I’m continuing my explanation of my “delightful experience” with Evernote. Last time, I talked about search and this week the interface. Now, it may seem odd that I saved the interface for last, but, we’ll get to that next time.
Evernote’s UI has changed quite a few times since the beginning. At first, it wasn’t the most beautiful UI and it wasn’t the most pleasant. But, the user experience of Evernote has always been delightful, despite a average UI. These days, however, the UI has become, in my opinion, beautiful, elegant and easy to use. It feels simple and hides a wealth of complexity in the UI.
The interface is highly explorable. The icons on the left invite exploration and interaction and it is very forgiving; you aren’t going to regret clicking on anything. The complexity of the UI “slides out” as you explore, but your current note stays in place until you open a new note.
Or, if you are looking at a list of notes, the navigation of notes will lightly obscure the list of notes to assure you that things aren’t lost.
The split pane pattern persists throughout the UI, but it doesn’t get in the way. There’s always a way to “clear the clutter” and focus on your work.
Being cross platform, the Android and iOS (and Windows Mobile and Blackberry!) apps leverage all of the familiarity with the Web app, while integrating well with the platform.
Evernote’s UI isn’t Perfect
For example, there are a few places where things behave inconsistently. Also, transitioning into “view” and “edit” mode works differently on all the platforms and it can be confusing to know when you are in edit mode. Once in edit mode, the note formatting tools are often hidden and finding essential information (such as the source URL from Web clips) can be confusing. All of these issues are fixable, in my opinion, and I hope that Evernote has a team of User Experience researchers already solving these problems.
What do you think of Evernote’s UI?
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.