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Hi Evernote,

 

I just want to post a suggestion.  I've been using Evernote for a year now and the more I use it, the more I realize it proves my doubts about it's functionality wrong.  I have two issues, though, with Evernote in its current state.  A). the GUI/Design is getting more and more outdated as other competing apps entering the market have more modern GUI's and design.  They may not hold up to Evernote's functionality and operational integrity, which should be most important, but I must admit, that I am still very much influenced by the design of an app, and in some instances, have been known to stick with a sub par performing app soley because of it's cool design in the hopes that its functionality will ultimately catch up.  That said, I have no doubts about the brilliance of Evernote, but, please, if you are reading this, upgrade your GUI; you can start by changing the outdated icons in the sidebar; likewise, the "notebook" icons are, IMHO, not even worth having.  I never use that view mainly because the iconography is very outdated.  To put it in perspective, the mobile app is very brilliantly designed.  Match that brilliance with a complete design upgrade to the desktop app.  B).  When it comes to "clipping" web articles/pages, Evernote really excels at this.  I've tried other apps like Stache and Pocket that just don't hold up to the convenience of using Evernote's web clipper, and I'll even say that the way Evernote archives your clippings to your notebook, particularly the "simplified article' view is great.  However, I wish that while viewing web clippings in a notebook you could simply press the space bar and get a functioning "preview" of the article that would include functionality to play a youtube video - if the page was in fact of a youtube video - and so on and so forth.  The app Stache has this ability, but, again, it doesn't compare to the convenience and style of Evernote.  I also wish Evernote web clipper gave you the added option to basically extract all the text from a web page and lay out on a white canvas that is actually saved as a text document that can be read offline.  Currently there is no way that I know of to read saved articles without an internet connection.

 

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Hi - thanks for the comments;  this is a user forum,  though the devs do read posts here - you can also make your points through the feedback link (see below).  Redesigns are ongoing,  so you should see improvements coming along...

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Well, you can play the "GUI/icons/design is awful" game all day long, but unless you come up with something more concrete than "the icons/iconography are outdated" (whatever 'outdated' means in this case), you probably won't get much traction. Perhaps you have better designs or iconography that you can demonstrate? Even so, some people feel that actual functionality and workflow are far more important than the "chrome" on an application.

 

You'll also do better if you reveal which specific clients (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, web, etc) you are talking about . There is no one "desktop" application, or one "mobile" app. They're different, with different iconography, look, feel and functionality.

 

And a note on your comment's "UI". Modern readers prefer that long stretches of text describing unrelated topics be broken up by paragraphs or other separating devices. Think Twitter, not Steinbeck. It'll make your comments easier to understand and to reply to.

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I use a Mac.  But, hey, I never said the GUI was "awful."  I said, it was getting more and more outdated.  That's just my opinion, which I'm entitled too.  

 

I think (and a lot of people would agree) that design amounts to far more then just "chrome" and is more significant to the user experience then one might think.  Doesn't matter what it is, packaging design, automobile design, kitchen utensils, Computers ... I personally would not build a great product and then send it out into the world encased in a shabby shell; neither would Nike, or Ford, or Williams Sonoma or Mac.  And I'm betting that the people at Evernote understand that too.  Or they would simply never upgrade their GUI and instead rest on the assumption that there users only care about functionality.  

 

But, again, my statement was that it is outdated, meaning, based on the trends in the design of other productivity apps out there - and, really, most apps in general - Evernote, in my opinion, is behind the trend in its UI.  And to be clear, I'm not suggestion again that its' "awful.' and needs to be overhauled.  I never meant to suggest that.  Only that it needs improvement, or, you could say, needs modernizing, starting with the icons.  

 

Design, like functionality, ultimately becomes a part of the competitive advantage that one company holds over another.  Just ask the people at Apple.  Or, better yet, ask yourself, if you are someone who uses Mac (or PC), why you use Mac (or PC), and tell me with a straight face that its superiority (in Mac's case) in design isn't one reason.  

 

Putting aside the fact that Evernote is a fantastic app, and I will continue to use it regardless, there may come a day when some people, including myself, might look elsewhere if/when it becomes apparent that Evernote doesn't care about the importance some of its users place on the design of it's GUI.  

 

Thanks for your comment, man!  Good talk.

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Well, I think the announcement and subsequent fall release of OS 10.10 (Yosemite) will render nearly all applications for the Mac rather out of date looking ;) 

 

This is definitely an opportunity to refresh the look of applications, just as iOS 7 was for iOS.  We'll have to wait and see how developers of all types respond to these changes. 

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I use a Mac.  But, hey, I never said the GUI was "awful."  I said, it was getting more and more outdated.  That's just my opinion, which I'm entitled too.

Yep, you're definitely entitled to your opinion. And sorry for bit about "awful"; I didn't mean it as a direct quote of what you said, though it sure looks that way.

