I’m going to take the opportunity to write about what I call “delightful experiences” with software. I think it might be helpful to talk about these experiences and what makes them so darn “delightful.” In this episode, I’ll be talking about Evernote. Specifically, I will talk about Evernote’s Web Clipper extension for Chrome.
Evernote Web Clipper
Let me briefly describe the Evernote Web Clipper extension. I do a lot of online reading and often, I find something of quality that I’ll want to come back to later as a reference. Evernote Web Clipper allows me to capture the state of the page (because pages change) at that point in time and keep my own copy of the page. This works also with images, PDFs and even YouTube videos. The other half of the power of this tool is Evernote’s powerful search, but I’ll get to that later.
So, if I wanted to capture the information on this page:
I could use the Web Clipper to capture it.
One of the delightful features of Evernote is that the capture of the page has a lot of intelligence built into it. In this screen shot, I’ve merely clicked on the Evernote Elephant.
The Web Clipper has done a few things for me. First, it draws a box around the “article” of the page showing what will be captured and what will be left behind. This is nice, because most pages have a bounty of “extra stuff” I don’t want to capture. Second, Evernote has figured out that this article belongs in my “Design” notebook automatically.
Let’s say, for example, Evernote’s selection of an “article” didn’t contain enough, or contained too much of the page. At the bottom of the selection box is a handy +/- tool for expanding and contracting the selection box.
There’s another powerful feature of Evernote, “Simplified Article”:
Evernote automatically strips out extraneous styling and captures the most essential data in an easy to read format like Pocket or Instapaper.
Evernote Web Clipper also gives me the ability to “highlight” important elements before saving it (I can do this after saving, too).
Delightful, not Perfect
No, Evernote and the Evernote Web Clipper are not perfect. Sometimes these features do not produce the results I desire. But most of the time, they do. It saves me time and effort in 9 out of 10 captures. It works well and feels good to use. For me, it feels like Evernote knows what I’m trying to do and helps me out, but never forces me into its way of doing things. It adapts to me instead making me adapt to it.
What do you think of Evernote’s Web Clipper?
If you have software that you find “delightful,” let me know what it is. We can take a look at it together and maybe I can get some UX updates put together for it.