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poor accessibility

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This has been bothering me ever since I first installed Evernote. At this point I'm at the point of abandoning it for one simple reason: it's almost impossible to read some of the screens, and there's no way to improve accessibility. I'm attaching a screenshot. It's hard to imagine how this could be less difficult to read. For those of us with vision issues, it's impossible. If aesthetics and design fashion is more important that accessibility, then really, what's a user to do?

evernote-lacks-accessibility.jpg

 

post-99260-0-36087100-1399085232_thumb.j

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Agreed. I imagine even individuals without a visual impairment but who have crappy computer displays might also have a hard time with that screen.

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Agreed. I imagine even individuals without a visual impairment but who have crappy computer displays might also have a hard time with that screen.

 

And the available fixes either don't work (such as, on a Mac, setting Accessibility to increase contrast), or don't exist (alternative color scheme?  Hello??).

 

Fwiw, I _like_ the look a lot and have no trouble with it.  But for broad usability I agree with the OP's sentiment:  "It's hard to imagine how this could be less [more] difficult to read."

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UI certainly is not one of Evernote's strengths.

Fortunately there might be some hope for this gray-on-gray problem.

 

The same screen using Evernote Windows is a classic white background with easy-to-read black text.
Perhaps, the different Evernote development teams should talk to each other more often.

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I don't know if it is a matter of getting the different teams to talk to each other as much as it is simply a matter of getting design teams to attend to the accessibility issues of their platform. 

 

Like Kirby, I generally like the aesthetics of the various clients in general, and I have no usability issues myself. However it is obvious to me that people with various impairments would have trouble with a number of design elements in the Mac (and to a slightly lesser extent the iOS) client. I think a lot of subtle changes could be made that significantly enhance usability for users with visual impairments without compromising the broader design characteristics. 

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When I see these types of recurring issues - difficult reading style, lack of zoom, etc. I take pleasure in the fact that those whipper-snapper, 20-somethings at Evernote development will have their comeuppance in a decade or so when they no longer have their eagle eye-sight. :)

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When I see these types of recurring issues - difficult reading style, lack of zoom, etc. I take pleasure in the fact that those whipper-snapper, 20-somethings at Evernote development will have their comeuppance in a decade or so when they no longer have their eagle eye-sight. :)

LOL. Yup I think this is the case for the majority of upstart software companies these days. 

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The screen cannot be zoomed, which would be a huge help.  It is possible to zoom the whole desktop via os x, but that's incredibly clumsy to use.

 

It would be easy to fix -- especially as the Windows version apparently has a better approach.  But will anybody in a position to actually make the fix happen ever see this post?

 

Also, I have to wonder about the beta users. Could they all be 20-somethings with no interest in accessibility? JBenson2 is right, they will rue the day and then they will see the light, even if they can't read the screen.

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The screen cannot be zoomed, which would be a huge help.  It is possible to zoom the whole desktop via os x, but that's incredibly clumsy to use.

 

It would be easy to fix -- especially as the Windows version apparently has a better approach.  But will anybody in a position to actually make the fix happen ever see this post?

 

Also, I have to wonder about the beta users. Could they all be 20-somethings with no interest in accessibility? JBenson2 is right, they will rue the day and then they will see the light, even if they can't read the screen.

Nope. The betas are open to everyone. Just check the box in your preferences. I have a strong opinion on this issue (do I have any other kind of opinion?) and I have been beating the accessibility drum from day one. For what it's worth, it takes design cues from Apple (from what I can tell) and this gray on gray thing isn't restricted to Evernote. Frankly, I think the answer is quite simple: customizability. Of course, that's my answer to just about every problem :)

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For comparison. Consider what the Windows version of tags looks like - black text on white background.

post-53124-0-79113100-1399135305_thumb.j

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The screen cannot be zoomed, which would be a huge help.  It is possible to zoom the whole desktop via os x, but that's incredibly clumsy to use.

 

OS X includes a window-in-a-window zoom.  I use it all the time.  I even tried it on Evernote.Mac's Tags screen, and found it didn't help enough to recommend its use.  Nevertheless, here is how to make it available:

Go to " ▹ System Preferences ▹ Accessibility ▹ Zoom" and check "Use Scroll Gesture with Modifier Keys to Zoom".  Select a modifier key and, from the  "Zoom Style" drop-down, "Picture-in-picture".  Note the options available at "More Options".

