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Purpleboots

What have you done guys?! Grey and drab. Bland, bare, bald and boring.

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Stupid me. i saw the software update available for Evernote, and just jumped straight in to upgrade.  I never took a moment to go online and check out v6 and what users were saying.  My bad for not taking a look at online pics of the UI before jumping in, with excitement, with both feet.  Never before have I been this gutted with a software upgrade; never before have I actually been upset by the appearance of software.  Never before have I had to tinker with the monitor brightness and contrast just to look at a page for more than a few minutes.

 
Did I mention drab?
 
So, I am staring at my precious Evernote screen, and all I see staring back at me is drab - washed out- disappointing, grey.  Gone is the Evernote brand, gone is the feeling of quality software, gone is the pleasure of working on a beautiful screen. All I am left with is a sense of loss, an indigence and confusion.  Why would the Evernote team want to take a pin and pop the Evernote balloon?  Did someone on the design team have a brainwave moment, and say "Let's make our software stand out from the crowd - let's make it grey, grey, grey". 
 
 
Evernote is synonymous with awesomeness. It's not just a note-taking app, it has grown to become my digital brain, the repository for my brainwaves and keeper of my life-moments. It's my project manager, event organiser, meeting planner, personal reminder, and  brainstorming tool. (Yes, Evernote is brilliant for single-person brainstorming!) It is my digital life companion.  It's on my desk, in my workbag, and in my pocket.  My digital brain is only ever a screen-swipe away. 
  
 
So, why have you taken something so amazing, with such a high-quality end user experience, and turned it into something so limp, washed out, flat and featureless with a greyscale UI, that is actually sore on the eyes after about 5 minutes?  The Evernote brand identity is missing.  Or, have I missed something? Am I going to click on a notebook and suddenly, the elephant will trumpet in glee and pop out onto the page?
 
Let's just take a look at the Evernote notebook screen (fumbles for sunglasses).  I am seeing grey notebooks on a grey background, with feeble grey shadows.  Maybe 3 shades of grey in use, with black font. Not a hint of green in sight.  The only colour I see is blue, one word in blue telling me I am on the Notebooks page. There is plenty of scope on this page to use Evernote green and give it some character, and perhaps just a tiny bit of depth.  Then, there's the side bar. It's the SAME shade of grey as everything else - talk about deliberately making it washed out! I can see the faintest of grey (no surprise there) line separators. 
 
I am looking at the notes list now, in 'side list view' The WHOLE page is just one shade of plain, pale, feeble grey. Every other line is washed out white, and the note page is washed out white.   Grey is not a colour - grey is an absence of colour.  it is a nothingness, a there - but not quite there feeling. It's bland, bare, bald and boring. 
 
Every time I look back Evernote again, I hate it just a little bit more. Why, oh why do software designers have to keep jumping off the same plank as those before them?  Why did everyone in the Evernote design team feel it was necessary to copy others who have stripped schematics and colour from their software?  I am sitting here, typing in Safari, with its grey header and grey tabs (at least the sidebar is a much darker grey).  I am looking at Mac Mail, with it's grey header, and grey sidebar and washed out UI, then I look back at Evernote and all I see is grey, grey, grey.   It's horrid. I can't quite call it ugly though, - at least ugly has features that stand out.  Evernote is now devoid of features, nothing stands out. Everything is just pale, feeble, and sore on my eyes.  There isn't sufficient contrast between the feeble greys, making it very unpleasant to look at. 
 
Guys, guys - what have you done? I thought you were leaders of the pack, not followers.  This 'thing' - this impostor - it's not Evernote, it's horrid. It's beauty has been stolen and what's left is just bland, bare, bald and boring. 
 
Did I mention drab?
 
p.s.  Please give us our beautiful Evernote back. 
 

 

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Thirded. I was just about to upgrade to Premium, and then the update hit. Thank God I didn't spend the money, because I won't be using Evernote again. Evernote on the Mac has never been particularly attractive; now it's actually offensive to the eyes. Great work, guys...

 

Why not just make the Mac app look exactly like the iPad app?? The iOS versions are beautiful. v6 is just garbage.

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Completely and 100% agree.

 

I have a UI/UX background dating back to the 90's (it was called "human interface" or "multi-media" design back then). I've myself designed dozens of interfaces, mostly for the web, and seen the evolution of interface development over the last two decades.

 

Evernote has continually "devolved" as an interface, adding marginally useful features while the interface falls apart in an attempt to continually pile on the bandwagon of any silly trend (yeah flat was cool what, like 3 years ago? Following Apple design cues at this point is acquiscence to a lack of design insight).

