer readability. As you know, I teach Evernote classes. I cannot tell you how often people complain about the poor readability! I apologize for not commenting on that in the general forum. Hadn't occurred to me to do so.

 

Lastly, I know that "Flat" design is the new fad. But before you jump on the fad think about neuroscience and evolution. We humans see things in 3D and our brains are most comfortable seeing things that look like they are 3D. It is why the active window has a "shadow" behind it so it looks like it is standing out from the other windows "open" in the background. And it is why you have shadows on the notebook icons, etc. Fads come and go.

 

My bet is this flat and ultraflat style will be gone in a few years because enough neuromarketing studies will come out that will send it crashing.

 
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JM: good case made by Viv Ilo Veith. It seems to me that when Evernote implemented the Presentation feature, they did not think through what that meant in practice. Presentation is widely used in teaching (as explained by Ilo Veith) & in business. Therefore coloration & contrast play an even more important role. So apart from distinguishing the different types of notebooks with colours, it should be possible for the user to choose colours for notes, as has been requested so many times before already. I support the colour options fully & hope that the aspect of presentation in the context of business & teaching presentations help move the request higher up the development team's list. I wish one of the Evangelists would/could persuade the EN team of this.

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JM: good case made by Viv Ilo Veith. It seems to me that when Evernote implemented the Presentation feature, they did not think through what that meant in practice. Presentation is widely used in teaching (as explained by Ilo Veith) & in business. Therefore coloration & contrast play an even more important role. So apart from distinguishing the different types of notebooks with colours, it should be possible for the user to choose colours for notes, as has been requested so many times before already. I support the colour options fully & hope that the aspect of presentation in the context of business & teaching presentations help move the request higher up the development team's list. I wish one of the Evangelists would/could persuade the EN team of this.

We do our best! But, actually, your voice (and the voice of other users) carries just as much weight as ours.

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I`d like support this note. I have already supported this topic in the discussion regarding contrast on the tag page on mac. This it the screen which is really bad.  But this is general comment which is very truthful and I want support it. 

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I'm not personally interested in the Presentation mode, but I am all for more colour and contrast!

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I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one, DP. Readability should be at the very top of the priority list in any kind of program where the data is meant to be *viewed* and *read.*

I like my notes, whatever their type, to be formatted and "pretty," but above all else I want them to be easily readable.

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Indeed, the low contrast is a major problem for anyone with less than perfect vision. Which is really most of the global population at some point in their lives, and for all too many that are blind from birth or as the result of injury, illness or accident.

My vision has always been less than stellar, but after two bouts of Optic Neuritis as part of a couple MS Relapses, my left optical nerve is permamently damaged. Not something that modern medicine can cure.

So, yes please! Stop with the low contrast.

I absolutely, positively agree. The purpose of typography is to communicate!

Let's put an end to this low-contrast, light gray nonsense and use typography for its purpose: making text readable!

See: Contrast Rebellion at http://contrastrebellion.com/

Cecil McGregor

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Presentation mode is only one small part of the problem. Evernote has fallen for the trendy idea that gray text is sophisticated, ignoring the greater issue of legibility. I'm sorry to say it, but there is only one reason tags and other Evernote features display in hard-to-read gray text - DESIGNER EGO.

 

Please put the users first and offer the option for readable high-contrast (black) text.

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Issue Update

While there has been some improvement, use of low contrast text by Evernote continues.
Here's a current example in EN Mac:

EN-Mac-6.3-Tag-View.png

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