I guess my objection was that I couldn't get a handle on what you meant by "outdated" with respect to the icons, and no specifics or alternatives provided. Now I work on Windows most of the time, and the UI looks reasonably "modern" to me, by comparison with the Windows XP style of UI controls, with flat iconography etc, which is the current style. But IO can't speak for the Mac's UI.

 

I think (and a lot of people would agree) that design amounts to far more then just "chrome" and is more significant to the user experience then one might think.  Doesn't matter what it is, packaging design, automobile design, kitchen utensils, Computers ... I personally would not build a great product and then send it out into the world encased in a shabby shell; neither would Nike, or Ford, or Williams Sonoma or Mac.  And I'm betting that the people at Evernote understand that too.  Or they would simply never upgrade their GUI and instead rest on the assumption that there users only care about functionality.

 

But, again, my statement was that it is outdated, meaning, based on the trends in the design of other productivity apps out there - and, really, most apps in general - Evernote, in my opinion, is behind the trend in its UI.  And to be clear, I'm not suggestion again that its' "awful.' and needs to be overhauled.  I never meant to suggest that.  Only that it needs improvement, or, you could say, needs modernizing, starting with the icons.

So far, you've been talking about icons, not design as as a whole. Icons *are* largely just "chrome". But again, no specific recommendations. Just "upgrade / improve it". How?

 

Design, like functionality, ultimately becomes a part of the competitive advantage that one company holds over another.  Just ask the people at Apple.  Or, better yet, ask yourself, if you are someone who uses Mac (or PC), why you use Mac (or PC), and tell me with a straight face that its superiority (in Mac's case) in design isn't one reason.

I really don't want to get into the old shopworn Mac vs. PS debate, but I will note that for all of the focus on design with that Apple put into the various Mac OS's over the years, it didn't do much for any competitive advantage of Macs over Windows boxes (see the market numbers for the past 20 years). I really don't know where you're going with this line, to tell you the truth.

Design isn't everything, neither is pure functionality. People will generally land somewhere on the spectrum, according to their needs and/or aesthetic desires. Me, if a piece of software does what I need it to do, then I'm willing to overlook aesthetic issues in favor of software that doesn't do what I want it to do, no matter how pretty.

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It's not that the functionality of EN will suddenly disappear if they go for a Yosemite redesign. The functionality (hopefully) would stay, encased in a fresher, more modern UI.

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I agree with the OP, honestly. I love Evernote to death, but I truly hope they take the opportunity with Yosemite to become something amazing. The Windows app got a recent refresh, so it fits in with the Windows 8 vibe. The Mac version of EN feels a tad bit stale. It's still a great design, but I do agree it could use a refresher. And when Yosemite hits, it'll look downright tacky next to everything else. Evernote's done a great job with keeping the iOS app in style with iOS7, so I'm not too worried... just a teeny little bit ;)

 

Design is much more important than a lot of people are willing to recognize. Every single man-made product in the entire world was designed. Good design lets the product, in this case the application, function smoothly and gets out of the way of the user. Yosemite's really heading that direction as an OS as well, so I'm super looking forward to the possibilities opening up for apps to integrate further into the OS. 

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A new design would be welcome, but I don't care about "outdated;" I just hope it also comes with additional functionality. The terribly limited amount of information I can see on the screen at any one time is a real waste of my computer's screen real estate and an obstacle to productivity. Concretely speaking, we could start with the sea of featureless gray that is the toolbar (Mac), the fields of gray emptiness next to the note dates, and the black depths of the abyss that is the left-side navigation bar. Why do I have to click the information icon to find out basic data like word counts? I dream of a customizable user interface, kind of like a user friendly version of filemaker, but I don't get the sense that Yosemite is into customizability...

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Personally, I might invest some time in fixing base functional errors before I got too carried away with a GUI redesign.  I get that there can be better ways to enable ease of usage, but reliability needs some bite of the investment pie.

 

Not the cosmetic stuff like sometimes the button is here and sometimes it is there, but the big stuff like having tags that ALWAYS sync correctly, reminder dates and logic that work per specifications, PDFs that don't disappear if you password protect them the wrong way, tool bars you can rely upon., or for that matter, anything that you can't get done that the documentation says you should (which has nothing to do with how I want it to work).  

 

I use EN extensively and think it is a great product (here's the but), but I am amazed at how long the support group leaves BASE errors in functionality in the product.  Let alone how these errors get to the public in the first place.  Not conceptual stuff, just plain stuff that don't work as to how it is portrayed to work.  Rant over, sorry.

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You all make good points.  There is still much room for functionality improvements on top of design upgrades.  I have not had too many issues with said "bugs" but I have had some issues with sync and Evernote not honoring the the location shortcuts I add to emailed notes sometimes.  Nothing major.

 

GrumpyMonkey's point speaks more directly to my issues with design.  Apart from the icons - which, again, I think are outdated (at least on the Mac version) - there is just way too much empty space!  Also, the Notebook view is, I don't know, amateurish looking.  They could improve on the Notebook view.  Again, too much waisted space, and the word processor functionality of notebooks is kind of shaky.  I'd like to see them give the Notebooks the look and feel and functionality of something more conventional.