 

This latest version, as the OP stated, is completely terrible. Its lacking in any discitintive elements deliniating between different catagories of information, and uses such a narrow color pallet that any contrast is nearly impossible. This is absolutely terrible and a design faux pas as not only does it "wash out" the app interface when viewing off angle on a flat screen display, it also makes a terrible choice for those with accessibility issues who need high contrast.

 

I've had continually increasing crashing issues on my Mac (yeah I run Lion, becuase Mac OS is now a dead in terms of inspiration in its interface, as shown by the latest release. Lion is supposedly supported by Evernote).

 

To add insult to injury as Evernote takes advantage of those who are now tied to thier platform as they attempt to throw more digital "spaghetti" at the wall in a narrow and short sited attempt to increase business revenue, I literally upgraded my account again to disable the "Contexts" feature, I've never upgraded to disable a feature before. Great and smart way to bilk users out of money, its the new business model, punish users and then make them pay to have it stop!

 

I am sad/happy to say I will be asking for a refund on my purchase and migrating to a new system.

 

The best candidate for a replacement that I have found is: http://www.thebrain.com/products/thebrain/

 

Its as or more flexible than Evernote, and it's interface is not good, but I literally cant read some text on screen in Evernote now (grey text on a light grey background for notebook filter search results? Are you serious?) any my productivity is literally f@#ked.

 

#RIPevernote

 

The original was amazing, and up until version 3 was simply a productivity junky's dream.

 

Best of luck to the rest of you who continue to struggle on.

 

--

R

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BTW as a tech entreprenuer I've been tempted for a while to launch a competitor to Evenote, seems like they're leaving the door wide open. Anyone SERIOUS in talking about this (C, Objective C, Cocoa devs) can PM.

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This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion -- Two trains colliding at 100 Mph.   The two engines (Web beta) have already touch in the super slow motion -- a total disaster, Now the the Mac OS cars (number two in line of cars) are starting to crumple in with bits and pieces flying everywhere -- it's a The Matrix movie with bullets -- you see it coming.

 

It's surreal to sit here and watch this, as I am a windows user but, Windows OS is the 3rd car in the two trains

 

The most bizarre of all is this is totally self inflected

 

[ EDIT ]

 

but unlike my silly analogy, this train wreck is reversible . . ..  there is still time  . . .. . or is it?

 

f = ma

 

Force = Mass * Acceleration

 

Phil Libin has put all his eggs into "Workspace" and apparently they have had the foot on the gas of a long long time before they went public with this. These two trains -   Workspace Vs how people actually use Evernote -- their core users -- have been at full throttle in opposite directions for a long time -- we are just now seeing the impact

 

And it aint pretty . .. . It's pretty sad really . .. .  and for me and millions of people who need an external brain for us personally and for our jobs  -- this is tragic

 

Evernote Executives, Please do some soul searching before its too late

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Another update in trying to deal with this atrocity of an interface.

 

I found this: http://www.geeknote.me

 

This is way better than the evernote app if you can use the command line.

 

As a full stack web developer I'm familiar with the command line so this may be viable for me to edit my notes while avoiding the crashing/interface of the latest version of the official Evernote app while I migrate to another platform.

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BTW here is an image of probably the pinnacle of Evernote interface design. It's not "great" but it worked and it got out of the way so you could do things...

 

http://goo.gl/nq2nOu

 

I was literally still using version 3 for mac until this summer. There is a hidden download link somewhere on the web for this version, but obviously any DB updated to a newer version wouldnt work.

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How many more people need to post here before Evernote staff admit their mistake - and do something to fix this. I don't mean making a grey font a bit darker - but putting some real color (or giving the option to do this) in the thing and stop trying to be apple wannabees. You are not Apple employees - you are Evernote employees.

 

Are senior management reading these posts? If the designers don't want to change it - is there anyone more sensible in senior positions who can react?

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No staff members are going to admit anything, and they certainly aren't going to change it. One thing about the software dev world I've noticed is that, once some makes a change, it's changed, even if people are flocking from the app because of it. The psychology is simple: Evernote (the company) spent a ton of time and money on the redesign, and they won't allow themselves to admit that all of that was a waste of time by rolling back to the previous design. They will never allow themselves to admit that they wasted time, wasted money, and did something stupid that everyone hates.

Additionally, as this update just shows that every good design decision that Evernote ever made was an accident, I wouldn't be happy about keeping this app around even if they did reverse the update. Who knows how long it will be before they 'upgrade' it again...