 

In use, press the modifier key and scroll (2 fingers on my MPB trackpad) up to the desired magnification, then release the modifier key and move the window where you want it.  To cancel (took me too long to figure this out), press and hold the modifier key and scroll down until the "picture-in-picture" disappears.

 

Screenshot of set-up panel:

2014-05-03%20at%2014.15%202x.png

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Kirby -- thank you for the detailed suggestion. I had forgot about this feature. It doesn't do the job for Evernote, but it will help elsewhere.

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"Whippersnappers & comuppance," I love this community! I'm not even a Mac user, but these boards are downright entertaining at times. :)

p.s. Don't feel too bad guys, even when I was a "young whippersnapper," my eyesight sucked! ;)

When I see these types of recurring issues - difficult reading style, lack of zoom, etc. I take pleasure in the fact that those whipper-snapper, 20-somethings at Evernote development will have their comeuppance in a decade or so when they no longer have their eagle eye-sight. :)

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It's absolutely astounding that after the many threads on this forum about horrible accessibility, I see the newest version of the OSX evernote web app still is gray on gray -- heck, I can barely read the notes, let along things like the tags page -- and unbelievably there are not yet any customizations for the fonts.  It's crazy really.  It doesn't say much for the company.

 

I think the 20-something developer team needs to take a look at the demographics of internet users -- it's not all 20-somethings like them.  There are plenty of us 50-somethings and 60-somethings, and older; there are 80 million of us baby boomers alone in the US.  And here's some news: you don't have to be older to have not-so-perfect eyesight. I've shown evernote to my wife, who has perfect eyesight and thinks it's a bit insane.

 

The whole this is just absurd.

 

I check in with evernote about once or twice a year, hoping I can finally use it, hoping I can actually send money to evernote for a premium account, hoping I can recommend it to friends and to my websites' 30,000 readers a day.  But sadly, due to the unrelenting deafness to users' requests, and to the generally accepted rules of accessibility, I cannot.

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Mark F —

 

I think it's _very important_ to separate usability concerns from ... visibility concerns.  Visibility is the user's responsibility.  I'm 54.  I had 20/20 vision until I was 42.  My eye doctor informed me that the worsening of my eyesight was right on schedule.  Since then — I'm an artist; I work long hours with my eyes — I have relied on vision prosthetics to correct my eyesight to 20/20.  These wonderful body-additions are called "eyeglasses".  If you have trouble reading text on a computer or a smart phone — have your vision checked and get new eyeglasses.  Seeing well is important, and not priced out-of-reach for almost all Americans (and others).  "Not perfect eyesight" should _not_ be a developers concern (outside of accessibility issues, which are the responsibility of the OS, not the app).

 

That does not mean that "hard to read" is tolerable.  But if all text is hard to read _for you_ because you have not taken advantage of the widely-available vision-correcting devices (that's "glasses"), then you should get glasses first, and criticize UI design only after you've gotten used to them.

 

I love the look of Yosemite — the improvement is screen fonts on Retina screens is alone worth the trouble of upgrading.  And I like the general look of Evernote (I had such serious issues with its usability that I don't rely on it — that's a different quail).  It needs to be improved.  But I certainly would not consider making it easy-to-read for people who need but don't have properly prescribed eyeglasses an improvement.  I have no trouble reading the notes.  And I have no trouble reading the tags page, though I don't think the use of contrast is commendable.

 

Lastly, "20-something developer team" is crude ageism and probably incorrect as well.  If your perfect-sighted wife thinks the design is insane — that's fine.  And it has nothing to do with her age, your age, the age of Evernote's employees, or the age of any of the millions of people who use the Internet.

 

—Kirby.

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Gray text on gray background does not help anyone -- improving readability does.  And yes, I've heard of those newfangled things called eyeglasses, thanks for pointing that out. I wear them.  

 

This forum, and this post I am keying, has a nice dark font on a bright background.  Does that detract from the forum? Are people complaining that they want gray on gray, that they want less contrast?  No, they are not.  But if you used the same color scheme here on the forum as Evernote does on their web app, I'm sure you'd get complaints about the forum readability. 

 

There simply is no reason for making something less readable, unless it is a work of art. Evernote, last I heard, is supposed to be a productivity tool. I'd think they would want the greatest numbers of people to be productive with it. At the least, they should offer different themes or a setting to change the font and background color.  

 

Ageism? Give me a break.  What about your eyeism? Yeah, sounds as silly as what you said.

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