 

Perhaps, typing a note could be an experience more like that of Word or Write app or Ulysses or even Pages, with the added option to switch to an Excel or Numbers-like view to create spreadsheets.  At the moment, adding a spreadsheet to a note using the tools is very restrictive, I  think, and again bush league.  This is both a functionality and a design flaw I guess.  Nonetheless, it could use improvement.  

 

The other thing about Evernote that perhaps they are overlooking, and which I think could be a big deal is this:

 

You get 60 gigs of space with a free account.  With that much free storage, I'm wondering why Evernote does not migrate it's overall platform from one of solely an informational database with asset and project management functionality to one of ALSO a cloud based file share/storage vehicle.  They could easily compete with, say, Dropbox on that level.  I, personally, am probably never going to exhaust 60 gigs of space with just notes and some low rez JPGs.  Which leaves me feeling gipped out of all the storage and file sharing possibilities that go beyond simple note keeping.  

 

I think if Evernote has the means and were with all to scale up its platform in this way, and they did so, they could become a giant.  I liken it to what Mac is trying to do with its iCloud productivity suite (pages, notes, keynote, etc ... ) or Microsofts' OneDrive productivity suite - both of which have been miserable failures so far.  But larger scale and more transparent.  I would love to see them become an enterprise level productivity app with medium to large scale cloud storage and file sharing options, both of which are operational off line vis a vie the current desktop app, and with the use of a local "evernote" drive/volume that's accessible in the finder pane and that mirrors the folder structure of your notebooks.  Write app for Mac does something like this.  Where it points to a folder that you created locally on your machine, and the sidebar reveals what folders are currently being used by Writer. You can even create folders that sync to the cloud and simply "save" form within the app and the sync is immediate.  

 

I hope i've cleared up somewhat what I mean when I say Evernote needs GUI improvement.  I've added to the discussion about functionality improvements, too lol.  One last thing, in terms of GUI, I think the browser based version of Evernote is better designed then the desktop version. But I almost never work from the browser. 

 

 

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You get 60 gigs of space with a free account.  With that much free storage, I'm wondering why Evernote does not migrate it's overall platform from one of solely an informational database with asset and project management functionality to one of ALSO a cloud based file share/storage vehicle.  They could easily compete with, say, Dropbox on that level.  I, personally, am probably never going to exhaust 60 gigs of space with just notes and some low rez JPGs.  Which leaves me feeling gipped out of all the storage and file sharing possibilities that go beyond simple note keeping.  

 

That's 60MB, not 60GB. And it's an upload limit, not a storage limit.

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Perhaps, typing a note could be an experience more like that of Word or Write app or Ulysses or even Pages, with the added option to switch to an Excel or Numbers-like view to create spreadsheets.  At the moment, adding a spreadsheet to a note using the tools is very restrictive, I  think, and again bush league.  This is both a functionality and a design flaw I guess.  Nonetheless, it could use improvement.  

 

Is this sort of what you're talking about? https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/61060-showing-full-documents-excel-pdf-etc-in-evernote-notes/

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You get 60 gigs of space with a free account.  With that much free storage, I'm wondering why Evernote does not migrate it's overall platform from one of solely an informational database with asset and project management functionality to one of ALSO a cloud based file share/storage vehicle.  They could easily compete with, say, Dropbox on that level.  I, personally, am probably never going to exhaust 60 gigs of space with just notes and some low rez JPGs.  Which leaves me feeling gipped out of all the storage and file sharing possibilities that go beyond simple note keeping.  

 

That's 60MB, not 60GB. And it's an upload limit, not a storage limit.

 

Yes, MB, I'm sorry.  But that's on a monthly basis, which, as i was saying, is quite a lot of upload capacity - or at least for what I use it for, which is, again, note taking and web clipping (for now, at least.  I would like to use it for more enterprise level note taking/sharing and project management type stuff as I get more familiar with it, etc ...).  But to that point, EN would need to upscale, which is what i guess I'm hoping for in making my last post.  Upscale to the extent that they could compete with DB on cloud space, whatever it is you wish to use it for - file sharing or file storing , while at the same time increasing its competitive edge as a productivity app.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps, typing a note could be an experience more like that of Word or Write app or Ulysses or even Pages, with the added option to switch to an Excel or Numbers-like view to create spreadsheets.  At the moment, adding a spreadsheet to a note using the tools is very restrictive, I  think, and again bush league.  This is both a functionality and a design flaw I guess.  Nonetheless, it could use improvement.  

 

Is this sort of what you're talking about? https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/61060-showing-full-documents-excel-pdf-etc-in-evernote-notes/

 

Yeah, that's kind of what I'm talking about. But, to my point, you lose functionality, and continuity/standardization of documents.  What if they just had several different document types (notebook types) much like Word or Pages offers you when you first open the app.   One of which could be a spread sheet ?? 

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