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How many more people need to post here before Evernote staff admit their mistake - and do something to fix this. I don't mean making a grey font a bit darker - but putting some real color (or giving the option to do this) in the thing and stop trying to be apple wannabees. You are not Apple employees - you are Evernote employees.

 

Are senior management reading these posts? If the designers don't want to change it - is there anyone more sensible in senior positions who can react?

 

 

Probably many more will need to post....

 

There is an open source client for Evernote web called "Nixnote" that is a java app and will run on many devices. I didn't really want to bother getting it up and running on my Mac. If it weren't adding value to a business that has no regard for it's users, I would contribute to the UI/UX of that project.

 

BTW Conqu seems to be a very legitimate alternative for task management. Its simplified and designed to support the GTD methodology. It seems to be in an early stage as for as the UI is concerned, but at least I can look at it and see things.

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BTW here is an image of probably the pinnacle of Evernote interface design. It's not "great" but it worked and it got out of the way so you could do things...

 

http://goo.gl/nq2nOu

 

I was literally still using version 3 for mac until this summer. There is a hidden download link somewhere on the web for this version, but obviously any DB updated to a newer version wouldnt work.

That honestly looks great. I thought 3 looked good...

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This is strike 2 for me. 3 strikes and I'll look at alternatives, of which there are plenty these days. 

1st strike is the fact that they STILL don't allow me to link to what I want to link to. If I want to link to an email I'd use mailto:// but the CMD+K popup doesn't allow that.  

 

Strike 2 is this design disaster.  It reminds me of a piece of software that was made in java, so it would work on as many platforms as possible, by somebody who knew nothing about UI but just used whatever was available.

 

Is there a chance that somebody can create a skin and sell it for a reasonable price, so we can get a decent UI back?

 

<-- Evernote Premium users for 6 years.

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Chris472 - sadly you are probably right. But am still grasping for straws hoping there is someone left at Evernote who actually cares about the customers. This is a total fiasco!!!

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I love the new design of Evernote. Finally, Evernote is integrated into Yosemite - great look and feel! Before that, it felt like a foreign body.

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BTW here is an image of probably the pinnacle of Evernote interface design. It's not "great" but it worked and it got out of the way so you could do things...

 

http://goo.gl/nq2nOu

 

I was literally still using version 3 for mac until this summer. There is a hidden download link somewhere on the web for this version, but obviously any DB updated to a newer version wouldnt work.

That honestly looks great. I thought 3 looked good...

 

 

Well I also though it was great, but I'm sure the Evernote designers would argue for days about how much better this latest version is though.

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Ok just to update anyone interested.....

 

 

I've "upgraded" Evernote to version 5.7 through a complete reinstall.

 

During the process I've decided I've had enough of this BS from EN everytime they do a major upgrade. Consensus among long time users seems to be that it's been downhill since version 3, and I'm tired of the work arounds, the uninstalling and downgrading.

 

I've moved myself over to Conqu for task management as I'm a die hard GTD user and it's great for that, and way better than Evernote for task management.

 

I'll leave my reference and data in EN until I find a replacement for it for that use.

 

I encourage anyone using EN for task management to check out Conqu. They have apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

 

http://conqu.com

 

I'm already feeling so much better!

 

 

Thanks to the community here for the links and threads on uninstalling etc. EN Inc. should reward you with a better product.

 

--

R

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When you reinstalled 5.7, did the database work fine? Additionally, where did you download it?

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Just chiming in about the bugs and poor taste in interface design. Do not upgrade to Version 6.0 (451092 App Store) Yosemite 10.10.1.

 

Be sure to file bugs via Evernote Support!

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I restored the previous version of Evernote within 30 minutes of being blinded - never before have I ditched a piece of software so quickly, it really was horrid! Now that I am back on the previous version, I can see that the wooden notebooks are a bit heavy, and can understand that they wanted to dumb it down a bit.  But, there is dumbing down and there is complete wipe-out. 

 

I was genuinely going to upgrade to premium, as I'm starting out self-employed and want to be completely paperless. I was about a week away from upgrading; now everything is on hold until i can figure out if they will do some improvements, or if I will migrate to OneNote. 

 

Although I rolled back, I'm not suggesting the designers should.  I just think they should go back to the drawing board and look at how they can create more contrast, give it some brand identity, and stop blinding us!  The problem though, is the original UI designers will be blind to what's needed, as they will only see what they created, and that they ticked all the boxes.  This needs some fresh eyes to take a look at the obvious places to give it a make-over.  At the moment, it is cheap and tacky, any old 2-bit amateur could have thrown this UI together; looking at it, you would never know it was actually Evernote.

 

Like I said in the beginning, Evernote is synonymous  with awesomeness, but to remain so, it needs to look and feel professional as well as fantastic-functional.  Just because v6 has added even more awesomeness under the hood, if the body work looks appalling, it is an epic fail, a flop. 

 

Evernote team - please don't jump on the bandwagon, please don't follow the drab-pack.  Get back out in front and lead the way - put some awe back in your awesomeness and  produce a professional looking UI that separates the drab from the wow :) 

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Ok just to update anyone interested.....

 

 

I've "upgraded" Evernote to version 5.7 through a complete reinstall.

 

During the process I've decided I've had enough of this BS from EN everytime they do a major upgrade. Consensus among long time users seems to be that it's been downhill since version 3, and I'm tired of the work arounds, the uninstalling and downgrading.

 

I've moved myself over to Conqu for task management as I'm a die hard GTD user and it's great for that, and way better than Evernote for task management.

 

I'll leave my reference and data in EN until I find a replacement for it for that use.

 

I encourage anyone using EN for task management to check out Conqu. They have apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

 

http://conqu.com

 

I'm already feeling so much better!

 

 

Thanks to the community here for the links and threads on uninstalling etc. EN Inc. should reward you with a better product.

 

--

R

 

 

Well, would you believe it - congu UI looks professional.  There is good contrast and a bit of colour.  Going in head-first!

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I dont know who they employ to come up with these choices for look/colour and layout but they need sacking.

 

"Mmmmm i'm thinking really flat and unintersting you know sap all the enthusiasm out of the user, lets go back to 1980 when we had no choice and only dreamed of texure and vibrant soothing colour"

 

Its ***** and its a slap in the face, how do i go back to version before ?

 

Dave

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I restored the previous version of Evernote within 30 minutes of being blinded - never before have I ditched a piece of software so quickly, it really was horrid! Now that I am back on the previous version, I can see that the wooden notebooks are a bit heavy, and can understand that they wanted to dumb it down a bit.  But, there is dumbing down and there is complete wipe-out. 

 

I was genuinely going to upgrade to premium, as I'm starting out self-employed and want to be completely paperless. I was about a week away from upgrading; now everything is on hold until i can figure out if they will do some improvements, or if I will migrate to OneNote. 

 

Although I rolled back, I'm not suggesting the designers should.  I just think they should go back to the drawing board and look at how they can create more contrast, give it some brand identity, and stop blinding us!  The problem though, is the original UI designers will be blind to what's needed, as they will only see what they created, and that they ticked all the boxes.  This needs some fresh eyes to take a look at the obvious places to give it a make-over.  At the moment, it is cheap and tacky, any old 2-bit amateur could have thrown this UI together; looking at it, you would never know it was actually Evernote.

 

Like I said in the beginning, Evernote is synonymous  with awesomeness, but to remain so, it needs to look and feel professional as well as fantastic-functional.  Just because v6 has added even more awesomeness under the hood, if the body work looks appalling, it is an epic fail, a flop. 

 

Evernote team - please don't jump on the bandwagon, please don't follow the drab-pack.  Get back out in front and lead the way - put some awe back in your awesomeness and  produce a professional looking UI that separates the drab from the wow :)

How do i restore the coloured version like you did please ?

 

Dave

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Outch.

Guess I'll hold on my 5.7 Windows version for the moment.

But what about functionalities?

Did they throw some new functionalities, lose some, or is it just aesthetics?

I've been using Evernote so extensively for the past 18 months, it would require a complete rethinking of my workflow to replace it.

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OMG! What DID you guys do to my awesome Evernote??? It's sooo boring and please include all the other complaints you've received.

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I won't defend Evernote, but I am an Executive Director in a software org of some 4000 people, with over a 100 products. I can't say I disagree with a lot of what you've posted. I would though say that much of todays US Centric cloud software suffers from a number of UI related issues.

 

For example, adopting the usability standards mandated for those with poor eyesight, those with physical challenges etc. often leads to either a more complex configuration/settings based software product, or you take the opposite position and change change the UI to the minimum acceptable for all markets, including right/left languages and accessibility standards.

 

There are fewer and fewer big products these days that allow you to "skin" their software, fewer products that allow you to move the toolbars around etc. etc. Everyone of these things comes with extra software, potential bugs, additional testing costs etc.

 

I for one am constantly frustrated by having to learn new UI's, to be forced to have the toolbar at the top in some apps, on the bottom at others... its just a mess. the Apple UI is nothing interesting, but if nothing else it is forcing consistency.

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